There are two parts on either side of the jaw, referred to as the temporomandibular joints. These joints function as a sliding hinge connecting the jawbone to the skull. When a patient experiences an issue with this part of the jaw, there can be pain or tenderness in either or both jaw joints, aching pain in or around the ear, headaches or migraines, difficult or painful chewing, aching facial pain, or locking of the joint.
Anyone experiencing any of the previous symptoms is likely a candidate for TMJ disorder treatment. It is often difficult to determine the exact cause of TMJ disorder, but factors like genetics, arthritis, jaw injury, and previous jaw surgery may all play a part.
Treatment for TMJ disorder can range vastly depending on the causes and severity of your condition. For minor conditions, short-term, anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed to ease pain and relax muscles. Split therapy and stress management are also options that may be explored.
Once non-surgical options have proven unsuccessful or if there is clear joint damage, then surgery may be proposed to repair the damaged tissue.
If the condition can be managed through non-surgical methods, then there is no recovery time, procedure risks, or other concerns associated with surgeries. Any pain, discomfort, aching, or locking will likely be remedied.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I feel symptoms of TMJ disorder in both sides of my jaw?
It is possible to feel pain, aching, or discomfort in one or both of the jaw joints.
What are the risk factors for having TMJ disorder?
A variety of factors have a role in the development of TMJ disorder, including long-term (chronic) teeth grinding or clenching, various types of arthritis (such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis), certain connective tissue diseases, and previous jaw injuries.
What are the surgical options for TMJ treatment?
Typically, non-surgical treatments will be prioritized over surgical options. However, once non-surgical options have proven unsuccessful, jaw surgery or minimally invasive options such as arthrocentesis, arthroscopy, or modified condylotomy may be considered.
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