TMJ RichmondPatients who have been experiencing symptoms of a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder and those who have been diagnosed with the condition often have many questions about the causes of TMJ disorders and how they are treated. Here are some of the most common questions we hear from our patients.

  • What causes TMJ disorder? The jaw is a tremendously complex joint, involving numerous structures. If any of them begins to malfunction or develops a defect, a TMJ disorder can result, causing the patient to experience pain and other symptoms such as locking, clicking or popping of the jaw or even ear or neck pain. TMJ disorders can be caused by issues such as muscle strain, damaged discs in the jaw or nerve issues. An oral surgeon will evaluate your case by examining your facial structures and taking x-rays to pinpoint the specific issue causing your symptoms and determine treatment.
  • Will I need to have surgery to eliminate my symptoms? Most patients who have TMJ disorders will consult with an oral surgeon about treatment, but the first attempt to resolve the condition may not be an invasive intervention. If muscle strain is causing your jaw pain, for example, you may first undergo physical therapy or try other treatments like massage to see if you get relief. If conservative measures fail to eliminate the symptoms then surgery may be considered. Surgery may also be necessary to correct defects in the bone or disc that are causing or exacerbating TMJ symptoms.
  • What can I expect from jaw surgery? Jaw surgery often can be completed in our office on an outpatient basis with the patient returning to normal activities within a matter of days. There are different considerations for different surgical procedures, so you will get more information about the specific post-operative instructions and expectations for your case at your initial consultation.
  • Will my insurance pay for treatment for TMJ disorder? Each insurance product is different, but our expert billing staff will work diligently to maximize any benefits that you may have to minimize your out-of-pocket expenses.

Do you have other questions about TMJ pain or a known disorder? Call our office at Commonwealth Oral & Facial Surgery to speak with one of our knowledgeable providers or come in for a consultation to discuss your symptoms and how they might be effectively treated.

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