Jaw Pain Specialist Can Offer the Relief You’ve Been Looking For

Jaw Pain Specialist Can Offer the Relief You’ve Been Looking For

Consulting with a jaw pain specialist is critical in discerning the cause of any jaw popping, jaw locking or jaw pain that you may be experiencing. While treating symptoms with over-the-counter medications may provide temporary relief, the only way to permanently alleviate your symptoms is to address the root cause. 

Dr. Tom Meyer has been caring for dental and chronic pain patients within the Chicago area since 1993. With over two decades of experience, Dr. Meyer and his team of knowledgeable staff can assist you in identifying and treating the root cause of pain, jaw popping and jaw locking, which is commonly caused by a misaligned bite. 

5 Causes and Solutions of Jaw Popping and Locking

Jaw popping and locking is a source of pain and frustration to many, yet these symptoms can be caused by several medical conditions. To alleviate the symptoms that you may be experiencing, the root cause of your condition must be addressed. 

1. Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) 

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder is a prevalent culprit of pain that radiates from your jaw, ear, face, neck or shoulders. In addition to pain, common symptoms include: 

  • Restricted jaw movements 
  • Muscle spasms in your cheeks or your jaw
  • Chronic migraines 
  • Clicking noises within your jaw joints 
  • Tight facial muscles, especially within your jaw and cheeks 
  • A ringing in your ears 

The Temporomandibular Joint links your lower jawbone to your skull. This joint allows you to open your mouth, including to drink, eat or speak. In most cases of TMJ, patients exhibit a misaligned bite or malocclusion. If your teeth are not correctly positioned, this crucial joint will likely be improperly positioned as well. 

2. Other Dental-Related Conditions

If you are experiencing severe or persistent jaw pain, you may be suffering from one of many dental-related conditions. Conditions related to your teeth or gums can lead to pain in your jaw, and that can radiate to other areas. 

Dental conditions that can attribute to pain or jaw locking include:

  • Toothaches caused by an abscess or cavity 
  • Tooth-related concerns, such as cracked, crowded or sensitive teeth 
  • Gum disease, which can lead to damage to your jawbone 

Dental damage, however, can be linked back to TMJ disorder and/or a misaligned bite. Because the bite pressure is not distributed evenly, there could be premature wear and tear taking place in the teeth.

3. Trauma

Jaw popping and jaw locking can be caused by injury to your jaw or face. Like any other bone in your body, your jaw can be broken or knocked out of place. However, pain, popping or locking that is a result from trauma will generally be accompanied by other prevalent symptoms, including: 

  • Swelling 
  • Loosened or missing teeth 
  • Bruising 
  • Inability to open and close your mouth normally 

4. Whiplash Injuries 

According to The Journal of the American Dental Association, one in three people exposed to whiplash trauma is at risk of developing delayed TMJ symptoms that may require treatment.

Whiplash can often cause TMJ disorder, and ultimately jaw pain. You may not notice the symptoms until days or weeks later after the damage has taken place. During whiplash, as the head is thrown backwards, the violent motion stretches the TMJs out of their range of motion. As a result, misaligning the TMJs and ultimately causing jaw pain and TMJ symptoms.

5. Arthritis

Jaw pain and jaw locking can be caused by certain joint-related conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disorder that can cause swelling within joints and damage to the spongy cartilage that allows your jaw to move smoothly. Therefore, this condition can leave your jaw feeling sore and stiff. 

Find Relief with a Jaw Pain Specialist in Chicago

At Meyer Dental Group, you can find relief to TMJ disorder and its debilitating symptoms. In addition to these services, routine preventative care can assist in identifying dental and jaw problems early on or reduce the likelihood that an issue will develop. 

tmj treatment a natural migraine relief
TENS Machine for immediate TMJ relief

By targeting the root cause of your pain, jaw popping, clicking, or jaw locking – Dr. Tom Meyer can work with you towards fixing the problem at the source.

Want to achieve relief once and for all? Reach out to the Meyer Dental Group to schedule a free consultation

6 Ways to Stop Jaw Popping and Locking – Jaw Doctor Explains

6 Ways to Stop Jaw Popping and Locking – Jaw Doctor Explains

Pain and discomfort in your jaw can really ruin your day. At our Mount Prospect dentist office, we have seen it become chronic and truly debilitating. So, why do these issues come up? What causes your jaw to pop and lock up? What can you do to avoid it in the future?

Before discussing how to stop jaw popping and locking, let’s look at why you’re experiencing this issue.

Why is your jaw popping or locked up?

When your jaw pops or makes a clicking sound, possibly followed by pain, this could be temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD) or temporomandibular disorder (TMD) at play. If you are experiencing popping in your jaw without accompanying pain, it is typically not a cause for concern, however, it’s a good idea to know what is causing the problem nonetheless. 

Many different factors  can contribute to the issue, including:

  • Biting the inside of your lips or cheeks
  • Clenching your jaw
  • Excessively (or even regularly) chewing gum
  • Grinding your teeth

In addition, jaw injuries, arthritis, sleep apnea, infection, an over or underbite, tumors, overextension, problems with the temporomandibular joint, and myofascial pain syndrome can also cause your jaw to pop and lock up. 

Symptoms of Jaw Popping and Locking

Symptoms of jaw popping and locking can include a variety of issues, but some more common than others. 

The most typical side effects are:

  • Discomfort and pain
  • Inability to open your mouth wide
  • Toothache, earache, and/or neck ache
  • Swelling in the face
  • Tenderness in your face, jaw, and neck
  • Locking, either in the closed or open positions

The 6 Best Ways to Stop Jaw Popping and Locking

Now that you have an idea of what is causing the issues with your jaw, as well as the symptoms you may experience, here are the 6 best ways to deal with it. 

1. Watch Your Movements

If you start to notice your jaw popping and locking up, it’s vital that you don’t make any drastic movements with this part of your face. Meaning that you shouldn’t attempt to open your mouth wide or snap it shut. Doing this could cause further pain and damage

2. Relieve Jaw Pressure

When you are able to, keep your teeth slightly apart. If you are someone who regularly clenches or grinds your teeth, it’s important to relax this area as much as possible to avoid further issues with your jaw. 

3. Talk to a Professional

It can be intimidating to figure out which relaxation movements and techniques would be best for your personal situation. Consider speaking to a health professional, ideally a neuromuscular dentist like myself to discuss the best solutions for your jaw. 

4. Work on Your Posture

Good posture can make a big difference for your entire body, even your jaw. Incorporating some basic exercises and testing your posture daily will help eliminate the pain in your jaw, teeth, face, and neck. 

5. Watch What You Eat

Sticking to softer foods while avoiding extremely chewy or crunchy ones will make a big difference as well. Things like raw vegetables, caramel, chips, etc. can actually make the jaw popping and locking worse. 

Consider eating foods like beans, cooked vegetables, yogurts, and smoothies over the harder options. 

6. Consider a Professional, Long Lasting Treatment

Last but certainly not least, you should consider seeking treatment from a TMJ doctor like myself who can examine your jaw and help you decide the best solution for your jaw.

Solve Your Jaw Problems Today

If you are ready to stop jaw popping and locking issues, contact our TMJ dental office as soon as possible.

For those of you in the Chicago/Mt. Prospect area, TMJ dentist Dr. Tom Meyer can help to determine if your jaw popping is a cause of concern. Book a complimentary or a complete TMJ consult today.

Suspecting TMJ Disorder?

Book a TMJ consult for proper diagnosis
How TMJ treatment can be a natural migraine relief

How TMJ treatment can be a natural migraine relief

Our Mt Prospect/Chicago dental office treats patients with a variety of oral issues. These are not just those commonly having to do with fillings, cleanings, or even root canals. 

You would be surprised by how many illnesses can be linked back to the care of your mouth. For example, some patients come in with complaints of having migraines over a prolonged period. At times, these are linked to a condition known as TMJ disorder. 

Treating TMJ disorder could offer a natural migraine relief for sufferers.

Understanding Temporomandibular Joint Disorder 

The Temporomandibular Joint essentially links your skull to the lower jawbone.

Without it, you would not be able to open your mouth to consume food, drink, or be able to sing and speak. These joints are further linked to muscles, which provide support. However, they connect to your shoulders, chest, cheeks, throat, and your head, at the sides of your temple.

How TMJ Disorders Develop

Patients with a TMJ disorder, generally have misaligned teeth. When your teeth are not properly positioned in your mouth, these joints are improperly positioned also. The muscles supporting the joints then try to accommodate for the disposition.

This can lead to migraines if it is the muscles leading to your face or head.

With TMJ, the muscle pain is occurring in your head, mimicking that of a migraine. Misdiagnosis of this condition often occurs because doctors tend to treat the symptom, which is the migraine, and not investigate the cause of the pain. 

Thankfully, you can get a more in-depth analysis and stop the pain with migraine treatment in Chicago, at our practice.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

There are many ways you can tell if you have TMJ, rather than another condition.

These include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Teeth grinding
  • Shoulder or neck pain
  • Jaw popping or locking
  • Spasms
  • Pain in your face
  • Ear pain

Neuromuscular Dentists Treat TMJ in Chicago

For years, I have been able to adequately assess patients’ symptoms and make a diagnosis based on years of experience and expertise in neuromuscular dentistry.

This allows for better insight, than general dentists have, into whether the jaw is functioning capably. If not, then there are any number of health problems that can occur.

There is also another connection to be made in working towards providing natural migraine relief.

Relationship between the Trigeminal Nerve and Migraines

The trigeminal nerve can relay signals, which triggers a domino effect of pain in the brain. 

If you grind your teeth, this often causes the nerve to become stimulated, and then there is a release of chemicals. These chemicals cause sinus pressure and swelling. Then, as a result, you can feel a throbbing pain in their head.

Frequent migraines mean the trigeminal nerve is being stimulated very often by the teeth, and jaw muscles.

Seek Natural Migraine Relief and Migraine Treatment in Chicago 

There are several treatment options available at the Meyer Dental Group offices in Chicago. One of which is the TENS treatment.

Patients are typically treated to a gentle massage of the related muscles linked to the condition. It is a great way for patients to relax and indulge less in stress-related teeth grinding.

Depending on the severity of the case, custom-made orthotics or surgery is also used.

Visit our website or call us to set up an appointment at our Mt Prospect/TMJ clinic and begin your migraine treatment today. For some patients, the road towards natural migraine relief requires a series of appointments and treatment sessions.

Take back control of your life and your oral health today!

Suspecting TMJ Disorder?

Book a TMJ consult for proper diagnosis

Is it possible to straighten your teeth without braces? Mt Prospect Dentist explains

Is it possible to straighten your teeth without braces? Mt Prospect Dentist explains

They say that when you smile at the world, it smiles back at you. But the reality is that having missing or misaligned teeth can cause many people to lack confidence in their smiles. 

Malocclusion can be caused by a variety of factors including genetics, history of oral care, and a person’s jaw and teeth size. A number of further issues can result from misaligned teeth, mainly their tendency to grow in abnormal directions and change the overall shape and look of the face and jaw. 

When the teeth crowd together, it can become a lot harder to take care of them by brushing and flossing properly. Bacteria and plaque buildup can quickly cause discoloration. Speech problems, jaw pain, and tongue biting can also occur. 

Straightening your teeth can help to fix this, making you feel less self-conscious or insecure and limiting the risks of such problems. There are ways to do it without using traditional braces that involve wires or metals, or that can bring on social anxiety. What are they? 

Straighten your teeth without braces

Technological advancements allow for new and better ways to treat orthodontic issues. Limiting yourself to using traditional braces as a means to correct dental problems, doesn’t have to be the case.  

Despite correctible braces still being best suited for a number of conditions, the ones listed below can be fixed without them.  

Narrow Upper Jaw

Expanders are a great option for widening your palate. Having an underdeveloped palate can be corrected over time with the gentle guidance of expanders. It causes your teeth to move into the proper positions, subtly guiding your palate.

Malocclusion

This is also known as a bad bite. Malocclusion is more pronounced when you close your jaw and can further cause TMJ Disorder. As such, malocclusion needs the requisite dental appliances to re-adjust your jaw. Dr. Tom Meyer offers this to his patients experiencing jaw pain and bite disorders.

Slightly Crooked Teeth

Even just a little bit of overcrowding can cause your teeth to become crooked due to lack of space and pressure. Retainers are able to readjust this alignment and bring back your straight smile.

We believe…. Invisalign clear aligners can help you achieve your dream smile

There is no age limit when it comes to using devices like clear aligners to help restructure your teeth and jaw. At Meyer Dental Group, Invisalign dentist Dr. Tom Meyer can help you.

If you are seeking a treatment that is virtually invisible and fairly low maintenance, then Invisalign is a great choice.

We believe… Invisalign can change lives!

There is quite a diverse spectrum of issues, which can be addressed by Invisalign. These include:

  • Crowded teeth
  • Gaps in teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Open bite 
  • Crossbite
  • Underbite
  • Overbite

Braces can cause a lot of jaw pain, irritation, and lack of confidence. Invisalign is a great alternative and an attractive option for children and teens as it is nearly invisible. It is made to fit well inside the mouth, with minimal discomfort. The aligner is easily removed when you are eating and/or cleaning your teeth, making it easier to brush and floss. The length of the treatment itself may be minimal compared to that of traditional braces, depending on an individual’s specific case. 

Set up an appointment and explore your treatment options

When you visit Meyer Dental Group our team can help to determine what treatment is best for you. We first examine your orthodontic issue, learn about your oral health history, and then make a recommendation based on our findings.

We believe orthodontic care from a professional is the safest and most effective option. Your health, safety, and comfort are our priority. Once you are assessed, we will work with you to choose a treatment plan that best suits you.

If you’d like to learn more about how to straighten your teeth without traditional braces, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Give us a call today at 847-827-6290 and set up a consultation with our Invisalign Chicago dentist, Dr. Tom Meyer.

A small change can make a big difference.

Ready to invest in yourself?
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New Protocol at our Mt Prospect dental office: Panoramic Digital X-Rays being recommended for patients at the ages of 6, 12 and 18

New Protocol at our Mt Prospect dental office: Panoramic Digital X-Rays being recommended for patients at the ages of 6, 12 and 18

We believe… being proactive and preventative is best in all oral health care situations! We want to be aggressive in the early detection of dental concerns, jaw disorders, and airway issues. This is why we’re taking this approach to how family dentistry is done! 

We are recommending digital panoramic dental x-ray on children at three important stages of their developmental lives. This will allow me to identify any potential concerns and needs for your child and be able to make informed and educated decisions to help them before any issues become potentially serious.

At the early stage of your child’s life, around age 6, we will be able to learn whether there are any complications with their new emerging teeth, those still yet to erupt, or possibly any teeth that may be missing altogether.

When done again at age 12, we will be able to evaluate and determine any potential orthodontic and/or airway issues, like crowding of teeth, missing teeth, bad/misaligned bite, over/underbites, and narrow jaw causing restricted airways.

By age 18, we can then advise what is happening with their wisdom teeth, and identify any potential concerns.

The panoramic digital x-ray is done in conjunction with the recommended yearly bitewing films we take on all patients to detect cavities in between the teeth.

Panoramic and bitewing digital x-rays are proven to be safe, and we take extra precautions to ensure safety to all our patients with any exposure. 

By introducing this protocol of taking panoramic dental x-rays for kids, teens, and adolescents at these three important stages of their growing lives, it’s our hope that we can quickly address and best correct any oral health issues that may develop.



Questions? Send them our way! info@meyerdentalgroup.net or call us.

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