November is TMJ Awareness Month and Aspire Surgical in Salt Lake City is here to inform patients on what our oral surgeons can do to help. Millions of Americans suffer from TMJ disorder every year. It is a problem that is all too common with little that can be done to prevent it from occurring. At Aspire Surgical, we offer treatment options with the latest technology utilized by a highly trained team.
Oral Surgeons Explain TMJ
TMJ disorder affects millions of Americans between ages 20 and 40. It causes significant jaw pain in the joint and along the muscles that control the jaw’s movement. It is sometimes difficult to identify the root cause. There are several different ways it can occur with no definitive way to prevent the disorder from occurring.
What are the Symptoms of TMJ?
People who are suffering from temporomandibular disorder often report the following:
- Recurring headaches and neck aches
- Pain in the jaw, especially in the morning or late afternoon
- Pain in and around the ear
- Jaw pain when biting, yawning, or chewing
- Tender and sore jaw muscles
- Teeth sensitivity
- Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
- A clicking sound when the mouth is open or closed
Can an Oral Surgeon Help with TMJ?
There are different types of TMJ surgery. Doctors will determine which one to perform based on the symptoms and their severity.
- Arthrocentesis– Doctors will inject fluid into your joint that washes out any chemical byproducts of inflammation. This helps reduce pressure that causes a patient’s joint to be stiff and/or painful. It is a minimally invasive procedure meant to help regain the jaw’s range of motion.
- Arthroscopy– For arthroscopy, doctors will open one or more small holes in the skin above the joint. Next, they insert a narrow tube called a cannula. The arthroscope, a tool with a light and camera, is put into the cannula to visualize your joint. Surgeons will operate on the joint using tiny surgical tools. Because it isn’t open surgery, the recovery time is shorter.
- Open-joint Surgery– For severe cases, open-joint surgery is when the doctor opens an incision over the joint for direct operation. By performing the open-joint surgery, we will be able to remove bony growths and excess tissue. We can also repair or reposition the disc if necessary. Recovery time is longer than the alternative options, yet the success rate is still high.
Am I Eligible for TMJ Treatment from an Oral Surgeon?
Doctors may recommend TMJ surgery if pain is consistent and intense when a patient opens and closes their mouth. It is also recommended when patients cannot open or close their mouth all the way, as well as patients who have trouble eating or drinking due to jaw pain.
If symptoms are not severe nor consistent, your doctor may advise against the surgery. It is important to be evaluated by a dentist or oral surgeon that is trained in TMD. At Aspire in Salt Lake City, we will perform a thorough examination of a patient’s history, presentation, and radiological findings to determine whether surgery will be beneficial. In most cases, surgery for TMJ disorder is considered a last resort if nonsurgical alternatives are not successful.
Schedule an Appointment with Us Today!
Our doctors are here to help in Salt Lake City. To determine whether you need TMJ surgery, we recommend scheduling a consultation at our office. Our staff gives every patient the attention and care they deserve. We will also go over treatment options and let you decide what’s best for you. To schedule an appointment, visit our locations page to find an office near you!