07 Oct Will TMJ disorder resolve on its own?
TMJ disorder can become a debilitating and often painful oral health condition. Many times, the underlying causes behind TMJ disorder cannot be resolved on their own because the condition might exist due to the alignment of the jaws or damage to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), both of which may require treatment from an oral surgeon. Other causes of TMJ disorder such as tooth wear or tooth alignment issues can be rectified with restorations and orthodontic treatment. Untreated TMJ disorder can lead to permanent damage to the TMJ along with decreased oral function and a reduction in quality of life.
What is the temporomandibular joint?
The TMJ is a joint that moves the lower jawbone so that people can eat and speak. When the TMJ is stressed or strained by a malocclusion, tooth wear, or damage to the joint itself, it will affect one’s ability to chew food and speak comfortably and easily.
What are the symptoms of TMJ disorder?
Symptoms of TMJ disorder can vary wildly among patients. Common sensations and symptoms include pain when opening or closing the mouth, a feeling that the jaw is locking up during oral function, orofacial discomfort, and frequent headaches. Another cause and symptom of TMJ dysfunction is bruxism – the habit of clenching and grinding one’s teeth. Bruxism stresses the TMJ and the muscles and ligaments that surround it. This habit also wears down the size and shape of teeth, which can lead to a malocclusion.
How is TMJ dysfunction treated?
TMJ disorder treatment protocols vary depending on the underlying cause of TMJ dysfunction. For instance, a dentist may try to alleviate tension and stress on the TMJ and its supportive tissues by rebuilding a patient’s bite with restorations. This treatment can involve the placement of custom crowns to restore teeth to a healthy size and shape. If bruxism causes issues with the TMJs, a custom night guard may be prescribed to help relieve tension on the joints. When the joints are damaged or if the jaws are improperly aligned, oral surgery may be necessary to correct developmental abnormalities or damage due to traumatic injuries.
Call us today at Great River Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery to reserve a consultation with our oral surgery team!