When your jaw aches and it’s difficult to speak, eat, or open and close your mouth, you can’t help but feel miserable. However, you’re not alone. More than 10 million people across the country have temporomandibular joint problems (TMJ). And, as alarming as these numbers sound, there’s no need to despair! At the office of Center for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we provide the diagnostic and therapeutic care that’s required to address and alleviate the symptoms of TMJ problems.
Located directly in front of each ear, the TMJ facilitates all jaw movements throughout your day. When optimally functioning, your left and right temporomandibular joints work in perfect harmony to allow a wide range of motion. Well-designed for all manner of oral function, these joints not only handle an enormous range of movement, but they are also able to endure biting pressures of as much as 260 pounds of force at the molars.
Although your temporomandibular joints are well equipped to handle the stresses of movement and the forces generated when biting, they can still become dysfunctional when overused, inflamed or injured. In fact, several problems can disturb this complex system of muscles, ligaments, discs, and bones, resulting in a painful and annoying TMJ disorder.
A TMJ disorder can exhibit a wide range of uncomfortable and debilitating symptoms, including:
• Clicking, cracking or popping of the jaw with movement
• Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
• Facial pain
• Back and neck pain
• Muscle spasms
• Jaw locking and limited jaw movement.
As your oral and maxillofacial surgeon, we’ll perform a thorough assessment of your joint symptoms and function. We’ll also order special radiographic imaging and other diagnostic tests as needed to develop the best approach to care. The treatment of a TMJ disorder may include oral appliances such as night guards or stabilization splints to alleviate strain on the joints. Other types of therapy such as steroid injections, occlusal adjustments, as well as orthodontic or prosthodontic treatment to improve occlusion may also be employed. In cases of persistent and debilitating TMJ problems, our oral and maxillofacial surgeon might recommend a surgical procedure to alleviate symptoms and improve function.
A Trusted Partner in Care
At the office of Center for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled and compassionate care. For more information on our office and the many services that we provide, give us a call today.