More than fifteen percent of American adults suffer from chronic facial pain. Some common symptoms include pain in or around the ear, tenderness of the jaw, clicking or popping noises when opening the mouth, or even headaches and neck aches. The Chicago dentists at Dental Professionals can help identify the source of the pain with a thorough exam and appropriate x-rays. Often, it's a sinus, toothache or an early stage of periodontal disease. But for some patients, the cause of the pain is not so easily diagnosed. The pain could be related to the facial muscles, the jaw or temporomandibular joint, located in the front of the ear.
Treatment of TMJ may involve a series of steps. The step-by-step plan is in your best interest because only minor, relatively non-invasive treatment may be needed. Diagnosis is an important step before treatment. Part of your clinical examination at Dental Professionals includes checking the joints and muscles for tenderness, clicking, popping or difficulty moving. Your complete medical history may be reviewed, so it is important to keep your dental office record up-to-date. Your dentist may take x-rays and may make a "cast" of your teeth to see how your bite fits together. The Chicago dentists at Dental Professionals may also request specialized x-rays for the TM joints. TM disorders can result when the jaw muscles or jaw joints are affected. The joint, ligaments, and muscles used for chewing and grinding food may all be involved.
At Dental Professionals we can fit you for a Nightguard to prevent you from grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep. We also offer other treatments for temporomandibular joint disorders, such as stress reducing exercises or muscle relaxants. These treatments have been successful for many and your Chicago dentist can recommend which is best for you.