Oral and maxillofacial surgeons (OMS surgeons) are the only specialists with wide surgical knowledge of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and can help you have a healthier and more comfortable jaw. TMJ problems can lead to more serious conditions. This is why early detection and treatment are very important. Unfortunately, no one treatment can resolve TMJ disorders completely and treatment takes time to be effective.
Do I Have A TMJ Disorders?
TMJ disorders develop for many reasons. You might clench or grind your teeth, tightening your jaw muscles and stressing your TM joint. Or, you may have a damaged jaw joint due to injury or disease. Whatever the cause, the results may include a misaligned bite, pain, clicking or grating noises when you open your mouth, or trouble opening your mouth wide.
- Are you aware of grinding or clenching your teeth?
- Do you wake up with sore, stiff muscles around your jaws?
- Do you have frequent headaches or neck aches?
- Does the pain get worse when you clench your teeth?
- Does stress make your clenching and pain worse?
- Is it difficult or painful to open your mouth, eat, or yawn?
- Does your jaw click, pop, grate, catch, or lock when you open your mouth?
- Have you ever injured your neck, head or jaws?
- Are your teeth sensitive, loose, broken, or worn?
- Have you had problems (such as arthritis) with other joints?
- Do you have teeth that no longer touch when you bite?
- Do your teeth meet differently from time to time?
- Is it hard to use your front teeth to bite or tear food?
The more times you answered “yes,” the more likely it is that you have a TMJ disorder. Understanding TMJ disorders will also help you understand how they’re treated.
There are various treatment options from non-surgical treatment to more aggressive TMJ surgery that OMS surgeons can utilize to improve the harmony and function of your jaw. Once an evaluation confirms a diagnosis of TMJ disorder, only an OMS surgeon can determine the proper course of treatment. It is important to note that treatment always works best with a team approach of self-care as well as professional care.