The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a complex joint that plays an important role in daily function such as eating and talking. Long term problems with this joint can lead to discomfort and pain, so it’s recommended that patients see their oral surgeon as soon as symptoms begin.
Signs or symptoms that you have some dysfunction of your TMJ joint include difficulty opening the mouth, jaw or cheek area discomfort, pain when chewing, headaches, changes in your bite, joint noises (popping and/or clicking on opening and closing) and pain when touching the joint or jaw muscle areas.
If you have any of these symptoms you may be referred to our practice for an evaluation. At this appointment the doctor will review your medical history and perform an exam in order to arrive at a diagnosis. There will also be other diagnostic tools used such as x-rays in order to evaluate the condition of the joint itself.
The doctor will ask several questions related to the problem you are having such as duration of the problem, whether there are clenching or grinding habits, history of arthritis, trauma to the jaw area, joint noises and any information regarding past or current treatment of the problem.
Treatment will depend on the severity of the problem and may include TMJ exercises to be done at home, soft diet, medications such as muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatory, physical therapy, fabrication of a dental splint or in some cases surgery. Surgery of the temporomandibular joint is generally left as a last resort if no other treatment helps ease the symptoms.
Concord & Lexington Oral Surgery Associates specialize in treating TMJ disorders. Contact us today to book a risk-free consultation.