The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a joint that operate like a sliding hinge that connects our lower jaw to our skull, just in front of the ear. TMJ disorders can trigger pain felt in the jaw joint(s), the muscles responsible for jaw movement, and other parts of the head, neck, and face. TMD can be linked to a plethora of underlying causes, including jaw injury, arthritis, genetic factors, or the habit of grinding or clenching teeth.
The discomfort and pain associated with this problem are oftentimes temporary and can be addressed through non-surgical treatments (conservative treatment methods) or self-managed care options recommended by us.
Identify the Most Common Symptoms of Temporomandibular Disorder
A list of the most common TMJ symptoms includes:
- Reduced jaw mobility
- Neck aches and headaches
- Pain and muscle spasms experienced in the jaw area
- A popping sound heard when the jaw joint is in motion
F&S Provides You With the Best Temporomandibular Disorder Treatment Options
There are several conservative treatment options that you could explore to address the symptoms of temporomandibular disorder, including:
Successful Non-Surgical TMD Treatments
Injections. Trigger-point injections done by a skilled TMD specialist can help reduce your discomfort. By injecting anesthetics, pain relievers, or botulinum toxin (e.g. Botox and Xeomin) into sore facial muscles, your specialist could help you get rid of the most disturbing TMJ symptoms.
Ultrasound. In contact with deep heat, the joint can regain its mobility, and patients can relieve soreness
TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation). Based on low-level electrical current, this nerve stimulation treatment option relaxes the facial muscles and jaw joint, minimizing pain and discomfort.
Radio Wave Therapy. Through radio wave therapy, some patients could experience long-lasting pain relief. This form of therapy relies on radio waves that stimulate the jaw joint, boosting blood circulation and reducing pain.
There are several surgical procedures that can be performed to restore the functionality of one’s jaw joint and eliminate pain.
Successful Surgical TMD Treatments
Arthrocentesis may be a good option for patients with locked jaws. Under general anesthesia, surgeons will place needled into the jaw joint and flush the joint. Using special tools, the surgeon could eliminate damaged tissue, dislodge a stuck disc in the jaw joint, or unlock the joint.
Arthroscopy is done with a small-scale instrument that enables dentists to visualize the area inside the joint. At the beginning of this procedure, surgeons will make a tiny cut in the front of the patient’s ear to place the arthroscope inside the TMJ. While visualizing the area on a video screen, the surgeon will realign the affected disc or joint and eliminate inflamed or damaged tissue, if needed. This minimally invasive procedure involves a short recovery and leaves a tiny, barely noticeable scar.
Open-joint surgery is a more complex surgical intervention, recommended when the affected joint is scarred, when bony structures in the joint are extremely damaged, or when the doctor locates tumors around the joint.
Depending on the nature and complexity of your problem, we can recommend the most effective treatment options for your temporomandibular disorder. Schedule an appointment with our specialists today, and eliminate the pain and discomfort of TMD.