Frequent headaches, aching facial pain, or popping in your jaw could be a sign of a TMJ disorder. It’s quite common in Americans, but often it goes untreated, and there are consequences to this. At Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders, we can test for and treat TMJ disorder effectively. Here’s what happens if TMJ disorder is left untreated and what we can do about it at our clinic!
Could I have TMJ disorder?
It can be very difficult for someone to tell whether they have TMJ disorder, so this is best left to a professional. But if you’re having symptoms like facial pain, frequent headaches, jaw pain, jaw popping/clicking, pain in the ears, ringing in the ears, ear congestion, temperature-sensitivity, difficulty swallowing, or related issues, then you may have a TMJ disorder.
It’s possible that your TMJ issues/disorder was caused by trauma or even bad habits. Some examples of these are a blow to the jaw/cheek, whiplash, tooth loss, teeth misalignment, jaw joint dislocation, jaw joint arthritis, teeth grinding, or nail biting. If you can recall a trauma or habit that may have caused your issue, then you should speak with a professional about it.
So what happens if TMJ is left untreated?
If a case of TMJ disorder is left untreated, the pain and other symptoms, as well as the underlying condition causing the disorder, can worsen. It can even lead to joint inflammation and joint damage, the gradual wearing down of teeth, or the development of an airway sleep disorder like sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is very serious because it can lead to life-threatening conditions like heart disease.
As you can probably tell, it’s important to address TMJ disorder before it leads to worse symptoms and greater complications. The sooner you address the issue, the sooner you can get relief, and you’ll also be able to prevent further complications from occurring. Testing and treatment are necessary and we can provide both at our clinic.
Can you test for TMJ disorder? Can you treat TMJ disorder?
Yes and yes! There are different methods for testing and treatment. The first step is for a professional to examine the patient’s jaw, and if the professional decides testing is necessary, he or she can provide 3-dimensional imaging. Digital modeling and electrical stimulation can help in some cases. Our clinic teaches TMJ exercises and stretches that may help you, but the most effective treatment for TMJ disorder is oral appliance therapy.
This form of therapy is very easy for patients because it uses just a simple and comfortable oral insert. Patients will wear this insert at night when the conditions that cause and contribute to TMJ disorder usually occur. After about three months of using the appliance, many patients will be 90% symptom-free. This can be life-changing for many people. Oral appliance therapy is approved by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and recommended by us at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders!
Where can I get treatment for TMJ disorder?
Our clinic provides oral appliance therapy. Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders has several locations in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin, so please see our Locations page for these locations’ addresses and contact information. You can contact our head office if you’d prefer to do that instead. Connect with us today to learn more about oral appliance therapy or request a consultation so we can help you decide whether it would be the best treatment for you. We look forward to hearing from you soon!