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Homer Glen TMJ/TMD Therapy

Man in dental chair holding jaw

At the Homer Glen dental office of Alan R. DeAngelo, DDS, we offer patients a wide range of dentistry service to keep their smiles whole, healthy, and pain free. For patients struggling with the chronic pain and jaw immobility that indicates a need for TMJ/TMD therapy, we are happy to provide a personalized treatment plan to reduce discomfort and get the smile back on your face as soon as possible. If you’ve noticed warning signs of TMJ dysfunction, call our Homer Glen dental office to schedule an appointment today. We’ll evaluate your condition, discuss treatment options, and help you to achieve healthy, pain free function as quickly as possible.

What are the Temporomandibular Joints?

Temporomandibular joints, often referred to simply as TMJ, are small connective tissues that attach the jaw to the skull bone. When properly functioning, the TMJ allow patients to speak, chew, smile, and yawn without pain or impediment.

What is TMJ Dysfunction?

Dentist examining female patient

When the TMJ are overused, injured, or strained, patients can struggle to open and close their mouths. When speaking, smiling, or yawning, patients may experience severe pain. When the mouth is not in motion, patients might still experience jaw pain and radiating head, neck, shoulder, and back pain. This oral health condition is known as TMJ dysfunction. Patients diagnosed with TMJ dysfunction or TMD may be struggling with this disorder for a number of reasons, including:

  • Strain caused by jaw overuse or hyperextension
  • Excess pressure on jaw joints caused by nighttime teeth grinding and clenching
  • TMJ strains caused by the use of improperly aligned teeth prior to orthodontic treatment
  • Damage to the TMJ caused facial trauma or injury
  • Stress or anxiety can cause patients to experience jaw clenching that leads to TMD

How do I Know I Have TMD?

Woman looking at the alignment of her jaw

Patients suffering from TMD may experience a number of side effects. This disorder is commonly misdiagnosed due to the wide range of varying symptoms, so please let our team know if you notice any of the following warning signs that you may have TMD:

  • Sharp or dull jaw pain when moving the mouth or when at rest
  • Radiating head, neck, shoulder, or back pain
  • Earaches and ringing in the ears
  • Clicking or grinding noises when opening and closing the mouth
  • Limited range of jaw movement or complete immobility
  • Chronic headaches
  • Difficulty swallowing

What Treatments are Available for TMJ Dysfunction Therapy?

Man holding jaw in pain

During six month dental exams or when you bring symptoms to our attention, we’ll analyze your smile for signs of TMJ dysfunction. If we determine you are suffering from this condition, we will partner with you to develop a personalized treatment plan. We will typically recommend some combination of the following therapies:

  • Pain relief medications oral and/or topical
  • Use of heat and/or ice
  • Stretching exercises to reset ideal jaw position
  • Use of a custom oral appliance to relieve jaw strain at night
  • Orthodontist treatment to properly align the bite
  • A stress reduction plan for patients whose TMD stems from stress