Eric N. Bloom, DDS

Family Dentist & Implant Dentist located in Glenview, IL

If you have chronic headaches or jaw pain, you may be suffering from temporomandibular disorder (TMD). Eric N. Bloom, DDS, is a member of the International Academy of Gnathology and is certified to treat your pain resulting from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems. To start reducing the pain in your life, consult with recognized expert Dr. Bloom at his office in Glenview, Illinois. Call or schedule online today.

Headache Q & A

What is TMD?

TMD, sometimes called TMJ after the temporomandibular joint that’s affected, refers to problems with your jaw and the facial muscles that control it. The TMJ is a joint that connects your jaw to bones of your skull in front of your ear. Acting like a hinge, it allows you to move your jaw up, down, left, and right for activities like speaking and chewing.  

What are the symptoms of TMD?

The severe pain of TMD can be incredibly uncomfortable and may last a few hours or many years. It’s more common among women than men and for all people ages 20-40. Symptoms include:

  • Pain in your face, jaw, neck, and shoulders
  • Difficulty opening and closing your mouth
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Clicking or popping sounds
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Face swelling
  • Aches of the teeth, head, and ear
  • Dizziness
  • Tinnitus

What are the causes of TMD?

Experts are unclear what causes TMD. The symptoms likely arise from problems with the TMJ or the muscles that attach to it. It’s often associated with stress.

Whiplash or a heavy blow to the head are associated with TMD, as are other injuries localized to your jaw, joint, or muscles of your neck and head. Arthritis in your TMJ, grinding or clenching your teeth, and tightening your face and neck muscles are all possible causes.

What can be done about TMD?

The symptoms of TMD are also the symptoms of many other conditions, like tooth decay, so Dr. Bloom first performs a comprehensive physical exam, then reviews your health history. If other conditions are ruled out, Dr. Bloom performs an additional inspection of your jaw and its joints.

He examines your jaw for tenderness, pain, clicking, popping, and grating. He studies how you open and close your mouth and tests your bite and facial muscles. Dr. Bloom may use imaging technologies like X-rays or cone beam CTs to visualize your jawbone in precise detail.

Upon diagnosis, Dr. Bloom advises you of all of the treatment options. He educates you on a number of at-home remedies, including over-the-counter pain medication, hot and cold packs, as well as relaxation techniques to keep your muscles from tightening. In other cases, he may prescribe medication or a night mouthguard, as well as proceed with dental work designed to improve the biting surface of your teeth.

If you suffer from chronic headaches or pain and think you may have TMD, schedule an appointment with Dr. Bloom by calling or booking online.

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