Could Anxiety Be Causing Your TMJ Headache?

Could Anxiety Be Causing Your TMJ Headache?

There are many factors that can cause recurring headaches but it’s easy to overlook that your jaw could be the source and that you may be experiencing a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) headache. 

The TMJ is the hinge that connects your jaw to your skull. It makes it possible for you to chew, talk, yawn, and many other critical physiological functions. If your jaw joints shift from its proper position, it can cause debilitating complications known as TMJ disorder.

While there are many forces that can strain and shift your jaw joint, a major cause is stress. High levels of stress can cause you to grind your teeth and clench your jaw while you’re asleep or subconsciously throughout the day.

As a result, the muscles in your jaw tense up, causing pain to spread to other muscles in your face and throughout your head, inducing a painful headache.

Symptoms of a TMJ Headache

Headaches are caused by a variety of factors however there is a set of distinct symptoms that can  accompany a TMJ headache, such as:

1. Facial Pain

When you injure a muscle, it causes pain and swelling that can quickly spread to surrounding areas. TMJ disorder can cause the muscles supporting the temporomandibular joints to become inflamed,  spreading pain to your head, temples, cheeks, ears, which can also radiate down to the neck and into your shoulders.

2. Bite Misalignment

Does your bite feel off? The condition of your jaw joint will determine the structure of your bite. If your teeth don’t fit well when you rest them together, that’s a sign that your temporomandibular joints are not in optimal positioning.

3. Snoring

Snoring is often a sign of disturbed breathing during sleep. If your lower jaw has shifted back, it also means your tongue is no longer in its right position, causing it to vibrate against your soft palate. This closes up your airway, resulting in snoring.

4. Popping or Clicking Sounds

When your jaw makes clicking and popping sound when you move it, this is usually a sign that something is wrong. The noise that comes with jaw movements indicates that the lower part of the joint has shifted and is causing your jaw to overexert. Even if you don’t feel pain, you can see a Mount Prospect dentist like Dr. Meyer for support in finding a solution and preventing your jaw from deteriorating into a critical condition.

How to Manage TMJ Headache Pain

If you’ve noticed one or more symptoms of TMJ headache, here are ways to manage the pain:

  • Avoid hard or gummy food
  • Avoid moving your jaw too often to prevent worsening the situation
  • Place ice packs on your jaw to numb the pain (no longer than 15 minutes)
  • Practice jaw exercises to help relieve pain
  • You can also manage pain by using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs) like aspirin

Develop a Personalized Solution for TMJ Headache with Your Mount Prospect Dentist

While the techniques listed above can help remedy your pain, these are not often long-term solutions. To get to the root cause of your TMJ,  you can seek the support of Dr. Meyer and the Meyer Dental Group team. Dr. Meyer is highly skilled in treating TMJ and can help you develop a customized solution to end your pain. He takes a careful and compassionate approach to ensure the root cause of your ailments is addressed and corrected. You and Dr. Meyer will work together in your journey to achieving greater health. 

Do not suffer in silence. Take back control of your health with Dr. Meyer. Schedule an appointment online or call 847-827-6290 today.

How Stress & Anxiety can Cause TMJ Disorder

How Stress & Anxiety can Cause TMJ Disorder

Since COVID-19 was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, many people have experienced an increase in stress. Many are concerned about it’s socio-economic and emotional impact. 

Stress and anxiety is a normal part of life, especially amidst a pandemic. However, experiencing it chronically can unfortunately  increase your risk of developing other problems, such as your dental health.

Stress & Anxiety Can Lead to TMJ Disorder

Stress and anxiety are your body’s natural way of reacting to difficult situations, and when persistent, can be detrimental to your health. Common symptoms of stress can be an inability to sleep, headaches, teeth grinding, and muscle pain.

Because of the common link between stress and teeth grinding, it is easy to develop TMJ disorder as a result. Dr. Meyer explains that temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) can develop over time. This is as a result of restless, stress-induced sleep where you are grinding your teeth and jaw clenching unconsciously. Constant wear and tear can misalign your jaw and cause chronic neck and muscle strain as well. When you’re in constant pain and lacking quality sleep, your body remains in a heightened state of stress. creating a vicious cycle.

TMJ disorder can be physically and emotionally hard on you and the people around you. However, TMJ treatment is possible and your suffering does not need to continue.

TMJ Pain Solutions

Recommended Treatments for Your TMJ Disorder

At Meyer Dental Group, we believe that TMJ disorder and its symptoms, such as night grinding, can be improved and treated non-invasively. While we can’t guarantee a complete cure, making positive lifestyle changes can aid TMJ treatment and your health in general.

1. Relax the Jaw Muscles

Headaches and jaw pain are often a sign of TMJ disorder and treatment often depends on how severe your case is. However, a TMJ disorder can be treated. Most often, this is with the relaxation of the jaw muscles and frequent use of a mouthguard. This can help in repositioning your jaw muscles into a more natural state with time and lessen the impact of grinding and clenching in your sleep.

2. Massage and Stretches

Gentle massage and stretching of the jaw and neck muscles can help ease the pain and also help relax your body that may be tense from stress. Your Mount Prospect dentist, Dr. Meyer can suggest effective stretching and massage techniques for you.

3. TMJ Dental Orthotic

Dr. Meyer can help build an orthotic device that can ease your jaw  into a more comfortable and less straining position. At Meyer Dental Group, we use the K7 Sensing and mapping tool to diagnose the true position of your jaw. The outcome of the diagnosis will determine the needed shape of orthotics to be specifically designed to help heal your unique jaw misalignment.


How We Help Flatten the Curve

To play our part in flattening the curve, we are currently only able to treat emergency dental needs. At Meyer Dental Group, our patient’s health is always our number one priority. We will continue striving to care for you and our community the very best we can, even at a distance. We want to help you pursue the healthiest and happiest version of yourself by ceasing the poor quality of sleep accompanying teeth grinding — which can spiral into a non-stop cycle of stress and chronic pain. 

You Mount Prospect dentist, Dr. Meyer, is here to help!  Contact Dr. Meyer by phone at 847-827-6290 or online to address your dental concerns and TMJ treatment options.

Best Options for Missing Teeth: Why Choose Single-Visit Dental Crowns

Best Options for Missing Teeth: Why Choose Single-Visit Dental Crowns

Dental crowns can treat cracked teeth and prevent further damage. 

As we’ve seen time and time again at our Mount Prospect dental office, getting a crown isn’t like what it used to be. Family and cosmetic dentists like myself have more options for missing teeth. 

In the past, we would prepare the tooth and you’d be in a temporary crown for weeks, if not a month or longer, before you received the permanent crown. Now, you can get a crown in a day. 

Is a single-visit crown just as good as traditional crowns?

The Best Options for Missing Teeth: Single-Visit Crowns vs. Traditional Crowns

My team and I are proponents of CEREC single-visit crowns. With this system, you get a custom-fit, quality crown in just one visit. 

Here’s what you can expect with traditional crown services. 

  • Remove any decay
  • Prepare the tooth (reduce the height and circumference) 
  • Take an impression
  • Fabricate and place a temporary crown
  • Send the impression to a dental lab
  • Wait up to three weeks for the crown (depending on the lab used and their backlog)
  • Go back to your cosmetic dentist to try on the new crown
  • Receive anesthetic injection to be numb a second time
  • If the crown fits, cement it
  • If the crown doesn’t fit, send it back to the lab and replace the temporary crown
  • Try the crown again and cement

Here’s what you can expect from single-visit dental crown appointments from our dentist Mount Prospect office. 

  • We will take digital pictures of the tooth
  • Remove decay
  • Prepare the tooth
  • A CEREC scanner scans the prepared tooth 
  • The CEREC 3-D imaging software fabricates a 3-D model of your tooth
  • The CEREC milling machine uses the model to create a ceramic crown
  • We will have you try your crown on, adjust it if necessary, and cement it

The Benefits of CEREC Dental Crowns from a Cosmetic Dentist

The main benefit of single-visit crowns are that they save you time, therefore enhancing your comfort and overall experience with us.

You spend less time in the dental chair because impressions aren’t needed. less adjustments are needed, no temporary crowns are needed, and ONE visit to the dentist makes it a huge time-saver.

An in office CEREC crown is scheduled for about 1 1/2 hours appointment, but the milling phase can be spent in the massage chair, doing work, watching tv and relaxing.

We Believe Every Patient Deserves Exceptional Dental Crowns

Every single patient deserves the best dental care. Part of that includes utilizing the latest dental technology, tools, and techniques. I’m committed to investing in these products to provide you with the very best treatment. 

Options for Missing Teeth: Save Time and Money with Single-Visit Crowns

When it comes to options for missing teeth, we are always looking for innovative alternatives. The goal is to help patients save time and money while keeping you comfortable. 

My main purpose, though, is to keep your teeth and gums healthy. The healthier you are, the less money you’ll have to spend on dental treatments. You’ll also avoid painful dental conditions, like deep dental decay.  

At our Mount Prospect dentist office, we are constantly working toward high-quality treatment options to save you time and money, while keeping you healthy.

Would you like to know more about our one-day crown system? Contact us today to schedule a consultation.   

Not Sleeping Well? Consider Getting Test for Sleep Apnea

Not Sleeping Well? Consider Getting Test for Sleep Apnea

Do you ever feel like no matter how much you sleep at night, you end up feeling exhausted the next day?

Such a feeling could point to sleep apnea – a serious health condition – and you need to invest in an effective sleep apnea treatment. 

How can you tell if you really have sleep apnea? What type of treatment options are available to you? And why is it so important to do something to control your sleep apnea?

Are You Really Getting a Good Night’s Sleep? How to Tell

Sleep apnea isn’t just an annoying condition in which you snore a lot. Rather, sleep apnea is a condition that can have multiple negative effects on your overall health. In fact, it has been linked to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and even death. 

It’s important to find out if you have this condition so you can quickly take steps to remedy it with an effective sleep apnea treatment. 

How can you tell if your sleep issues stem from sleep apnea? The best way to find out is by going to your doctor and requesting a sleep study. However, you might be able to get some valuable information on your own in the interim. Try recording yourself while you sleep or ask your partner to listen to you. 

If you or they notice any of the common symptoms of sleep apnea, it’s time to see your doctor. 

Sleep Apnea Symptoms

  • Loud, frequent snoring
  • Pauses in breathing
  • Gasping for breath
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness (along with the feeling that you could fall asleep anywhere and at any time)
  • Memory issues
  • Irritability/moodiness
  • Decreased sex drive or impotence
  • Headaches in the morning
  • Acid reflux (indigestion, heartburn, chest pain)

Is There a Safe, Effective Sleep Apnea Treatment Option?

You think you might have sleep apnea. What now? 

The first thing you should do is get a definitive diagnosis from your physician. If you don’t have a physician, don’t worry. The team at Meyer Dental Group is partnered with a at-home sleep test company to help facilitate the necessary sleep test to get you started on the path to diagnosis.

Once you’ve received a definitive diagnosis from our partnered and licensed sleep doctor, you’ll be scheduled to discuss a sleep apnea treatment plan that can complement or replace the CPAP option. 

Many patients don’t like or have a hard time sleeping with a CPAP machine. Dr. Tom Meyer has safe, comfortable CPAP alternatives. The most common option is a type of nightguard that helps to pull the lower jaw forward so that the soft tissues of your mouth and throat don’t obstruct your airway (as can happen when your muscles relax during sleep). 

Schedule a Sleep Apnea Consult If You’re Ready for Improved Sleep and Health 

Sleep apnea can have a profound effect not just on how well you sleep but also on your health. If you’re ready to take steps to improve your sleep and your health, you need to schedule a sleep apnea consultation with Dr. Meyer. 

At your consultation, you’ll find out whether you need to see a doctor/sleep specialist and if you’re at risk or have already developed sleep apnea. Once you’ve received a definitive diagnosis from your doctor, you’ll be scheduled to discuss your sleep apnea treatment options. 

Dr. Meyer will find a form of treatment that is safe, comfortable, and effective. Before you know it, you’ll start to feel like your old, well-rested self again. 

Are you ready for a better night’s sleep? Contact us today to schedule a consultation to discuss the possibility of sleep apnea. You can call us at 847-827-6290 or schedule an appointment online.

Sleep Apnea in Chicago: Health Consequences if Left Untreated

Sleep Apnea in Chicago: Health Consequences if Left Untreated

Sleep apnea in Chicago is far more common than you may think. In fact, across the United States, more than 18 million Americans struggle with sleep apnea, with many cases going undiagnosed. Unfortunately, most people do not understand what sleep apnea is and write it off as snoring. 

Sure, while those who experience sleep apnea do snore, the condition can lead to several different health consequences if left untreated.  

Sleep Apnea Doesn’t Only Affect Your Sleeping Habits

The common misconception around sleep apnea is that it’s “just snoring,” and besides an unhappy partner, there are no real side effects worth worrying about. Unfortunately, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

Sleep apnea is a condition that causes intermittent pauses in breathing throughout the night, causing the brain to come out of its sleep cycle to force patients to begin breathing again. 

Besides disruptive and poor-quality sleep, this condition can also increase the risk of other chronic health conditions, including:

  • Headaches
  • High blood pressure/cardiovascular disease – including higher risks of stroke 
  • Depression, anxiety and other mood disorders
  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Abnormalities in glucose metabolism – leading to diabetes
  • Memory loss
  • Liver problems
  • Low blood oxygen levels
  • A decrease in sexual desire
  • Weakened immune system
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Increases the risk of death

In short, sleep apnea can affect the entire body, and without proper treatment, it can lead to irreversible damage. 

Sleep Apnea Treatment Options and CPAP Alternatives 

The good news for all those suffering from sleep apnea in the Chicago area is that there are a variety of medical and dental options available for sleep apnea treatment. 

It’s important to point out that sleep apnea must be diagnosed by a medical professional. This is usually done by completing a sleep evaluation either at home or at a designated sleep disorder center. These tests monitor your breathing and other body functions as you sleep. 

There are typically two tests that can be done:

  • Home sleep test: These tests can be done in the comfort of your own home and include wearing simple monitors that measure your blood oxygen level, heart rate, breathing, and airflow patterns. 
  • Nocturnal polysomnography: Typically done at a designated sleep center and includes being hooked up to equipment that monitors your brain, heart and lung activity, breathing patterns, body movements (such as arm and leg), and your blood oxygen levels.

Once you’ve completed your test, your doctor will then make their diagnosis and discuss your treatment options with you.

There are several different sleep apnea treatments available; however, the most common treatment is the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine. A CPAP machine works by delivering air pressure through a mask that is worn while you sleep. This air pressure is greater than that of the surrounding air, helping to keep your upper airway passages open.

While a CPAP machine is the most common treatment for those suffering from sleep apnea, there are a variety of CPAP alternatives to help combat sleep apnea and its many risks. 

Chicago dentist, Dr. Tom Meyer, can help you by suggesting less burdensome appliances to help keep your airway open as you sleep. These dental appliances are custom-fitted and worn at night. They work by pushing your tongue forward so that it doesn’t fall back and block the entrance to your windpipe. 

Chicago Sleep Apnea Treatment with Meyer Dental Group

Those suffering from sleep apnea in Chicago have options. Dr. Meyer works with you to create a custom plan to help you get relief from sleep apnea and a variety of other sleep disorders

If you think you’re suffering from sleep apnea or have been diagnosed by a medical professional, then schedule a sleep apnea consultation with Dr. Meyer to see how our team can help.

Do you suspect that you have sleep apnea?

Schedule a Sleep Apnea Consultation

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