Temporomandibular disorders, or TMJ/TMD, are caused due to several reasons, including genetic history, jaw injury, and arthritis. The disorder occurs when either of your jaw disks is displaced from their original locations due to jaw injuries or medical conditions. However, the real cause of the disorder in many patients is still unknown. The disorder causes severe pain and tenderness in the jaw, making it difficult for the patient to open their mouth for eating or speaking. Proper treatment for TMJ/TMD is available from our expert dentists at Surf City Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
Symptoms of TMJ/TMD
To confirm TMJ or TMD presence, you will need to come into our office. Patients often feel discomfort and pain in the jaw area. Specifically, if the temporomandibular joint is affected, then the corresponding jaw area indicates tenderness and irritation. Pain in and around the ear is another symptom of TMJ/TMD, which can further transform into facial discomfort and irritation. Another prominent symptom of TMJ/TMD is that you will find it difficult to open your jaw while speaking or chewing food. While opening your jaw, a clicking sensation or sound could be heard.
Causes of TMJ/TMD
TMJ/TMD is caused when the hinge action and sliding motion of the jaw collide. The key reason for this movement is that the cartilage covering the joint is damaged due to an accident or medical conditions like arthritis. TMJ/TMD is also caused when the disk moves out from its actual position and erodes. Due to the displacement of disks, patients find it difficult to open their mouths. In certain cases, TMJ/TMD is caused by the joint's damage and its surrounding areas, so it is important to openly and honestly discuss your entire medical history with our team.
Know When to Consult a Dentist
Patients with severe pain or tenderness around the jaw area should consult the dentist. If there are complications in opening the jaw for speaking and eating, followed by pain in facial bones or ear, patients should consult us. Furthermore, out of an abundance of caution, they should get their situation monitored and look for relevant treatments from us here at Surf City Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.
If left untreated, TMJ/TMD can cause further, severe complications and disorders. One of the most significant risk factors of TMJ/TMD is the development of various kinds of arthritis, including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, among others. In some cases, disk displacement can cause severe jaw injuries, altering how your face looks. It can also cause long term clenching or grinding of your teeth along with damage to certain connective tissues.
Our team can use a wide variety of tools to assess the extent of your condition fully. Some of the main tools we can use include x-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. In some cases, the disorder could be cured with medications alone. Some of these medications include muscle relaxants, pain relievers, and tricyclic antidepressants.
Therapy is another treatment option. Patients are sent for non-drug therapies, including physical therapy, oral splints, and mouth guards. In case of severe symptoms, surgical procedures are suggested. These surgical treatments include TMJ arthroscopy, injections, arthrocentesis, open joint surgery, or possibly a modified condylotomy. Treatments are recommended only after close analysis of the patient's conditions and medical history by our team.
To learn more about TMJ/TMD and its treatment, reach out to us now. Please call at 657-384-2787 today.