Get Treatment For Your TMJ Disorder | Boca Raton, FL

  • November 15, 2015

You’re ready to eat, with a plate full of your favorite foods. You take a bite and as you start to chew you feel … pain. Each bite seems more difficult, and eventually you stop.

You wake up and your jaw is sore. You don’t understand why, but the pain seems to have spread to you neck and shoulders, too.

Plus you’re having more headaches. The over-the-counter medicine isn’t helping much either.

If only there was someone you could call to help. There is if you live in or near Boca Raton. You can visit Robert A. Eckelson, D.D.S, P.A.. Your problem just might be a TMJ disorder

What are the symptoms of TMJ disorders?

TMJ is an abbreviation for temporomandibular joint. You can think of this joint as the hinge that allows you to open and close your mouth. This is great if you ever need to eat or speak.

If you are having problems with this joint, you may be dealing with TMD, which is short for temporomandibular disorder. This can be bad, especially if you need to eat or speak.

TMD can affect the movement of your jaw, both up and down and from side-to-side. If you have experienced limited movement in your jaw, or if your jaw has become stuck in the open or closed position, you may have at TMJ disorder.

Those are the more obvious signs that you have a problem with your temporomandibular joint, but they aren’t the only possible symptoms. Others include:

• Dizziness

• Earaches

• Headaches, including migraine headaches

• Hearing problems, such as ringing in your ears

• Soreness or tenderness in and around your jaw

• Pain in your face, neck, or shoulders

• Facial swelling

TMD may not always be painful, either. If you jaw is not lined up correctly, you may feel like your jaw is popping when you open or close your mouth. You could also hear a clicking sound.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms (or multiple symptoms), it may be a good time to talk to a dentist.

What causes TMD?

TMD can develop as a result of many causes.

A traumatic impact can change the position of your jaw. An automotive accident or an athletic hit, such as a tackle in football, could potentially cause this kind of problem.

Clenching or grinding your teeth, also known as bruxism, can add extra pressure on your joint. You may be doing this in your sleep without ever realizing it. You also might be doing this as an unconscious reaction to stress from personal or work problems.

Arthritis is another possible cause. Just like arthritis can affect joints in your hands and other parts of your body, it can affect the joint in your jaw, too.

How can TMD be treated?

If our dentist identifies the signs of TMD, he can treat you with a special splint. This is a plastic covering for your teeth.

The splint will help your jaw stay in a more relaxed position, which will ease the stress on your joint. For many patients, the splint is enough to fix the problem with a little bit of patience, In time, the pain in your jaw and your other symptoms will disappear.

For patients whose TMJ disorder is caused by bruxism, we may take a different approach.

Bruxism often has a neurological cause. While we can’t treat that specifically, we can address the impact of clenching and grinding your teeth. For these patients, we can create an occlusal guard, which is a type of mouthpiece similar to the ones athletes wear when they are competing.

When you wear this mouthpiece while you sleep, it moves your jaw into a more relaxed position and prevents you from grinding your teeth together.

If you have a more serious case of TMD, however, we can refer you to a specialist who treats this condition.

If you are tired of the headaches and the jaw pain, if you want to eat without feeling sore afterwards, and if you want to end the pain in your neck, give us a call.

Dr. Robert A. Eckelson wants you to feel comfortable, and he’ll even give you a free consultation to discuss your TMJ. If you live or work near Boca Raton, call our office at 561-235-3100 or use our online form to make an appointment.

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