TMJ TMD and Bruxism Rockford IL

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is your jaw joint. Everyone has two of these joints, both a right and left. TMJ syndrome or TMD, temporomandibular disorder, is a medical problem related to the improper function of this jaw joint.

TMJ TMD and Bruxism at Padron Dental in Rockford

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is your jaw joint.  Everyone has two of these joints, both a right and left.  TMJ syndrome or TMD, temporomandibular disorder, is a medical problem related to the improper function of this jaw joint.  The symptoms for this issue usually are a clicking, popping, or rustling in your jaw joint and can sometimes be accompanied by jaw joint or muscle pain, a jaw that locks in position or is difficult to open, headaches, ringing in your ears, and even numbness in your face and your fingertips.

The entire team at Padron Dental enjoy helping people in a field where they can apply knowledge, art, science, and beauty. Padron Dental specializes in prosthodontics, which is the treatment and handling of dental and facial problems that involve restoring missing tooth and jaw structure. A prosthodontist is highly trained in cosmetics, dental implants, crowns, bridges, dentures, temporomandibular disorders (TMJ/TMD), and more. We offer you comprehensive dental care in the convenience of one location utilizing the latest techniques in cosmetic, preventative, restorative, and implant dentistry. Call us today at 815-397-3820 to schedule your appointment to evaluate whether you might benefit from a treatment for TMJ, TMD and Bruxism. We are conveniently located at 1646 N Alpine Rd, Rockford, IL 61107.

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Multi-Specialty Dentist

Searching for dental offices in Rockford Illinois that provide comprehensive care under one roof? Our dental team specializes in multiple aspects of dentistry, including dental implants & dental bridges.


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Interested in advanced and dental care? Our modern Rockford office uses advanced and innovative technology for safe & effective care, from laser dentistry to digital dental imaging.


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The Different Types of TMJ Problems

TMJ disorders usually fall into one of these three categories:

  • Myogenous TMJ problems are the most common type of TMD, contributing to over 80% of the total cases. Myogenous TMJ disorders involve muscle related pain and manifest as discomfort in your jaw, temple, neck, or shoulder muscles, especially when you wake up. This type of TMJ problem responds well to a nightguard that can control clenching or Botox treatment. Nightguards that only treat grinding are typically much less effective.
  • A degenerative joint disease, such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
  • TMJ disorders can be a result of jaw joint generated pain. This comes from the internal derangement of the TMJ, which might involve a dislocated jaw, a displaced disc within the TMJ or injury to the condyles, which is the rounded ends of the lower jaw that fit up into the jaw joint.

Padron Dental can treat many TMJ problems.  However, internal derangements and degenerative joint disease might require the additional involvement of your physician.

Linking Stress to the Causes of TMD

TMJ problems in a few cases are caused by arthritis of the jaw joint or a blow to the face.  Most often, TMJ pain is related to your genetic predisposition and your stress level.  TMD is more evident in high stress occupations and is more likely to occur if you are experiencing a high level of stress. This stress will lead to teeth grinding and clenching and then the associated head, neck, and shoulder pain. In less than 5% of all cases, TMJ appears to be the result of a problem with the bite alignment or occlusion.

TMJ More Common in Women than Men

TMJ pain is approximately four times more common in women than it is in men.  Women report more TMD symptoms and often have associated headache and jaw clenching problems.  Men report less pain and discomfort, but teeth grinding is more likely to be evident than with women.

The Diagnosis of TMJ and TMD

TMJ problems are usually diagnosed through a detailed examination by Padron Dental. We will look for any evidence of TMD with your teeth, mouth, gums, and tongue, palpate the muscles of your head, neck, and shoulders to identify the level of tenderness, measure the range of motion with your lower jaw, conduct a scan of the jaw joints using JVA (joint vibration analysis), and perform diagnostic imaging (MRI or cone-beam x-rays).

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Drs. Cassaro & Nguyen

Dr. Cassaro’s education began at Marquette University, where he earned his BS degree in Biomedical Sciences, with honors. He continued at Marquette University, attending their Dental School where he received his degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery.

Dr. Ashley Nguyen is originally from upstate New York. Her first interest in dentistry came from her desire to help others attain a beautiful and healthy smile. This eventually led her to the University at Buffalo where she obtained a BS degree in Biomedical Sciences, with honors. From there she attended dental school at Midwestern University located near Chicago, IL.

Low Level, Episodic TMJ Problems

TMJ pain can sometimes be irregular and diminish without any specific treatment.   It is believed that stress plays a major role, during times of high stress your body may react by grinding or clenching your teeth at night.  If the stress subsides, the clenching and grinding may subside as well.

If you experience infrequent jaw joint problems, then self-care practices may be enough to control your problem.  These could include stress management practices such as yoga, meditation, biofeedback, gentle stretching and massaging of your jaw joint muscles, the application of heat or ice packs, avoiding chewing gum, and not opening your mouth too wide.

TMJ Treatment with a Custom Nightguard

If you are experiencing symptoms of prolonged pain or sensitivity you might require treatment.  In a few cases, your bite might be compromised so that it best to have it rebuilt, due to suboptimal tooth or jaw position, utilizing several crowns. In some cases, orthognathic surgery or orthodontics might be best.  Surgical intervention, involving jaw joint disc replacement, is usually not recommended. For most cases, the TMJ problem can be treated with a custom designed night guard that is worn over your teeth at night.

For the best results, the night guard should be customized to fit your arch.  One-size-fits all retail night guards may not solve the problem and could even make it worse.  This occurs because all TMD problems are slightly different. You may be a pure grinder, or you may clench but do not grind, or you may grind sideways and clench just a little, or clench and grind both, and so on. A nightguard should be custom designed to treat the TMD you are experiencing.  This will require an appointment to Padron Dental.

Other Types of TMJ Therapy

Padron Dental suggests nightguard therapy to control most TMJ pain. Depending on the severity of your TMJ problem, cold laser treatments, hot-cold therapy, and cranial sacral massage may also be useful. Padron Dental will discuss these options with you. One of the most effective emerging treatments now includes the use of Botox.

Consider Botox for Your TMJ Treatment

Botox is becoming a highly effective treatment for muscle related TMJ pain. Padron Dental can inject Botox into overly tight, painful facial muscles to relax them, therefore alleviating the associated TMJ discomfort. Botox is now successful in decreasing nighttime clenching force, which will also act to decrease daytime TMJ pain. The Botox treatment usually lasts three to four months and can be repeated, if necessary. You may only need Botox once, while other highly stressed individuals might need it on and off for life.

Padron Dental Provides a Dental Experience that is Comfortable and Efficient

The team at Padron Dental will make your visit easy and comfortable.  It is important to us at Padron Dental to provide each patient with the best dental experience possible. Therefore, we keep up to date on the latest dental technologies and techniques, to ensure that your treatment for TMJ, TMD and Bruxism is not only effective, but comfortable as well. Whether you need a dental cleaning and exam or an advanced dental implant procedure, we provide you with compassion and expertise. We have brightened the lives and smiles of many patients. Let us brighten yours! You can find us at 1646 N Alpine Rd, Rockford, IL 61107. Or simply give us a call at 815-397-3820 to get your appointment scheduled.