08 Jan TMJ Disorder: When is surgery necessary?
TMJ disorder is a pervasive oral health condition that can affect a person’s everyday life. Affecting the temporomandibular joint(s), TMJ disorder produces frequent pain and reduces one’s ability to speak and chew comfortably. Surgery is often reserved as a last line of treatment when less invasive options fail to work. In some cases, surgery is necessary if the TMJ itself or the lower mandible (jaw) is damaged. Our oral surgeons are specialists with intensive education and experience to treat a wide range of disorders that affect the mouth and face.
What does the TMJ do?
The TMJ is a unique joint that works in tandem with the lower jaw and facial muscles to facilitate all mouth movement. Each time a person opens and closes his or her mouth, the TMJ and neighboring tissues are employed. A healthy TMJ that functions properly is essential to comfortable and smooth oral function.
What causes TMJ dysfunction?
Many things can cause dysfunction of the TMJ. Sometimes untimely tooth wear can affect a patient’s occlusion and strain the temporomandibular joint and its neighboring tissues. In other cases, TMJ disorder might be caused by the act of bruxism (clenching and grinding of the teeth) or traumatic facial injuries. Developmental and congenital abnormalities to the joint or the jaw also produce TMJ disorder symptoms.
What are symptoms and signs of TMJ disorder?
Commonly occurring symptoms of TMJ dysfunction include clicking or popping sensations during oral function, facial pain, headaches, and difficulty opening or closing the mouth. Some patients develop noticeable tooth wear as well.
How is TMJ dysfunction treated?
If a dentist detects signs of TMJ issues, he or she may recommend restorations to rebuild a patient’s bite or orthodontic treatment to align an occlusion. Some patients respond favorably to oral appliances, which are worn at night and position the mouth so that stress and strain on the TMJ is relieved. If these options are not suitable to a patient’s needs, an oral surgeon may perform corrective surgery.
To schedule a consultation with our caring and compassionate team, call Great River Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery today.