You may not realize it, but your frequent headaches may be a sign of a dental issue. Temporomandibular joint disorders, usually known as TMJ disorders, can lead to symptoms you may not associate with a dental problem. However, treating your TMJ disorder at your dentist in Hoffman Estates, IL, Dr. Dhara Patel, you can find relief from the pain.
How Can I Tell if I Have a TMJ Disorder?
There are many symptoms that can be caused by a TMJ disorder. These include:
- Headaches, especially upon waking up
- Jaw pain
- Pain in the face
- Trouble chewing
- Shoulder and back pain
- Muscle spasms
- Teeth grinding
- Jaw locking
Some of these things may not make you think that the problem lies in your jaw. However, if you have any of these symptoms, particularly if you have multiple, you should make an appointment with your Hoffman Estates, Illinois dentist right away.
What Causes TMJ Disorders?
TMJ disorders are caused by all sorts of things. One of the most common causes is grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw while you sleep. This may also happen during the day without you even noticing.
If you have trauma or injury to your jaw, this is another way it can happen. Crooked teeth or your bite not lining up correctly can make the joint strain as it doesn’t line up right. Structural irregularities in your jaw bone can also contribute to this.
All of these things can put stress on the temporomandibular joint. This causes tension in the muscles and is what leads to the pain you experience. Continuing on and ignoring the symptoms can lead to more problems down the road.
How are TMJ Disorders Treated?
If your symptoms are fairly mild, there are lifestyle changes you can make at home to try and relieve the pain. Icing with a cloth-wrapped icepack and eating soft foods can help your jaw rest up. Jaw exercises and knowingly relaxing your facial muscles can lessen the pain on a daily basis. Sleeping on your side may deter you from clenching and grinding your teeth in the middle of the night.
For more serious cases, there are oral appliances that can assist with TMJ disorder treatment. Dr. Patel will analyze your jaw to determine how your bite comes together. She can fit you with an oral appliance that’s similar to a mouthguard. This prevents your teeth from grinding or clenching together. It can be worn overnight and during particularly stressful situations to lessen tension and further damage to your teeth.
There’s a chance your teeth can experience wear, or even chipping and breaking due to TMJ disorders. During your evaluation, Dr. Patel will determine if this is the case. She can offer you options for restorative and cosmetic procedures to get your smile back to the way it was before.
TMJ Treatment at Your Dentist in Hoffman Estates, Illinois
At Best Dental Spa, Dr. Patel can help you get on track to eliminate pain and other symptoms of TMJ disorders. Call us today or schedule an appointment online!