You may never have heard of your TMJ, much less understand how a TMJ disorder (TMD) can negatively affect your life. The symptoms include jaw pain, headaches, and earaches. Not surprisingly, if you suffer from a TMD, you are not living your best life! Far from it – you are probably experiencing unwanted downtime due to your discomfort.
Fortunately, Dr. Trish Takacs is a TMJ expert. She offers several treatments for TMD at Sleep Better Lexington. Unlike most other dentists who treat TMD, she will diagnose its underlying causes with technology from TruDenta®. Once she knows the cause, she will treat it the correct combination of solutions for your unique situation.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Takacs in Lexington, KY, call Sleep Better Lexington today at 859-554-1772. The center is located in the suite across the hall from the Hamburg location of Beaumont Family Dentistry.
What Is Your TMJ & Why the Heck Does It Hurt?
Your TMJ is your temporomandibular joint. It connects your jaw to the rest of your skull. You use it every time you open your mouth – whether eating, speaking, yawning, or laughing. If the cartilage in the joint becomes inflamed or the joint is under pressure, it can make it painful to do any of those things.
Unfortunately, there are numerous causes of a TMJ disorder, including:
- Jaw injury
- Misaligned bite
- Teeth grinding
- Poor posture
- Bone defects
Teeth grinding is quite common among those who suffer from TMJ pain. We may be able to stop it simply by fitting you for a custom-made mouthguard that will prevent you from grinding and/or clenching your jaw in your sleep.
Comprehensive Treatment Is Best Way to Address a TMJ Disorder
While many dentists use one form of TMJ treatment, often a mouthguard to stop teeth grinding, Dr. Takacs has the training and equipment needed to provide more advanced treatment, if needed. Using TruDenta, she can measure the force of your bite and many other factors. She may then use:
- Orthotic appliances to reposition your jaw
- Cold laser to encourage healing of inflamed areas as well as relieve pain
- Ultrasound to promote circulation in damaged tissue
- Massage therapy to ease tension and relax your jaw
- Force balancing to help correctly align your bite and relieve pressure
Don’t Ignore Symptoms of a TMJ Disorder
A TMJ disorder can be tricky to diagnose. For instance, if you grind your teeth at night, you may be unaware you are doing it. You may attribute headaches to issues unrelated to your TMJ. Some common symptoms include:
- Frequent headaches
- Unexplained earaches and/or tinnitus
- Chronic jaw pain
- Pain that radiates from your jaw to your neck and shoulders
- Facial swelling, especially near the jaw
Self-Care Techniques Can Help You Feel Better Too
Dr. Takacs can also suggest some self-care techniques that will help you feel better during your TMJ treatment. Since stress often contributes to the problem, you can learn some stress-reduction techniques, for example. In addition, you may benefit from:
- Performing exercises to improve your posture
- Avoiding chewing gum, biting your nails, and similar habits
- Sticking to soft foods for a while
- Taking frequent short breaks during the day if work or other activities keep you seated in one place for a long time
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Takacs in Lexington, KY, call Sleep Better Lexington at 859-554-1772