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Jaw and/or orofacial pain related to Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ/TMD) can be a very frustrating and debilitating ailment. If orofacial painyou are one of the millions who suffer from this condition you can eliminate or manage your symptoms with the help of an appropriately trained dentist such Elmer A. Villalon, DMD. Such dentists are well trained not only in oro-dental conditions but also in varied medical disciplines such as neurology, sleep medicine and headache management.  Dr. Villalon treats numerous individuals with a variety of interventions tailored to meet each individuals specific needs. TMDS should be treated conservatively and high priced irreversible dental procedures should be avoided. Indeed you can benefit from the conservative management of such experts as Dr. Villalon
What are TMDSs
TMJ/TMDs are disorders of the lower jaw (mandible) as it articulates with the skull and muscles of the head and neck. Characterized by chronic inflammation, swelling, pain, tenderness, limited motion and function, and even the popping, crackling and clicking noises. Please note that varied medical conditions can mimic TMDs, including neurologic conditions, vascular conditions such as headaches, brain tumors, and cancers.
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction affects about 10 million Americans, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Interestingly, more women than men experience TMJ/TMD, and patients tend to be young around 20 to 40 years of age.
Besides affecting the Temporomandibular joint itself, TMJ/TMDs appears linked to a variety of medical issues such as:

  • Migraine Headaches
  • Tension Type Headaches
  • Seasonal headaches such as Cluster Headache
  • Jaw locking in the open or closed position
  • Earaches and eye pain
  • Orofacial pain
  • Vertigo (dizziness)
  • Tinnitus (a buzzing or ringing sound in one or both ears)
  • Neck and shoulder discomforts
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  • Sleep Bruxism

Who wouldn't want relief? At our Pueblo office, Dr. Villalon will perform a full oral examination, complete with an X-ray screening and CT scan if needed, so as to confirm the diagnosis. Once this is done, Dr. Villalon can develop a treatment plant to begin addressing your condition.
When Managing TMDs/TMJ
Your treatment plan may include:

  • Medication management such as; muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory medications
  • Steroid injection of the TMJ capsule or trigger point injections
  • An in-depth sleep assessment and history with a possible referral to a sleep physician for a sleep study
  • Over-the-counter pain analgesics such as ibuprofen
  • Consuming a soft diet when symptomatic
  • Opening, closing and swing exercises to improve opening
  • Stretching exercises of the orofacial muscles and muscles of the neck
  • Practicing good posture
  • Learning proper nasal breathing to assist with improving head and neck posture
  • Wearing a custom-made dis-occlusionary appliance (bite guard)
  • Physical therapy
  • Home care management such as applying cold and heat to the facial and cervical muscles

Also remember that t Elmer A. Villalon, DMD his professional team urges you to keep your routine dental exams and cleaning appointments. During these appointments, your dentist can determine any signs of TMJ dysfunction or sleep related issues, such as Obstructive Sleep Apnea.
Additionally, if you are having TMD associated symptoms, daytime tiredness or daytime sleepiness, please mention them when you visit Southern Colorado’s Prominent dentist and Orofacial Pain Clinician, Dr. Elmer A. Villalon.
If you have questions or concerns about any of the conditions mentioned in this narrative please contact our  Pueblo office team for an appointment: (719) 542-7844.

By Elmer A. Villalon, DDS
February 07, 2019
Category: Medical Conditions
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

Find out how our dentist in Pueblo, CO, could improve your sleep apnea symptoms.

While poor sleep is truly an epidemic among Americans, there are millions of people out there who are dealing with sleep apnea and don’t even know it. No matter whether you’ve been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea or you are wondering whether your symptoms could be indicative of this condition, read on to learn more about sleep apnea and how our Pueblo, CO, dentist Dr. Elmer Villalon can help you.


What is obstructive sleep apnea?

This lifelong condition causes the soft tissue in the back of the throat to collapse, which blocks breathing throughout the night. These breathing cessations may last anywhere from a couple seconds to a minute, consequently affecting how much oxygen goes to the brain as well as your overall sleep quality.


What are the symptoms of OSA?

Patients with OSA are often chronic and severe snorers. In fact, many people decide to visit a sleep specialist because a partner complains about the snoring. Along with the snoring, those with OSA also experience,

  • Extreme daytime exhaustion and fatigue
  • Waking up feeling unrested despite getting enough sleep
  • Morning headaches
  • Irritability and mood swings
  • Difficulty concentrating


If OSA goes untreated, it can lead to more serious health problems such as,

  • High blood pressure
  • Stroke
  • Heart disease
  • Type II diabetes
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Atrial fibrillation


Why should I turn to a dentist for care?

If you’ve been diagnosed with mild or moderate OSA, you may benefit from a simple treatment known as oral appliance therapy. In fact, those dealing with mild OSA may be able to completely manage their symptoms and improve the quality of their sleep with this simple custom-made oral device.

In oral appliance therapy, our dentist will take impressions of your mouth. From there, a device is made to cover the upper and lower teeth while preventing tissue or the tongue from blocking the back of the throat while you sleep. This device is compact, comfortable, easy to wear, and only needs to be worn at night while you are sleeping.


Need treatment? Give us a call!

If you are someone dealing with mild obstructive sleep apnea, it’s time to find out how our Pueblo, CO, dental team can help you get quality sleep quickly. Call us today at (719) 542-7844 to schedule a consultation!

By Elmer A. Villalon, DDS
May 22, 2018
Category: Medical Conditions
Tags: tmj  

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the upper and lower jaw to the skull and allows for forward and lateral movement (also known as a sliding hinge joint). Like all joints in the body, the TMJ is susceptible to inflammation and injury which causes pain, stiffness, and even the ability to properly open and close the mouth in serious cases. Also known as TMD (temporomandibular disorder), the condition is known to affect up to ten million Americans according to National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. TMJ symptoms can range from mild to severe, and even lead to locking, where the mouth remains in the open or closed position, in extreme cases. Dr. Elmer Villalon in Pueblo, CO, offers diagnostic and treatment options for temporomandibular disorders.

TMJ/TMD Diagnosis and Treatment in Pueblo, CO

The most common symptom of TMJ is pain and tenderness in the jaw. You may also experience pain while chewing, or around the ears or other parts of the face. Some people also experience a "popping" sensation in the joints. TMJ can also cause the jaw to lock in the open or closed position.

What Causes TMJ?

Damage to the joint, in the form of an injury or a debilitating condition like arthritis can lead TMJ symptoms. There are also a number of risk factors that can increase your risk, but some cases develop without an obvious cause. Some of the other risk factors include:

  • Wear and tear on the joint from years of clenching or teeth grinding
  • Problems with the joint's connective tissue

Treatment options depend on the severity of your symptoms and the extent of damage to the joint. Medication and physical therapy are usually the first forms of treatment, but surgery is sometimes recommended in rare cases that do not respond to conservative treatment.

Find a Dentist in Pueblo, CO

If you are suffering from TMD symptoms or other dental issues, contact our office by calling 719-542-7844 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Villalon today.

By Elmer A. Villalon, DDS
August 01, 2017
Category: Medical Conditions
Tags: headaches  

Most adults experience an occasional headache and over-the-counter pain relievers and rest are often sufficient to alleviate any headachesdiscomfort. However, headaches caused by specific conditions, such as toothaches or Temporomandibular Disorders, can require specific pain management techniques. Your dentist can help with head and face pain related to such conditions. In Pueblo, CO, face pain and headache pain management is provided by dentist Dr. Elmer Villalon.

Causes of Headaches & Face Pain

Face pain and headaches can be caused by a variety of conditions, including migraines, Temporomandibular Disorders (TMDs) and Myalgia of the face and neck. Headaches can also be associated with toothache pain. Pain management techniques might differ depending on the specific cause of the face pain or headache.

TMDs are related to the temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that connects the jawbone to the skull on either side of the face. Individuals with disorders of the temporomandibular joints often experience pain and discomfort in the jaw area, as well as headaches. Developing the right treatment approach for the TMD can ultimately alleviate the headaches associated with it. Your dentist can develop an appropriate treatment and pain management plan for you.

Face pain can develop in patients with Myalgia of the face and neck. Individuals with this condition experience pain in the neck and facial muscles. A dentist experienced in orofacial pain medicine can develop a treatment plan to help you effectively manage any face pain. In Pueblo, Dr. Villalon is your dentist for orofacial pain medicine and Temporomandibular Disorders.

There can be many causes of headaches or face pain. Some types of secondary headaches caused by specific oral or facial conditions, such as Myalgia or a TMD, can be treated by a dentist with experience in these areas, such as Dr. Villalon. For management of headaches and face pain in Pueblo, schedule an appointment with Dr. Villalon by calling the office at (719) 542-7844.

By Elmer A. Villalon, DDS
May 25, 2017
Category: Medical Conditions
Tags: Neuropathic Pain  

How your dentist in Pueblo can help with neuropathic facial painNeuropathic Facial Pain

If you suffer from nerve and facial pain, it can dramatically reduce your quality of life. Your pain may come and go, making you afraid to go out and enjoy your life. You may suffer from chronic pain that never resolves, causing you to constantly experience symptoms. Fortunately, there are effective treatments for neuropathic facial pain. Dr. Elmer Villalon in Pueblo, CO, wants to share the facts about causes and treatment of debilitating facial pain.

Neuropathic facial pain can be caused by a number of conditions including:

  • An injury or accident to your mouth or face causing nerve damage; surgical procedures or infection can also cause neuropathic facial pain
  • Trigeminal neuralgia caused by pressure from blood vessels on the trigeminal nerve; this pressure causes damage to the nerve’s outer layer resulting in painful signals sent to your brain
  • Tumors or growths which press against a nerve causing damage to the outer layer of the nerve
  • Multiple sclerosis which affects the central nervous system resulting in damage to nerves and the spinal cord

Dr. Villalon offers many effective treatments to ease neuropathic facial pain. Among the many available treatments, common remedies include:

  • Medications; anti-seizure medications to reduce firing of overactive nerves, and tricyclic antidepressants to manage pain
  • Anesthetic and steroid injections to reduce pain
  • Physical therapy to improve movement and function
  • Surgical procedures; nerve repair, balloon compression to block pain signals and microvascular decompression to provide a cushion between the nerve and blood vessel compressing the nerve

For more information about neuropathic pain causes, diagnosis and treatment, please visit the neuropathic pain page on the website at

If you suffer from neuropathic facial pain, don’t live your life in fear of having a painful episode. Get some help from an expert and call Dr. Villalon in Pueblo, CO. Call today and get some relief!