Stephanie Skopek

Are you dealing with a TMJ disorder? Find out how to alleviate your discomfort.

Everything from dental misalignments to trauma to stress can lead someone to struggle with an uncomfortable and common jaw joint problem known as a TMJ disorder. TMJ stands for TemporoMandibular Joint, which are joints found on either side of the face that allows the jawbone to articulate against the skull. These joints are responsible for all jaw movements, from opening and closing to chewing and yawning. You can learn more about TMJ-related jaw pain and how to reduce symptoms by visiting the office of Stephanie Skopek DDS in North Barrington, IL.

Is my jaw pain due to a TMJ disorder?

So, how do you know what’s causing your jaw pain? This is where our services come in. If the pain is severe enough or persistent, then you may want to play it safe and schedule a consultation with us. If you do have a TMJ disorder, symptoms may include:

  • Aching jaw pain. Head and neck aches
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Jaw pain that gets worse when speaking, chewing, or biting
  • Jaws that are tender to the touch
  • Tired or sore jaws in the morning upon awakening
  •  Clicking or popping sounds when opening your jaws
  • Jaw joints that lock up when opening or closing your mouth
  • Limited mobility of the jaw joints

You may also feel like your jaws get tired more easily, especially when chewing. Of course, some people have a TMJ disorder but don't experience pain or other issues. 

How do you treat jaw pain?

Medications, certain therapies, and lifestyle modifications, as well as exercises, may be recommended to help reduce jaw joint pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion. Some people find success by eating softer foods and avoiding bad habits like chewing their nails and ice cubes. 

Avoiding bubble gum is a great idea.

Common medications include muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatories, to reduce both pain and inflammation temporarily. You can also apply moist heat or a wrapped ice pack to the area when pain is exacerbated.

If your TMJ disorder is due to teeth and jaw misalignment, orthodontic treatment and/or bite equilibration may be recommended to correct the problem. If your TMJ disorder is due to teeth grinding or stress, our dentist can create a custom nightguard to protect your teeth and joints while you sleep. Sometimes counseling or finding outlets to alleviate your stress can also reduce your symptoms. Most bruxing or grinding is due to a compromised airway is your dentist must assess this during consultation.

If you are dealing with severe or chronic jaw pain, you must turn to Dr. Skopek in North Barrington, IL for an immediate evaluation. The sooner you seek care the sooner you'll be on the road to recovery. Call our office today to find out how we can manage your TMJ disorder pain, at 847-796-3199.

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