When you experience pain in the ear and jaws, it could be an early indicator that you are suffering from a condition called temporomandibular disorder (TMD), which is also commonly referred to as TMJ. Despite the fact that all of the pain seems to be in your ears, this is actually considered a dental problem.
It’s advised that you contact your trusted dentist near Highland Park IL, Steven N. Kacel, D.D.S., M.A.G.D., F.A.D.I., to get checked out. If it turns out that you do have TMD, he will be able to prescribe the proper treatment plan for the disorder. Don’t take any chances with your health – Dr. Kacel is a top rated restorative and cosmetic dentist in the Highland Park IL area!
What is the Temporomandibular Joint?
The Temporomandibular Joint is a hinge that connects your jaw bone to the temporal bones in the skull. These bones are usually located in front of the ear. It’s this particular joint that makes it possible to move the jaw up and down, as well as side to side as you speak,chew, and yawn.
Common Symptoms of Temporomandibular Disorder
While TMD/TMJ can impact your body in a few different ways, there are a couple of common symptoms that indicate it is time for a visit with your local dentist by Highland Park IL:
- Tenderness or pain in your jaw
- An aching pain around or in your ears
- Sudden difficulty chewing or pain while trying to chew
- Locking of the jaw muscle, making it hard to open or close your mouth
Who Treats The Condition?
While there aren’t many dentists that devote 100% of their time to TMJ, there are dental specialists that can help diagnose and treat the disorder. Your regular dentist – or a trusted local dentist like Dr. Kacel – is the first step in diagnosis and treatment.
Acute & Chronic Pain
If left untreated, the disorder may evolve into acute TMD. The acute version causes a good deal of pain while you’re chewing, and hinders you from opening your jaw even more than before. The sporadic pain will slowly become more chronic, and at that point it’s as not easy to treat. The best plan of action is to see your dentist in or near Highland Park IL as soon as possible when you think you’re experiencing TMJ symptoms.
Treatments for TMJ & TMD
If you’re sure you have TMJ, see Dr. Kacel right away. He may prescribe you an anti-inflammatory medication that will help ease your jaw pain. In addition to the medication, it’s important to rest up and take it easy while you’re healing. If you had a particularly bad case of TMJ, you might need to opt for a diet of only soft foods, to make chewing easier while you heal.
Now that you’re up to speed on what TMD/TMJ is and what it does to you, you will know when it’s time to see Steven N. Kacel, D.D.S., M.A.G.D., F.A.D.I., for assistance. If you ever experience any of the symptoms we mentioned it’s advised to make a trip to Dr. Kacel’s Northbrook Dentist Office right away! Schedule an appointment by calling (847) 457-0400, or click here to visit the Contact Us page.