Manage Your Temporomandibular Disorder, Headaches and Orofacial Pain
Jaw and/or orofacial pain related to Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJ/TMD) can be a very frustrating and debilitating ailment. If you 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.