What is TMJ?
The point at which your jaw is connected to your skull on either side is known as the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ). It’s a fascinating and complex system of bones, cartilage, ligaments, and muscles that work together to perform a wide variety of functions. Opening and closing the mouth, chewing, and even speaking are made possible when this system is working properly.
However, when this network is not working properly, a number of unhealthy conditions can occur, leading to discomfort, hard and soft tissue damage, headaches, and chewing limitations. Fortunately, our doctors is experienced in the area of diagnosing and treating the disorders that are associated with TMJ problems.
Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms of a TMJ Disorder
There is a broad range of TMJ disorders, and the severity of the symptoms can vary for each patient, but there are some common symptoms that could indicate the source of the disorder as well as help to determine the appropriate treatment option:
- Pain near the ears, on one side of the skull or on both sides
- Popping and/or clicking in the jaw joint during chewing, yawning, or speaking
- Frequent headaches in the morning or at the end of a stressful day
- A feeling of tightness around the face, head, or neck
- Worn edges on the teeth, broken fillings, chipped teeth, or receding gums
- Waking up with the teeth clenched together, grinding teeth at night, or gritting the teeth when you concentrate deeply.
- Frequent indigestion or difficulty chewing food thoroughly
Nonsurgical and Surgical Treatment Solutions
An untreated TMJ disorder can lead to progressive dental and health problems. However, there is no “one size fits all” treatment, and no treatment can be expected to produce immediate results. Instead, our doctors will partner with you to find a solution that is perfect for your needs, starting with the most conservative or nonsurgical methods first.
The first line of TMJ therapy may include muscle relaxation techniques, bite management with orthodontic treatment, and occlusal splint therapy or occlusal rehabilitation with a removable oral appliance. These treatments can help to relieve the pressure on the joint as well as the muscles and the teeth.
For the most severe TMJ disorders in which the jaw cannot open or the joint has been dislocated, surgical intervention may be recommended. With arthroscopic treatment and/or reconstructive jaw surgery, our doctors can directly access and treat the joint, ligaments, and cartilage.
Healthier Living Starts Today
It is possible to enjoy life with a jaw joint that is more balanced, more harmonious, and more comfortable. Why not schedule an appointment to sit down with our doctors to explore your treatment options today?