If you’ve suffered from chronic headaches they could be caused by dental problems, specifically disorders of the temporo-mandibular joint (TMJ). Dr. Macalik has worked with many patients suffering from TMJ-related symptoms and has the skills and knowledge necessary to diagnose and treat TMJ.
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How do I Know if I Have TMJ?
The temporo-mandibular joints (called TMJ) are the joints and jaw muscles that make it possible to open and close your mouth. TMJ disorder is a common term that actually refers to acute or chronic inflammation of the joint which can cause severe pain, disrupt your normal bite, and lead to difficulties eating and sleeping. Some symptoms include:
- Biting or chewing difficulty or discomfort
- Clicking, popping or grating sound when opening or closing your mouth
- Dull, aching pain in your face
- Earache (particularly in the morning)
- Headache or Migraine (particularly in the morning)
- Hearing loss
- Jaw pain or tenderness
- Difficulty opening or closing your mouth
- Neck and shoulder pain
What is a TMJ Dentist?
It’s important to understand that there is not a recognized dental specialty in TMJ so it would be inaccurate to call Dr. Macalik a TMJ dentist or specialist. But successfully treating TMJ requires advanced training in complex restorative dentistry, occlusion, and the biology and function of the temporo-mandibular joint. There are two leading institutes that provide this training. What Dr. Macalik has done is make it a priority to continue training in the area of TMJ through studies at both of these academies:
The Dawson Academy – Founded by Dr. Peter Dawson, this continuing education academy has several campuses around the country and teaches dentists advanced occlusal concepts and TMJ therapy.
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The Pankey Institute – A world-renowned dental continuing education school located in the Miami, Florida area that also teaches complex dentistry, advanced occlusal concepts, and TMJ therapy.
The Spear Institute — Dr. Macalik is now also studying with the Spear Institute dedicated to excellence in advanced dental training in TMJ and occlusion.
Diagnosing & Treating TMJ
Dr. Macalik will start with a comprehensive examination in order to get to the root causes of your condition and determine a proper diagnosis. Depending on the extent of your TMJ, she may:
- Recommend some simple exercises to relax the jaw
- Fit you with a bite splint (also known as an orthotic) to help bring your bite into proper alignment
- Prescribe medications that can be used in conjunction with your treatment plan to help with pain
If you think that you have a TMJ-related disorder or have TMJ and have been unable to find relief with other treatments, please call our office or request an appointment online to schedule an examination for a consultation.