The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a precise joint that connects the jawbone to the skull and plays a vital role in our ability to talk, chew, swallow, and open our mouth. However, many issues can manifest when the jaw is imbalanced, including jaw pain, headaches, difficulty eating, and more. If you are experiencing this, consult with the oral and maxillofacial surgeons at Carolinas Center for Oral & Facial Surgery for personalized TMJ disorder treatment in Columbia, South Carolina.
Possible Causes of TMJ Disorders?
While the direct causes of TMJ disorder are unclear, research suggests that a combination of factors may prompt this uncomfortable condition to develop.
Continual jaw clenching, teeth grinding, and excessive strain on the jaw may cause TMJ disorder, as well as other aspects such as jaw misalignment, disc erosion or displacement, and trauma to the jaw, head, or neck.
Other health factors like disease, arthritis, infections, genetics, and hormones may also play a role in the development of TMJ disorder.
Whatever the cause, TMJ can cause a wide range of oral and dental issues, including a misaligned bite, pain, clicking, or grating noise when you open your mouth, or trouble opening your mouth wide. You can find relief with the right TMJ disorder treatment and the experienced doctors of Carolinas Center for Oral & Facial Surgery by your side.
Symptoms of a TMJ Disorder
The temporomandibular joints—or TMJs—are strategically designed to support constant motion, allowing us to speak, chew, talk, and open our mouths wide without discomfort. However, when the joints are damaged or misaligned, you can experience discomfort, pain, and other troublesome symptoms. These include:
- Chronic headaches or migraines
- Facial pain and/or soreness
- Jaw pain and/or soreness
- Grating, clicking, or popping sounds when you open and close your mouth
- Jaw locking when you open and close your mouth
- Ringing, pressure, or pain in your ears
- Pain behind the eyes
- Sinus pain
- Difficulty biting into or chewing food
If these symptoms sound familiar, we encourage you to contact the Carolinas Center for Oral & Facial Surgery for TMJ treatment. We offer surgical and non-surgical treatment options to help you find relief.
Meet Your Doctors
TMJ Disorder Overview
If conservative treatment methods for your TMJ disorder prove ineffective, your doctor may recommend TMJ surgery as the best course of action to alleviate symptoms. Surgery is often reserved for the most severe cases of TMJ disorder and designated as an outpatient procedure.
Our oral surgeons treat TMJ disorder using jaw reconstruction, arthrocentesis, arthroplasty, arthroscopy, and open-joint surgery. You and your doctor will determine which is right for you depending on the severity of your TMJ disorder symptoms.
At Carolinas Center for Oral & Facial Surgery, our experienced surgeons offer a range of non-surgical and surgical treatment options for TMJ disorder. Once your doctor has confirmed the presence of TMJ disorder through a comprehensive evaluation, we will create a personalized treatment plan that addresses your individual needs.
Initially, we will focus on relieving your TMJ disorder symptoms with non-surgical methods, attempting to take the most conservative route to deliver effective results. This can include pain relievers, anti-inflammatories (including steroid injections), or muscle relaxants that help to relieve muscle spasms and joint pain.
In addition, we may try orthopedic methods, including orthopedic appliances or mouthguards that reduce teeth clenching and grinding. In many cases, we will combine our treatment methods with at-home self-care techniques such as stress management, eating soft foods, applying ice and hot packs, practicing good posture, doing jaw exercises, and relaxation techniques.
When conservative TMJ disorder treatment methods do not work to alleviate your symptoms, we will explore the option of TMJ surgery.
Ultimately, the ideal TMJ treatment for you depends on several factors unique to your particular condition. In most cases, our doctors focus on restoring a comfortable bite and relieving the discomfort associated with TMJ disorder.
What About Bite Correction or Surgery?
While we can effectively treat TMJ disorder with non-surgical methods, more severe cases may need other forms of intervention, such as a bite adjustment or jaw reconstruction. To find out if this is the right option for you, get in touch with our state-of-the-art practice in Columbia, South Carolina, at (803) 973-4530.