It’s Not All in Your Head
June 01, 2020
Submitted by Koala Center For Sleep & TMJ Disorders
Do you suffer from headaches, jaw pain, or ringing in the ears? These are all symptoms that can be caused by TMJ Disorder. Many patients who are suffering from TMJ disorder may not know the underlying cause of their pain. Often, the symptoms they experience may appear disparate and unrelated, leaving them to wonder anxiously about their cause. At Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders our experienced TMJ doctors can help you understand your condition and the best treatment methods to combat it.
What is the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)?
Your temporomandibular joints are an essential piece of your facial anatomy. The TMJ is a hinge joint that attaches the lower jaw to the upper portion of your face. It allows you to effectively open and close your mouth when chewing and speaking. When your TMJ ceases to function appropriately, it can lead to TMJ disorder, also called TMD. The symptoms of TMD can vary depending on the person, which makes it essential for those who think they are experiencing it to seek the help of a doctor who understands it. Untreated TMJ disorders can lead to increasingly negative consequences throughout the upper body, so it is imperative that you seek professional intervention for your chronic TMJ pain as soon as possible.
What are the symptoms of TMD?
Many patients with TMJ disorder will notice a popping sensation or clicking sound when they open and close their jaw, but this is not always the case. Sometimes, chronic headaches or neck tension can be the first sign that something is wrong. Patients with severe TMD may even have difficulty chewing or swallowing, or experience ringing in their ears. Often, TMD will make it difficult for patients to sleep because the chronic tension and pain can keep them awake at night. Men and women who do not achieve the sleep they need may not only suffer from feeling tired and lethargic but can also develop depression and anxiety symptoms. If you think you may have TMD, contacting a TMJ specialist is an essential first step toward relieving your chronic pain and improving your daily life.
How is TMD treated?
At Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders, we believe in focusing on non-invasive treatments. Some patients with TMD may be able to treat their symptoms with over-the-counter medications, but the condition will likely not resolve on its own without appropriate medical intervention. Our TMJ doctors will use a TENS unit to relax the muscles in your jaw and discover its natural, anatomically correct resting position. Once this has been achieved, our experienced and compassionate dental staff will create a customized dental appliance to help your jaw maintain this position and learn how to relax naturally. Our approach to non-pharmaceutical treatments provides a sustainable path forward for many of our patients. In very rare and severe cases, TMJ disorder may eventually require surgical intervention, but this is only true for an extremely small percentage of patients. By focusing on restoring anatomically correct alignment, we can preserve the function of your temporomandibular joint and help it heal from within.
If you need a TMJ doctor, contact Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders to schedule a consultation. We understand this condition and can offer non-surgical, non-prescription treatment so you can actively begin to heal your TMJ disorder and restore healthy function to your jaw.
Dr. Rod Willey works closely with area physicians to provide comprehensive care for OSA. Koala Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders® dental sleep appliance is considered medical treatment for mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea and CPAP Intolerance. Covered by most health insurance, Medicare, TRICARE and VA Benefits. Koala Center For Sleep & TMJ Disorders® offers options you can live with. Call us today for a consultation at (309) 243-8980 or visit our website at KoalaSleepCenters.com.
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