TMJ Treatment in Woodridge, IL

Patient with Jaw Pain

Smile Studio 87 provides TMJ treatment in Woodridge, IL. Call 630-796-7417 to learn more and schedule your appointment. 

The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is a small joint that works like a sliding hinge when you open and close your mouth. We rarely think about the TMJ until it begins to cause us problems—although small, it’s located near particularly sensitive tissue, so when it’s not functioning as it should, it can be quite painful. 

Chronic TMJ pain is called TMJ disorder or TMD. TMD can impact the quality of your life, with symptoms including:

  • Tension headaches and migraines
  • Soreness in the jaw and temples
  • Earaches and tinnitus
  • Facial pain
  • Lockjaw
  • Popping or clicking sounds and sensations when opening the mouth
  • Difficulty chewing

TMJ disorder falls into one of these three categories:

  • Myofascial pain – Discomfort or pain in the muscles that control jaw function. This is often the result of teeth grinding or jaw clenching.
  • Internal derangement of the joint – This may be an indicator of a displaced disc, dislocated jaw, or injury to the condyle.
  • Arthritis – A degenerative inflammatory disorder that can affect the jaw joints.

You might not think to see a dentist for TMJ pain, but there is no one better to diagnose and treat the condition. Dentists receive advanced training in facial anatomy and jaw function that give us special insight into how to treat TMD. When you come to our practice for a diagnosis, we will conduct an exam to see and feel how your temporomandibular joints function. To assist us in diagnosis, we may also use our cone beam scanner to view images of your jawbone.

In less severe cases of TMJ pain, you may be able to reduce discomfort using self-managed care, including eating soft foods, using ice packs when the TMJ is particularly painful, and avoiding extreme jaw movements. Nonsurgical medical intervention for TMJ includes anti-inflammatory medications, Botox injections, and stabilization splints (sometimes also called night guards or bruxism appliances). When TMD is severe and other treatment options have failed, surgery may be necessary to replace the jaw joints.

Call 630-427-2019 to schedule your appointment.


What will happen if TMJ disorder is not treated?

When TMJ disorder is left untreated, the symptoms can worsen, eventually impacting your ability to work, spend time with family, and enjoy your favorite hobbies. It can make it difficult to eat, leading to weight loss, and as the joint degrades, the likelihood that surgical intervention will be needed increases. This is why it’s important to treat TMJ disorder promptly.

Can TMJ disorder go away on its own?

For some patients, TMJ pain may be temporary, brought on by a particularly stressful period in life. When this is the case, the symptoms may go away. In other patients, TMJ pain is caused by dysfunction in the joints themselves, which is unlikely to be relieved without treatment.

What is the main cause of TMJ disorder?

As discussed above, TMJ disorder can be caused by internal derangement of the joint, arthritis, or myofascial pain in the muscles caused by jaw clenching, teeth grinding, and nervous habits like biting pencils, fingernails, or other hard objects.

How do you fix TMJ syndrome?

The first step in treating TMJ pain is to find out what is causing it. Different causes will necessitate different treatment options. In the case of myofascial pain, Botox injections and and stabilization splints are often effective treatments. On the other hand, if the joint is degenerating, it may need to be replaced. 

Why does TMJ disorder cause ear pain?

The temporomandibular joints are located adjacent to the ears; when they are inflamed, the pain can radiate to the ears as well.

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