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How To Do A TMJ Self Assessment At Home

How To Do A TMJ Self Assessment At Home

Doing a self-assessment at home for TMJ may provide you with some insight about your condition. However, it shouldn’t be the only method you use for diagnosis. It’s important to seek the care and attention of a dentist who specializes in TMD treatment.

Hello, I’m Dr. Mike Gallagher and I specialize in TMJ/TMD diagnosis and treatment in Eden Prairie. If you’ve recently begun to experience symptoms like jaw pain, teeth grinding/clenching, migraines, or jaw locking or popping noises, you may be wondering if you have TMJ Disorder.

Below, I’ve shared the story of one of my patients who had a terrible time obtaining an accurate diagnosis before he came to visit me at my office. His symptoms progressively worsened as he went from one doctor to the next looking for answers. Once he finally came to see me, I was able to diagnose his condition and get him started on the path to recovery.

In this article, you will find some tips for performing a quick at-home TMJ assessment. I’ve also discussed my patient’s story in detail and why it’s important to follow up with an appointment to your dentist after you complete your self-assessment.

How to Do a TMJ Self-Assessment at Home

Are you experiencing jaw pain, soreness, frequent headaches, difficulty chewing, or any other signs of TMD? If so, I highly recommend taking this brief self-assessment:

1. Do you wake up in the morning with jaw pain or soreness caused by teeth grinding?
2. Do you ever hear clicking or popping noises when chewing or opening/closing your mouth?
3. Have you started experiencing inexplicable headaches or migraines?
4. Does your jaw ever lock or do you have a hard time opening your mouth all the way?
5. Do you have pain or swelling in your face, jaw, or ears?
6. Do you clench your jaw or grind your teeth?
7. Does your jaw get tired when you’re eating?
8. Have you started to notice signs of wear on your teeth like chipped, cracked, or loose teeth?
9. Are your teeth sensitive to hot and/or cold foods or beverages?
10. Have you been experiencing muscle spasms or pain in your neck or back?

What Do My Answers Mean?
The more “yes” answers that you have, the more likely it is that you’re suffering from TMD. Even if you didn’t answer “yes” to every question, it may still be a good idea to book an appointment for a consultation at my office. That way, I can perform a more detailed assessment and you’ll have the confidence of knowing that you’ve received an accurate diagnosis.

TMJ Treatment for Eden Prairie Patients

When it comes to TMJ, an accurate diagnosis is important because it paves the path for successful treatment. As Eden Prairie’s trusted TMJ expert, my top priority is making sure you get the dedicated care and treatment you need to live a happy, healthy life. An at-home assessment is a great place to start, but it should not be the only basis you use to diagnose your condition. My team and I can provide you with the expert support and care you deserve.

Recovering from TMD: One Patient’s Success Story
Still not convinced you need to visit the dentist? Before you make up your mind, I encourage you to read this testimonial. This is the story of my patient Glenn and his TMJ experience. Even our helpful at home self-assessment didn’t reveal all the issues going on with Glenn’s TMJ health! But once he came to see me at my office, I was able to diagnose his condition and get him started with treatment.

Glenn was in a lot of discomfort by the time he showed up at my office. He had many of the classic symptoms of TMD. On the left side of his face, there was constant pain near his jaw. The longer that it went on, the worse the pain got. Eventually, it spread down to his lower neck. Sometimes, he felt an unusual tingling sensation in his face and body. However, Glenn didn’t have any symptoms of jaw clicking or popping noises. Furthermore, his doctors didn’t seem to think there was anything wrong with his jaw. Glenn was told quite plainly that he wasn’t a good candidate for surgery.

Then, all of a sudden, things took a turn for the worse and Glenn’s health plummeted into a downward spiral. The pain moved down his neck to his throat and he began experiencing difficulty breathing and swallowing. He was plagued by constant insomnia and even though he was taking medication, he was still in a tremendous amount of pain.

At this point, Glenn decided he had enough. He needed answers. The pain and symptoms were simply too much to bear. So he visited my office for a consultation. I examined his TMJ health and spent the next couple days contemplating his case. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that Glenn had TMD. I decided he would be a good candidate for bite splint therapy. I called him back and invited him to my office so we could discuss his treatment plan.

After about six months of treatment, Glenn’s situation changed dramatically. His health improved tremendously and his symptoms dissipated. He was no longer experiencing the constant pain that plagued him in the past. He could breathe freely and no longer felt any tingling in his arms or face. When he walked into our last appointment, I hardly recognized him. It was like he was a new person! He was comfortable, relaxed, and constantly smiling.

If you want to learn more about Glenn’s journey, you can read his testimonial here.

More About Gallagher Dentistry & Facial Pain Center

Dr. Michael Gallagher and our Eden Prairie Dentistry team are committed to providing exceptional care and empowering our patients with information about their dental health. If you have any questions about our services or would like to schedule an appointment, we invite you to give us a call at (952) 942-9600. The outstanding experience of our dental team, Dr. Gallagher, and the skills of our staff have helped us in successfully treating our patient’s oral problems. We’re always welcoming new patients throughout Eden Prairie, Chanhassen, Bloomington, Minnetonka, Edina, Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Burnsville, Plymouth, Eagan, Richfield and surrounding areas. For more information, please contact us!

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