TMJ Disorder: When is surgery necessary?

TMJ Disorder: When is surgery necessary?

TMJ HenricoHas your dentist diagnosed you with TMJ disorder? Does your jaw click or pop when you eat or open your mouth? TMJ disorder can be a very debilitating oral health condition and in some cases, may require jaw surgery when other treatments fail to alleviate a patient’s symptoms. An oral surgeon may need to perform jaw surgery when misaligned jaws or congenital abnormalities cause TMJ dysfunction. Following is some helpful information about TMJ disorder and various treatment options.

What is TMJ disorder exactly?

TMJ disorder involves the dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint and the tissues that surround it. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) facilitates all mouth movement and can become strained and stressed for a number of reasons.

Misaligned jaws, or if one jaw grows larger than the other, contributes to TMJ dysfunction. Other common causes of TMJ disorder include worn down teeth, orthodontic issues, and stress-induced habits like bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching).

What are symptoms of TMJ dysfunction?

Symptoms of TMJ disorder can vary depending on the severity of a patient’s situation. Common symptoms include facial pain, clicking or popping sensations during mouth movement, tooth wear, and diminished or uncomfortable oral function. In severe cases, patients’ jaws may literally “lock up” where the mouth cannot be opened or closed for a period of time.

How is TMJ disorder treated?

Treating TMJ disorder varies – especially on the underlying cause of a person’s TMJ dysfunction. If tooth wear or orthodontic issues are to blame for stress or strain on the TMJ, a patient may benefit from restorations like dental crowns or orthodontic treatment such as braces.

If an issue with the jawbones causes TMJ dysfunction, corrective surgery may be necessary. Jaw surgery may involve bone grafts to restore the proportion of the lower and upper jaw or repositioning the placement of the jaws through a surgical procedure to relieve tension and pressure off the TMJ and improve oral function.

If your dentist or physician has recommended that you visit an oral surgeon for TMJ treatment, call one of our convenient offices today to reserve a consultation.