CHICAGO TMJ TREATMENT: Treatment of Temporomandibular Disorders and Headaches

Successful treatment of TMJ disorders often requires treatment of sleep apnea. The National Heart Lung and Blood Institute considers sleep apnea to be a TMJ Disorder. Dentists treating sleep apnea should also have expertise in treating TMD.
Jan. 1, 2010 - PRLog -- TMJ treatment is often misunderstood by patients, physicians and even dentists.  The term TMJ actually stands for the Temporomandibular Joint.  TMJ is not a disease but a body part.  Diagnosing a patient with TMJ is like diagnosing them with knee or elbow.  The term TMD stands for Temporomandibular Disorders.  This includes the jaw joints or TM Joint but also the nerves and muscles.  

While some patients have very specific joint problems usually from trauma the vast majority of patients have primarily pain coming from the muscles.  This pain is termed Myofascial Pain or MPD.  The muscle pain is a direct result of chronic overuse of muscles and is a repetitive strain injury similar to tennis elbow or carpal tunnel.

The teeth and the jaw joints combined act like a stool with three legs.  If the legs are all the same length the the stool is solid and doesn't rock.  Patients with TMJ disorders are more like a stool where each leg is a different length.  This is a very unstable position.  The muscles are the used by the body to stabilize an unstable position and/or bite.  Problems develop when the muscles can no longer adapt to correct the underlying pathology and become painful and frequently develop taut bands and trigger points.

Neuromuscular Dentistry treats TMJ disorders by creating a balance between the joints, the bite and the muscles.  Sleep and Health Journal has an excellent article ( on Neuromuscular Dentistry that was originally published by the American Equilibration Society.  The concept of Neuromuscular Dentistry was created by Dr Barney Jankelson, a prosthodontist who realized that TMJ disorders were actually primarily a muscle disorder and that the joint symptoms were usually a result of unhealthy muscle function.  These TMJ problems can be responsible for migraines, chronic daily headaches, facial pain, ear pain, sinus pain, humming, buzzing and/or ringing sounds in the ears, stuffy ears that feel like water in the ears and numerous other problems.  A story in Sleep and Health Journal, "SUFFER NO MORE:  Dealing With The Great Imposter"  ( helps explain why patients often have numerous treatments before discovering the have a neuromuscular problem.  

Chicago dentist Dr Ira Shapira has recently created a new website ( dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of TMJ disorders and related headaches.  Migraines, Chronic Daily Headaches and Episodic Tension-Type Headaches are frequently related to TMJ disorders and can be treated with neuromuscular dentistry.  Additional information on Neuromuscular dentistry is available  at

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I HATE Headaches provides information on headache elimination and/or treamet with neuromuscular dentistry.information on sleep apnea, sleep apnea treatment and cpap alternatives are available at This is the premiere site for the promotion of Dental Sleep Medicine and Sleep Apnea Dentisits.
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Tags:Chicago Tmj, Chicago Tmd, Chicago Temporomandibular Disorder, Chicago Tmj Specialist, Tmd Specialist, Gurnee, Libertyville, Tmj
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Location:Illinois - United States
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