Your jaw feels sore, and it makes odd popping noises when you open and close your mouth. Lately, your ears have started ringing, and you occasionally feel a bit dizzy. Then, headaches happen off and on throughout your work week. What's going on? These symptoms and more often indicate a common chronic condition called TMJ--temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Fortunately, Denver, CO has a TMJ dentist--Dr. Steven Wilk of the Center for Headache, TMJ and Sleep Disorders. He'll unravel the mystery of TMJ and get you feeling better.
What happens when you have TMJ?
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research says that approximately 10 million American adults have some degree of TMJ Dysfunction. Your TMJ dentist in Denver takes that statistic very seriously, and he has devoted much of his credentialing and dental practice to treating this distressing oral health issue.
At the Center for Headache, TMJ & Sleep Disorders, Dr. Wilk evaluates patients of all ages and walks of life, although younger women under the age of 40 seem more prone. Patients typically present with symptoms that vary in severity. They include:
- Ear pain
- Vertigo, or dizziness
- Popping and grating noises that occur while chewing or opening and closing the jaw
- Facial and jaw soreness
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Tinnitus, a ringing sound in the ears
- Cracked or unevenly worn back teeth
How do these symptoms start? Reasons are wide-ranging and may include oral trauma (a blow to the face or whiplash from an auto accident), stress (leading to teeth clenching, or bruxism), improper dental bite (malocclusion) and arthritis. Unfortunately, when not treated, TMJ Dysfunction can worsen, increasing pain.
You can be treated for TMJ
Begin with a complete evaluation at the Center for Headache, TMJ & Sleep Disorders. Dr. Wilk will ask about your symptoms, palpate your jaw, neck and face and take digital X-rays and other kinds of imaging as needed. Computerized Joint Vibration Analysis tells the doctor the degree of abnormality in jaw joint function.
With results from testing, Dr. Wilk puts together a personalized patient care plan. Depending on the severity of the TMJ Dysfunction, he may employ Phase I or Phase II treatment options.
Phase I options involve treatment of the soft tissues with physical therapy, pain medications, including local anesthetics and muscle relaxants, and customized oral splints. Phase II techniques result in permanent changes to the mouth and jaw and may include orthodontic correction, placement of dental crowns and even oral surgery.
Count on Dr. Wilk
He'll guide you through TMJ evaluation, treatment and follow-up. Feel better soon. Call the Center for Headache, TMJ & Sleep Disorders in Denver, CO at (303) 758-4865 for a consultation.
Find out what’s really going on behind that rather disconcerting sound.
Do you find that your jaw sometimes clicks or pops when you open your mouth? Sometimes this might happen if you open your mouth too wide to tackle that ginormous burger or when voraciously chewing gum. If this is the case, it’s time to find out more about how your jaws works, why this is happening and when to visit our Denver, CO, TMJ dentist, Dr. Steven Wilk, for treatment.
In some cases, the popping or crackling sound you hear when you open or close your jaws could be warning you that you have a TMJ disorder. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, and this joint is what connects your lower jaw to the bones at either side of the skull.
This joint is responsible for some pretty important activities like talking, chewing and even yawning. So, if there is something wrong with how the joint moves and functions, then you better believe that you’ll know it. It might come in the form of pain and discomfort, chronic headaches or you may start to notice a popping or clicking sound.
What causes a TMJ disorder?
If you’ve experienced direct trauma to the jaw then you may start to notice this problem not long after the injury. Of course, if you are a teeth grinder you may also be prone to developing this jaw joint problem. Other causes include certain kinds of arthritis and dental misalignments.
How is a TMJ disorder treated?
If you notice your jaw making any kind of noises when opening or closing your mouth, it’s always a good idea to have our Denver general dentist evaluate your jaws. If we determine that you do have a TMJ disorder, don’t worry. It can be managed and most people find that their symptoms will go away on their own with minimal intervention.
Some ways to manage your TMJ disorder include:
- Cutting food into bite-sized and easily chewable pieces
- Eating a soft-food diet
- Performing jaw stretching exercises every day (we would be happy to show you some effective exercises that you can do)
- Oral device to adjust the jaw while sleeping
If you are dealing with painful, achy jaws and can’t seem to find any comfort from these issues, then don’t hesitate to reach out to the TMJ experts at the Center for Headache, TMJ, and Sleep Disorders in Denver, CO.
Snoring might not seem like a big deal to you but it could be a red flag regarding your health.
Has your bedmate told you that you snore like a freight train? Do you snore loudly every night or more often than not? Does your household complain about how loud your snoring is? If so, this could be a sign of sleep apnea, a sleep condition that causes you to stop breathing multiple times throughout the night. The sooner the issue is caught the better. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, our Denver, CO, dentist Dr. Steven Wilk provides helpful information about what he can do to treat your sleep apnea symptoms.
If loud snoring is due to obstructive sleep apnea this is something that requires immediate care from a sleep specialist. Sleep apnea is not a condition to ignore. This sleep disorder deprives the brain of oxygen, which it needs, and it has been linked with diabetes, stroke and heart attack. If people have told you that you snore and you find yourself waking up extremely exhausted every morning ( no matter how much sleep you get) then it’s time to schedule an appointment with a sleep doctor.
And if you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea you may be wondering how our Denver sleep dentist might be able to help. Of course, here at the Center for Headache, TMJ, and Sleep Disorders, we work with you to make sure you are getting the proper and most effective care for managing your snoring and other symptoms.
Oral appliance therapy is a convenient, easy-to-use and portable device that is designed to reposition the jaws and the tongue to prevent the tissues in the back of the throat from collapsing and obstructing the airways. This device looks similar to a mouthguard but it is custom-made to fit over your upper and lower teeth to provide you with the support you need to get a more rested and snore-free night.
If even a full night’s rest doesn’t refresh you then it’s time you called the Center for Headache, TMJ, and Sleep Disorders in Denver, CO, to determine how we can reduce or eliminate your sleep apnea symptoms.
Headaches commonly plague much of the population of the United States. You might think that headaches are a result of stress, too much strain on your eyes or too much noise, but it is also possible that TMJ is the cause of your headaches. Your teeth and jaw can be directly responsible for everything from headaches to sleep disorders. At Center for Headache, TMJ, and Sleep Disorders, a professional TMJ Dentist in Denver, CO, Dr. Steven Wilk, can help you learn about the possibilities.
Finding Help For Your Jaw Pain
If your jaw is not aligned properly it can put tremendous pressure on your head and your teeth. TMJ can cause ear pain and pressure, tooth sensitivity, eye pain, cheek pain and even neck and shoulder pain. The migraine-like symptoms can be relieved with a variety of treatments including stretching of the jaw and its related muscles, as well as the realignment of the jaw. Utilizing oral devices to adjust the jaw while sleeping can relieve pressure and allow the jaw to relax. This can also allow proper air flow to go through the mouth and keep individuals from snoring. The teeth have a great deal to do with how you sleep and what you feel like. This qualified TMJ dentist in Denver, CO, can help you to see results and enjoy reduced pain and better sleep.
You don’t have to live with the headaches, tension, pain and sleep loss caused by your jaw. Contacting Dr. Steven Wilk in Denver, CO, is a good way to get started. Dr. Wilk with the Center for Headache, TMJ, and Sleep Disorders can help you learn more about how to free yourself from the problems. Call our experts today at (303) 758-4865 to schedule a consultation and talk about your treatment options. We look forward to bringing you the chance to sleep well and live pain-free.
Dr. Steve Wilk helped raise awareness of sleep apnea at a recent Denver Pro Player Health Alliance event. Learn more about the event and read the full article here.
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