TMJ

Aaron P. Diehl, DDS -  - General Dentist

Pure Design Dentistry

Aaron P. Diehl, DDS

General Dentist & Cosmetic Dentist located in Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders can cause aching in the jaw, neck pain, and headaches. If you have any of these symptoms and want expert dental treatment, contact Pure Design Dentistry in Lincoln Park, Chicago. As a general and cosmetic dentist, Dr. Aaron Diehl treats TMJ disorders to help you resolve the underlying causes of jaw pain, end teeth grinding, and preserve the health of your teeth. Call or schedule an appointment online with Pure Design Dentistry today.

TMJ Q & A

by Aaron P. Diehl, DDS

What is TMJ disorder?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jawbone to your skill. When you have a TMJ disorder, this can cause pain in the joint and the surrounding muscles.

TMJ disorders are often associated with behaviors like teeth grinding or jaw clenching. Left untreated, TMJ disorders can cause complications of the jaw and teeth, as well as many other painful symptoms.

What causes TMJ disorders?

It’s not always possible to determine the cause of TMJ disorders. Several factors may contribute to the development of a TMJ disorder, and some of these may include:

  • Cartilage that has worn away on the bone of the joint
  • Misalignment of the jaw joint
  • Injury or impact to the chin, teeth, or jawline
  • Inflammation due to arthritis
  • Connective tissue diseases 

 

Regular teeth grinding or clenching — due to stress or other factors — may also lead to symptoms of a TMJ disorder.

What are the symptoms of TMJ disorders?

TMJ disorders can cause a number of different symptoms. The most common signs include:

  • Pain while chewing
  • Stiffness in the jaw
  • Clicking, popping, or locking when moving the jaw
  • A change in how the top and bottom teeth fit together

 

Some people with TMJ disorders might also experience tension headaches, neck pain, or radiating pain in the face or jaw.

How is a TMJ disorder treated?

There are many different ways to treat TMJ disorders and relieve symptoms. Depending on your condition, Dr. Diehl might recommend:

  • Splints or bite guards: dental appliances that help to relieve pain and prevent damage from teeth grinding
  • Pain medication: anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, or anti-depressants can relieve symptoms
  • Surgery: jaw joint replacement or other surgical procedures that permanently change the structure of the jaw

 

In general, surgery is not recommended as the first line of treatment. There are many ways that Dr. Diehl can help improve your TMJ disorder symptoms and protect the health of your teeth.

In many cases, TMJ disorders are also manageable with home-based treatment methods, like eating soft foods, applying ice, and learning stretching exercises that help support the jaw.

Dr. Aaron Diehl of Pure Design Dentistry offers TMJ Disorder Treatment for patients in Lincoln Park, Chicago. He also services patients in the Gold Coast, Lakeview, the Loop, and all other surrounding areas. Call or Book Online to schedule your visit!