The Temporomandibular Joint and Disorders (TMDs)
The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is in front of the ears and connects the jaw to the skull. It allows the jaw to open and close and is used more than any other joint in the body. Any issue in this joint can cause orofacial pain when speaking, chewing, yawning, or swallowing.
The exact cause for temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) are often unknown, but can occur if:
- The disk that cushions the joint becomes misaligned.
- Cartilage around the joint is damaged.
- You frequently clench or grind your teeth (bruxism).
- The joint is shaped incorrectly.
Some TMDs can be treated with physical therapy or anti-inflammatory medication. If these methods do not work, surgical treatment may be needed. The surgeons at Atlantic Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Centre have undergone specialized training to diagnose and treat TMDs using both nonsurgical and surgical methods.
Symptoms of a TMD
You may have a temporomandibular joint disorder if you experience:
- Pain or clicking when opening or closing the mouth.
- Neck or shoulder pain.
- Difficulty fully opening the mouth.
- Jaw locking.
Nonsurgical treatment options are the first step to take, as many symptoms of TMDs can be alleviated with ice, heat, jaw stretches, or a mouth guard to wear at night. If these methods do not work, surgical intervention may be necessary.
Our team of experts will take 3D scans of your face and jaw, evaluate your discomfort, and design a treatment plan just for you. Depending on your condition, an injection, such as BOTOX® or corticosteroids, may help the muscles relax and relieve pain. Another option is arthrocentesis, a minimally invasive procedure where a surgeon inserts a small needle and irrigates the joint to remove debris or fluid and treat inflammation.
For extreme cases, jaw surgery may be required to reposition the lower jaw. Our team will evaluate your jaw and determine the right solution for your specific needs. Call our Office to schedule an appointment.