Causes and symptoms of TMJ/TMD and treatment available for patients in the community

At West Suburban Oral Health Care, we provide more than just cleanings, examinations, and fillings to our patients. We also help them in addressing problems such as jaw pain. Treatment for jaw pain will typically be done after a patient has been diagnosed with a TMJ disorder or TMD. The TMJ, which stands for temporomandibular joint, is the jaw joint that connects and hinges the upper jaw and lower jaw. It can be painful and concerning when problems exist in the joint or surrounding muscles and ligaments. With proper diagnosis and treatment, patients with TMJ can lead normal lives–and a better quality of life!

What causes TMD?

The most common cause of TMJ disorder is simple wear and tear, leading to a wide array of symptoms. Stress can also be a leading factor in causing TMD, along with biting nails, chewing on pens, or eating ice. In some patients, misalignment of the jaw and dysfunction of the joint itself leads to a diagnosis of TMJ disorder.

What are the symptoms of TMJ/TMD?

Below are a few of the more common symptoms:

  • Pain and discomfort around the jaw and jaw joint
  • Popping sounds in the jaw when opening or closing the mouth
  • Chronic headaches and migraines
  • Poor bite alignment when chewing or closing the teeth together
  • Locking of the jaw (when the jaws are stuck in the open or closed position)
  • Clicking sounds when eating or chewing food
  • Damage to natural tooth enamel and dental restorations

Treatment options may be discussed when these symptoms are brought to the dentist’s attention. Our team may recommend orthodontic treatment or the use of an oral appliance to alleviate pain and other problems associated with TMJ disorder. TMJ therapy options are discussed when patients have received a definitive diagnosis.

Schedule time to speak to our team about your needs

The team at West Suburban Oral Health Care of Naperville, IL, is here to provide solutions for individuals dealing with the problems associated with TMD and TMJ disorder.  Drs. Susan Mazzei, Kelsey Esposito, and Ashley Nguyen can assist! Call the office at 630-393-3045 to request a visit to our practice, conveniently located at 380 West Diehl Road. We are open to new and returning individual patients and families in the community and surrounding cities of North Aurora, Glen Ellyn, Warrenville, and Wheaton.

Dr. Susan Mazzei, West Suburban Oral Health Care
Dr. Kelsey Esposito, West Suburban Oral Health Care
Dr. Marco Fajardo, West Suburban Oral Health Care
Dr. Ashley Nguyen, West Suburban Oral Health Care

Dr. Susan Mazzei is a skilled dentist specializing in prosthodontics. A graduate of Northwestern University Dental School, she completed a Certification in Prosthodontics before joining the faculty of Northwestern University Dental School as a Clinical Assistant Professor, where she served for 12 years and became Assistant Professor Emeritus. Dr. Mazzei believes that excellent oral health begins with education and prevention and is committed to continuing her education. She is a Certified Functional Medicine Health Coach, a Charter Fellow in the American Academy of Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH), and has completed the Bale and Doneen Method Preceptorship Program.

Dr. Kelsey Esposito worked in healthcare advertising and communications before realizing that her passions were dentistry and patient care. She holds a BA in Economics and Fine Art from Kalamazoo College, a Premedicine Post-Baccalaureate Certificate from Northwestern University, and a Doctor of Dental Medicine from The University of Illinois in Chicago. She is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA), Chicago Dental Society (CDS), Illinois Dental Society (IDS), Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and AAOSH.

Dr. Marco Fajardo is a graduate of Northwestern University Dental School, where he also served as a part-time Assistant Clinical Instructor. He was a member of the University Dental Associates of the University of Chicago too. In 1994, he formed the basis of West Suburban Oral Healthcare with Dr. Mazzei. He is now its Team Leader.

Dr. Ashley Nguyen studied at the University of Buffalo and Midwestern University in Downers Grove, IL (dental school). She is a member of the ADA, CDS, IDS, and other local organizations. She continues her education by attending dental conferences and seminars.