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, at Texas Oral Surgery Specialists in Colleyville, TX, Dr. Chris L. Tye, MD, DDS 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. However, there are some common symptoms that could indicate the source of the disorder and help determine the appropriate treatment option. These signs and symptoms include:
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
What Causes TMJ Disorder?
There are several factors that can contribute to TMJ disorder. Some causes include:
Bruxism (teeth grinding)
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, Dr. Tye will partner with you to find a solution that will address your needs, beginning with the most conservative or nonsurgical methods.
The first line of TMJ therapy may include muscle relaxation techniques, bite management with orthodontic treatment, occlusal splint therapy, or occlusal rehabilitation with a removable oral appliance. These treatments can help to alleviate pressure on the joints, reduce tension in the muscles, and keep your teeth in their proper positions.
The most severe TMJ disorders involve a situation in which the jaw cannot open or the joint has been dislocated. If this is the case, surgical intervention may be recommended. With arthroscopic treatment and/or reconstructive jaw surgery, Dr. Tye can directly access and treat the joint, ligaments, and cartilage.
Healthier Living Starts Today
If you are experiencing pain or tenderness in your jaw joints, the solution may be easier than you think. When issues involving the TMJ are properly treated, your quality of life can be significantly improved. With a jaw joint that is more balanced, more harmonious, and more comfortable, you can get back to the important things in life. Texas Oral Surgery Specialists is the leading provider for TMJ surgery, proudly serving Colleyville, TX, and the surrounding areas of Grapevine, Keller, Southlake, Euless, and Bedford. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Tye, contact us online anytime, or call our office at (817) 552-3223.