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TMJ Disorder Specialist

Global Facial Aesthetics

Cosmetic Dentists & Implant Specialist located in River Forest, IL

The joints that hold your jaw on your face, called your temporomandibular joints, are some of the most complex joints in your body. If they don’t allow you to move your jaw open and closed or side to side without pain, stiffness, and other symptoms, dental experts Gary Alder, DDS, FAGD, DAAPM, and Irene Skirius, DDS, at Global Facial Aesthetics in River Forest, Illinois, can determine if you have temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder and treat it accordingly. To learn more about TMJ disorder, call or book an appointment online today.

TMJ Disorder Q&A

What is TMJ disorder?

Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the hinge-like joint on both sides of your head attaching your lower jaw to your temples. 

Its movement allows you to bite down, open your mouth wide, chew, and speak. If either or both of the joints aren’t moving correctly or they cause pain, you might have TMJ disorder.

TMJ disorder can cause a variety of symptoms, including:

  • Jaw pain
  • Jaw numbness
  • Earaches
  • Ear ringing
  • A feeling of ear congestion
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Clicking sounds when you move your mouth
  • Jaw locking
  • Restricted movement

In many cases, you can find relief from your symptoms with simple home care, resting your jaw, and time. It might help to eat soft food for several days as the pain passes and apply ice to the area. 

If these measures don’t provide relief, the team at Global Facial Aesthetics can design a treatment plan for your TMJ disorder. 

What causes TMJ disorder?

TMJ disorder has many possible causes. You might get TMJ disorder because of another underlying condition or your symptoms might arise because of lifestyle factors and habits. Possible factors leading to your TMJ disorder include:

  • Stress
  • Teeth grinding
  • An injury
  • An infection
  • Arthritis
  • Unbalanced bite

Women experience TMJ disorder more often than men, so there might be a hormonal factor to the condition, too. 

Your provider at Global Facial Aesthetics evaluates the joint and asks about your symptoms to determine a possible cause. They might also use a state-of-the-art jaw tracking system to evaluate your jaw’s movements and friction in the joints.

How is TMJ disorder treated?

At Global Facial Aesthetics, the team treats a variety of TMJ disorder treatment, including:

Medications

Anti-inflammatory medications can help relieve some of the pain in your temporomandibular joint. Your provider might suggest using them with a hot or cold compress for a better effect.

Appliance therapy

Phase one of TMJ disorder treatment involves a removable orthotic device that you wear on your lower teeth for 24 hours a day. It trains your jaw to sit in a better position after advanced evaluation with X-rays, MRI, and other methods. You’ll wear your orthotic device for 4-6 months or until your symptoms go away. 

Phase two of your treatment might involve a similar orthotic device that you wear less often, orthodontic treatment like braces, or other dental treatments specific to your case. 

To find out if you have TMJ disorder and if it needs treatment, call Global Facial Aesthetics or book an appointment online today.