How Do I Know I Have TMD?

Do you often wake up with headaches? Does your jaw hurt when you eat hard or crunchy foods? You may have a TMJ disorder. Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) occur when there is pressure or an injury to the joints that connect the skull to the jaw bone. We help diagnose and treat TMD in Arlington Heights, IL. However, sometimes patients can mistake different problems for TMD disorders. Here we will review common conditions that patients often mistake for TMD and what we look for when diagnosing and treating TMD.

TMD in Arlington Heights, IL

Do I Have TMD?

Other problems can often be mistaken for TMJ disorders. Some of these problems include:

  • Chronic Migraines and Headaches: Headaches can originate from the temples or side of the face. While headaches are a sign of TMJ disorders, some patients may have headaches for many reasons. Stress, tight headwear, lack of sleep, and certain medications can contribute to chronic headaches.
  • Tinnitus: Some patients with TMJ disorders can experience earaches or hearing problems because the temporomandibular joints are close to the ear canal. Tinnitus can also be due to changes in medication, excessive earwax, and blood vessel conditions.
  • Chronic Sinus Pain: Sinusitis is a problem that occurs when the sinuses are inflamed. If sinusitis occurs for many months, people can experience chronic headaches and ear pain.

Symptoms of TMJ disorders typically include headaches, orofacial pain, teeth clenching and grinding (bruxism), jaw clicking and popping, and difficulty or pain eating hard foods. We will screen patients for TMJ disorders and rule out any other health problems.

Diagnosing and Treating TMD in Arlington Heights, IL

We will take many aspects of your health into account when diagnosing TMD. Our team will take your medications, dental history, and signs of tooth wear into account. We will also take digital x-rays to see any signs of wear in the teeth or jaw. Tension in the facial or neck muscles often indicate TMJ problems.

Nightguards are acrylic oral appliances that we custom-make to help patients with bruxism, or teeth clenching and grinding. Wearing a nightguard during sleep can prevent further tooth wear and headaches. Unlike store-bought mouthguards, custom TMJ nightguards stay in the mouth and are made of hard acrylic so patients are discouraged from chewing on their oral appliances.

Botox® can relieve headaches and orofacial pain. Injecting Botox into key muscles in the face can relax these muscles, relieve tension, and stop headaches. Patients with TMD can receive continual injections if their symptoms flare up and use Botox in conjunction with nightguards and physical therapy.

Bite correction therapy can adjust the teeth. Veneers, crowns, restorative dentistry, and even orthodontics help create a balanced and comfortable bite. Orthodontics can benefit patients who have uneven pressure on their joints due to crooked teeth. Straightening the smile can sometimes help

Do you think you may have TMD but aren’t sure? Contact AH Smiles and Dr. Brent Engelberg for care at (847) 230-9703. You can also request a dental appointment with Dr. Brent Engelberg and his team on our website.