When Should I See a TMJ Specialist?
Have you been dealing with TMJ pain? Trust the medical professionals at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders to provide you with a higher level of care. For more information call us at one of our clinics today or request an appointment online. We serve patients from all over the USA. Locations in Bloomington, IL, Peoria – Dunlap, IL, Lafayette, IN, Mishawaka, IN, Columbia, MO, Kansas City, MO, Brewster, NY, El Paso, TX, and Wausau, WI
It is part of human nature to tolerate pain, and sometimes this can even prevent us from seeking the proper treatment when experiencing symptoms. Although this is often fine in minor cases, as the body has an incredible healing capacity, delaying treatment can lead to unforeseen complications and even permanent damage. It is important to receive a professional medical diagnosis when experiencing any symptoms, mild or severe, as many mild symptoms can be a lot more serious than they seem. Even if the extent of treatment is rest and hydration, receiving a medical diagnosis for a mild condition can prevent future complications and provide peace of mind.
What will happen if TMJ is not treated?
Untreated TMJ disorder can lead to many unwanted consequences that negatively impact the quality of life. TMJ disorder can interfere greatly in the lives of those who are affected by it. Symptoms of the disorder, such as constant headaches, neck tension, and tooth grinding, can take a toll on the health of an individual. In those with TMJ, sleep is commonly interrupted by tooth grinding and clenching. This can lead to long-term issues such as insomnia, imbalanced cortisol rhythms, sleep apnea, and even nightmares. Because it interferes with the body’s natural hormonal responses, research also shows that sleep disturbance can play a large role in depression and anxiety.
TMJ disorders may be related to long-term effects that can have a profound impact on general health and quality of life. Some people with TMJ disorder experience inner ear issues such as vertigo, balance problems, or a ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
What can I expect from a TMJ consultation?
At your first visit, you will be taken to an examination room by a TMJ dental assistant. You will be there for about 1 hour. In order to obtain more information about the jaw joint, x-rays of your jaw joint will be taken and a test called JVA (Joint Vibration Analysis) may be performed to determine if there is noise in either of the jaw joints when opening and closing the mouth. These diagnostic tests help dentists determine the extent of the jaw problem.
After the clinical examination, you may be taken into the consultation room to go over the results and to discuss possible treatment options. If the prognosis for success is favorable, they may recommend making an appointment to come in for a complete set of records to help make a thorough diagnosis. This appointment will take approximately half an hour.
What is the main cause of TMJ?
Most jaw and muscle problems, including TMJ disorder, do not have an identifiable cause. In some TMJ disorders, trauma to the jaw or temporomandibular joint plays a role. Scientists and researchers are exploring a possible link between female hormones and TMJ disorders because the condition is more common in women than it is in men. For many people, symptoms seem to start without any obvious cause. Other possible causes of TMJ disorder include:
- Grinding or clenching the teeth during sleep
- Autoimmune diseases
- Dental surgery
TMJ disorder has other possible causes, some of which are very uncommon. The only way to know what is causing your TMJ disorder is by receiving a professional medical evaluation by a qualified dentist.
If you or someone you love has TMJ and their symptoms are not improving, come to Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders to see our TMJ specialist. Our kind and compassionate professionals are experienced in treating TMJ disorders and can help you find relief. We are dedicated to delivering the highest level of service to each patient, at every visit. Call us today to book an appointment. We look forward to serving you!