The temporomandibular joint (also called the TMJ) is the joint of the jaw that holds your jaw bone onto the rest of the skull. Sometimes disorders can develop in the joint, which can cause pain, difficulty with the function of the jaw, or other issues. However, many TMJ disorders can be comfortably managed and controlled with the right treatment from an oral surgeon.
Symptoms of TMJ Disorders
TMJ can cause a variety of symptoms, including the following:
- Chronic jaw pain
- Tightness of the jaw muscles
- Clicking when opening or closing the jaw
- Difficulty opening the jaw
- Jaws snapping shut
- Frequent head or neck aches
- Difficulty eating certain foods
Causes of TMJ Disorders
While many conditions can cause a problem with the jaw, the exact reason for TMJ pain or discomfort is not always clear. Contributing factors, such as a history of arthritis or other joint problems, can lead to a TMJ disorder. Excessive stress or injuries can also cause jaw problems. Your oral surgeon will determine the best treatment for your particular condition.
Common causes of a TMJ disorder include
- Tightening of the jaw muscles due to overuse, clenching, or grinding of the teeth
- Untreated facial injuries
- Issues with the bite of the jaw, or misalignment
- Displacement of the joint’s disk
Relieving any existing muscle spasms or inflammation around the joint is the primary goal of TMJ treatment. Your oral surgeons will evaluate your specific condition to determine the best treatment plan that works for you. Many nonsurgical treatments for TMJ have been proven to be effective, such as
- Posture improvement
- Resting the jaw
- Temporary soft food diet
- Ice or hot packs
- Stress management
- Night guards
- Prescribed muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatories, or pain relievers
- Physical therapy or jaw exercises
- Steroid shots in the joint
Joint repair surgery or bite alignment surgery may be necessary when conservative methods do not work. Our oral surgeons at Fresno Oral Maxillofacial Surgery & Dental Implant Center will only consider surgery in very severe cases and when other nonsurgical treatments are unsuccessful.
TMJ Disorder Treatment at Fresno Oral Maxillofacial Surgery & Dental Implant Center
Contact one of our offices to learn more information about TMJ treatment options. One of our staff members will be happy to assist you in scheduling an initial consultation. Our team of oral surgeons in Fresno, Clovis, Madera, and Reedley is highly trained to address and treat disorders of the temporomandibular joint and look forward to providing you with compassionate care and a solution to your oral health problems.