Disorders of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which connects your jaw to your skull, are a leading cause of facial pain. If you have difficulty opening and closing your mouth, the cause may be a TMJ disorder. The Harvard-trained surgeons at Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates of Nevada are leaders in arthroscopic surgery to correct TMJ. They also offer non-surgical therapies to treat less severe cases. Schedule an appointment online or over the phone at the Summerlin or East Side Las Vegas office.
Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is like a door hinge for your mouth. It connects your jaw to your skull, so you can open and close your mouth. Though the specific signs and symptoms vary, TMJ problems make opening and closing your mouth harder than it should be.
Over the course of a day, you open and close your mouth countless times. Normally, this happens easily and naturally. It’s not something you think about or notice.
TMJ disorders make routine, instinctive acts like chewing and talking both noticeable and challenging. You may hear or feel clicks and pops when you open and close your mouth. You may not be able to open your mouth fully, and your jaw can sometimes get stuck open or closed.
TMJ disorders are a common cause of facial pain. This includes headaches, migraines, face and neck aches, jaw pain, and ear pain. Symptoms usually affect one side of your mouth, but it’s possible to have a TMJ disorder on both sides.
TMJ disorders result when your TMJ cannot open and close your jaw smoothly. Many different factors can cause this to happen. The joint may become misaligned, or it may sustain damage from a traumatic jaw injury or a medical condition, including:
Your risk for a TMJ disorder increases due to certain behaviors, habits, and lifestyle habits. Many people with TMJ disorders grind their teeth, which is known as bruxism, or clench their jaw. Psychological stress and anxiety can also result in muscle tension.
TMJ disorders can affect everyone, but they’re most common among women ages 18-44.
Most TMJ disorders are short term and improve within a few months with non-surgical therapy. Your doctor determines the cause of your TMJ. Your initial TMJ treatment plan involves relieving your joint pain and muscle spasms. This may include a pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, or muscle relaxant, or steroid injections directly into the affected joints.
If bruxism is contributing to your TMJ, your doctor may recommend a dental appliance to stop your teeth from rubbing against each other or properly align your jaw. If you’re stressed and carry tension in your jaw, your doctor may recommend relaxation techniques or treatment for clinical anxiety. It can also help to work on habits like gum chewing and poor posture, which can aggravate TMJ disorders.
In rare cases, TMJ disorders are severe enough to require surgery to repair the joint. The doctors at Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates of Nevada are leaders in arthroscopy, which is a precise and minimally invasive treatment approach. They receive patients from around the country for arthroscopic TMJ treatment, including people who underwent unsuccessful TMJ surgeries.
For TMJ treatment, schedule an appointment at Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates of Nevada online or over the phone.
Notes: Known worldwide as the leader in Arthroscopy. Have patients from all over the country travel to see us to repair joints botched by other doctors