When Sarah came in to our Elmhurst dental office, she was pretty satisfied with her dental health. She brushed and flossed regularly, and she was cavity free for six years in a row! However, during the course of Sarah’s appointment, she just happened to mention that the right side of her face had been sore and feeling stiff. Although Sarah didn’t realize it, she was actually suffering from a very common symptom of TMJ disorder.

We explained to Sarah that TMJ dysfunction could cause a number of painful and inconvenient symptoms. Patients may experience jaw soreness, jaw locking, earaches, and frequent headaches. Additionally, if you suffer from TMJ problems, you may notice that your bite is shifting, maybe your teeth aren’t fitting together as comfortably as they did before.

The Temporomandibular Joint connects your jaw to the lower part of the skull. It makes sense, therefore, that when this joint is swollen or irritated it becomes more difficult to move your jaw. This diminished mobility and soreness can further affect our ears and cause tension headaches.

By seeking effective treatment as soon as you notice symptoms, you can increase your chances of treatment success. The goal of TMJ treatment is to diminish TMJ symptoms and restore easy, comfortable functioning to your jaw. Left untreated, TMJ symptoms can intensify and escalate over time. With proper care, however, this condition can be managed.

To improve your jaw function, your dentist may pursue a number of treatments. Commonly TMJ patients use mouth guards at night to protect their teeth and help reduce jaw pain. In some cases patients with TMJ problems need to have their teeth realigned to achieve optimal bite function.

Whatever your specific situation is, our Elmhurst TMJ dental office is here to help you live pain-free. Give us a call for more information or to schedule an appointment!

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