Why Does TMJ Pain Occur?
Disorders of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can be a result of many circumstances-like facial trauma, bruxism, degeneration, or misalignment-and cause a variety of mild-to-severe problems requiring specialized treatment. Symptoms of this disorder can range from mild jaw discomfort to severe muscle spasms and popping of the jaw or lock jaw. Many patients who suffer from discomfort when biting, chewing, or yawning can find relief through conservative, non-surgical methods such as night guards or muscle relaxants. When more complicated measures must be taken, specialized treatment from an oral surgeon like Dr. Aaron Quitmeyer can effectively treat the debilitating effects of TMJ disorder.
Specialized Care from a Board-Certified Oral Surgeon
Because symptoms of TMJ disorder often overlap with symptoms of other issues, correct diagnosis is crucial to providing the most accurate and effective treatment to restore proper function to your jaw. For this reason, Dr. Quitmeyer begins each TMJ case with a comprehensive consultation. This consultation gives us insight into your unique symptoms, as well as dental history and evidence of trauma or presence of other issues, so we can provide the most personalized care. In all cases, we inform you about your condition and the variety of treatment options available for you, in addition to Dr. Quitmeyer’s professional recommendation.
Treatment of TMJ disorder can reduce symptoms such as:
- Pain in the face or jaw
- Chronic headaches
- Jaw clicking or popping
- Jaw locking or dislocation
- Jaw muscle spasming
- Facial swelling
TMJ Treatment Solutions
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons like Dr. Quitmeyer have specialized training and in-depth knowledge of the facial structure, muscles, joints, and jaw bone, in addition to the soft and hard tissues. With this thorough understanding of the anatomy of the face and how each part functions with each other, he provides treatment that is effective and for the long term.
The simplest and most conservative treatment option for TMJ disorder, night guards help to keep teeth slightly separated during sleep. Teeth that are not allowed to touch cannot be clenched or ground, and can help keep the jaw relaxed and from being overworked.
For moderate-to-severe TMJ disorder, arthrocentesis is an option that involves the use of needles to withdraw or inject fluid or medicine into the actual joint. This can help reduce pressure between the joint disc and bone by breaking down scar tissue and reducing inflammation at the site.
Joint Replacement Surgery
For severe cases of TMJ disorder where significant joint and tissue damage has occurred, surgical repair or replacement of the joint is necessary. Certain areas of the jaw joint are removed and replaced with a prosthesis. This eliminates joint issues by allowing for full range of motion.