Frankfort TMJ/TMD Dentist - TMJ/TMD Treatment in Frankfort IL

Experiencing jaw pain or headaches? It is possible that these symptoms could be an indication of TMJ/TMD problems.  Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) is a common condition affecting a wide variety of people. Although dentists don't know the exact cause of TMD, many believe that people begin feeling symptoms when there is trouble with the muscles of the jaw or even with the joint itself.  The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the lower jaw to the bones situated at the sides and base of the skull.  When the jaw or TMJ joint is damaged by injury or other sources including the grinding and clenching of teeth, this is when symptoms tend to become more apparent.

TMJ/TMD is characterized by severe headaches, jaw pain of varying degrees, grinding teeth, and an intermittent ringing in the ears. The vast majority of TMJ/TMD sufferers are unaware that the root cause of these problems is something that a dentist can effectively treat.

At the Frankfort dental office of John J. Reilly DDS, they approach the treatment of TMJ pain conservatively rather than moving straight to a surgical solution.  Many times, Dr. Reilly can treat TMJ symptoms with a special appliance or retainer.

The most common cause of TMD is the misalignment of the teeth, often called “bad bite.” It is possible for Dr. Reilly to adjust and polish the teeth  in his Frankfort dental office without the need for painful or expensive surgeries. The realignment/adjustment will help stop the pounding headaches, the jaw pain, and the dizziness.

The symptoms of TMJ are debilitating and can greatly interfere with every day life. The comfort and general well being of the patient is at the heart of Dr. Reilly's dental practice in Frankfort, so pain relief is the first consideration of the dentist. Dr. Reilly is able to test, diagnose, and devise an immediate plan to treat the underlying causes of the TMJ disorder.

Reasons for treating TMJ pain (TMD)

TMD sufferers report that their symptoms generally worsen during periods of prolonged or unexpected stress, and that intense outbreaks of the condition can lead to neck pain and dizziness.

The grinding teeth symptom is particularly common and usually occurs at night. The grinding will eventually erode the structure of the teeth and lead to much more severe dental problems in the future. Untreated TMD is one of the prime underlying factors in eroded jawbones and loose teeth.

It is important for anyone experiencing the symptoms of TMJ pain (TMD) to visit their dentist for an exact diagnosis.

What does treating TMJ pain involve?

TMJ pain could be a result of several different problems. Bad bite is the most common, but an injury resulting from a blow to the meniscus cartilage is also a possibility. Initially, Dr. Reilly will thoroughly examine the jaw area, the patients bite, take x-rays, and review the patient’s history in order to make an accurate diagnosis and recommend necessary treatment. Sometimes an MRI of the TMJ may be necessary to aid in the diagnosis.

Once a firm diagnosis is attained, there are several ways in which relief can be provided. A specially molded bite guard can be created to help relax the jaw muscles, and repositon the lower jaw so it functions properly in the Temporomandibular Joint. This device also stops teeth grinding during the night. A bite relationship analysis may be recommended by Dr. Reilly. He can also provide advice on relaxation techniques which will lessen the effects of stress.

An alternate option is to change the shape of the teeth and get rid of the bad bite completely, often called “equilibration.” This is especially useful because it alleviates TMJ symptoms and may improve the aesthetic appearance of the teeth as well. Equilibration or Realignment involves adjusting the relationship between how the upper teeth come together with the lower teeth. This may require new restorations and/or adjusting the natural teeth as well. It is not a painful procedure, and it is one that Dr. Reilly has performed with great success numerous times. As with any procedure, he will be happy to answer questions and discuss symptoms, options, and treatments.

For anyone experiencing symptoms of TMJ or TMD, contact Frankfort TMJ Dentist, Dr. Reilly today to schedule an appointment. The office is conveniently located on Bankview Drive right across the street from the Lincoln-Way East High School.

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