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.