Calgary’s Dr. Kevin Philipow on TMD / TMJ treatment

How do I know I have TMD? What are the symptoms of TMD? How do these symptoms affect me?

These are frequent questions my patients ask at our Calgary practice Macleod Dental Choice. We are going to shed some light on the subject and explain the disorder and it symptoms.

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, also known as temporomandibular disorder (TMJ, TMD or TMJD) is common among adults between the ages of 20 and 40; TMD occurs more often in females than males.

TMD complications can seem to develop erratically and become chronic and difficult to manage, causing interruptions to activities of daily living. The root cause of TMD varies from case to case. Most of the symptoms are a result of inflammation in the muscles around the jaw and/or within the jaw joints. The main symptoms of TMD are pain (most often manifesting as a headache) and a restricted movement of the lower jaw. In some patients, a clicking noise from their temporomandibular joints (TMJ) is noticeable. However, just because you have a clicking jaw joint doesn’t mean you have TMD. The most important diagnostic criteria is the presence of inflammation.

Patients should understand that TMD is a symptom complex rather than a single condition. Symptoms can vary from person to person and over time in the same person. They can vary in location, frequency, and intensity depending upon a multitude of factors. In addition to inflammation in muscles and joints as outlined above, symptoms may also be associated with inflammation of nerves, tendons, ligaments, bones, connective tissue around the face and neck and of the supporting structures of the teeth.

You may have TMD (TMJ or TMJD) if you have one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Pain and tenderness associated with chewing, clenching, or yawning felt just in front of the ear. TMD pain maybe periodic or constant and is usually a dull aching pain. TMD pain is often located on one side of your jaw but can involve both.
  • Limited mobility in your jaw joint. This can cause difficulty in eating or speaking due to limited opening. This limited mobility may be due to muscle tightness and/or pain on movement.
  • Periodic or constant noises such as clicking and popping or grating from your jaw joint(s).
  • Headaches in the back of the head and neck, often referring pain to the forehead, a frontal headache. Headaches caused by TMD can often be in the temples.
  • Pain in the teeth, neck, shoulder, jaws
  • Hearing loss or ringing in the ears
  • Dizziness

Dr. Kevin Philipow is located at Macleod Dental Choice
Phone: 403-262-3035 | Address: 435, 9737 MacLeod Tr SW
Dr. Kevin Philipow grew up in small-town Saskatchewan. A graduate of the University of Saskatchewan College of Dentistry, he began his dental career in a hospital where he gained knowledge and confidence in dealing with medically challenged patients. He has since spent the last two decades in general dental practice.
Head, neck and facial pain as well as jaw joint problems are of particular interest to Dr. Philipow. He prefers a holistic approach in helping patients who have ongoing pain issues, whereby lifestyle, work, habits, diet, sleep patterns, etc are considered in arriving at the root cause of problems, rather than focusing on treating symptoms only. Dr. Philipow is able to assist TMD / TMJ patients as well as provide snoring appliances for patients. Ask your dentist today if snoring appliances could benefit you.
His treatment recommendations include nutritional supplementation, diet and exercise changes. He uses an integrative medicine model whereby other healthcare services are recommended to help patients reach their maximum potential healing. Dr. Philipow acts as an advocate for his patients as they navigate the healthcare field.
When not at work, Dr. Philipow enjoys spending time hiking, biking and travelling with his wife and daughter. He also enjoys fitness, woodworking and home repair projects. He’s an avid reader with interests in investment, technology and alternative medicine.
Practice of General Dentistry*

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