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Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ or TMD) include multiple conditions that affect the joint and muscles that control jaw movement. The symptoms and complications can be painful and uncomfortable, but there are many surgical and non-surgical treatment options available.
A qualified TMJ specialist at North Carolina Specialty Hospital can help you find relief from jaw symptoms. Our surgeons offer compassionate, high-quality care in a relaxed environment. Learn more about what could be causing your jaw pain as well as what treatments are available.
The TMJ is the joint on each side of the jaw, connecting it to the skull. The joints provide several dimensions of movement in the jaw: forward, backward, side-to-side, and up and down. When operating correctly, the TMJs allow you to speak as well as chew and swallow food.
These joints are complicated systems involving bones, muscles, ligaments, cushioning tissue, synovial fluid, nerves, and connective tissue. Any dysfunction in the components of one or both TMJs can disrupt normal functioning and cause pain and other symptoms.
The term TMJ, or sometimes TMD, refers to several conditions involving the temporomandibular joints. Expert TMJ doctors organize these conditions into three main categories:
TMJ disorders can be short-lived or chronic. They often co-occur with other issues, like headaches, back or neck pain, insomnia, or fibromyalgia. It is often impossible to find exact causes of these conditions. Some possible reasons are injuries, arthritis, poor jaw alignment, stress, and teeth grinding.
Symptoms of TMJ vary by person and the specific type of disorder, but some typical signs include:
Many people with TMJ symptoms benefit from conservative treatments without surgical intervention:
In addition to treatments, a TMJ and jaw doctor might recommend home remedies and lifestyle choices to help you manage symptoms:
An oral and maxillofacial specialist can provide surgery for patients who do not get relief from home remedies and non-surgical treatments. A specialist will evaluate your symptoms, degree of dysfunction, effectiveness of other treatments, and imaging scans of your jaw to determine if you are a good candidate for TMJ surgery. Surgical procedures for TMJ disorders include:
Surgery is a big decision. Consult with an experienced specialist to find the best solution for your symptoms and pain.
Between 11 million and 12 million people suffer from some degree of TMJ pain. If you’re one of them, it’s time to talk to a specialist about treatments. You don’t have to live with the pain and dysfunction of a TMJ disorder. There could be a simple, conservative solution, or you could be a good candidate for surgery.
To talk to our TMJ surgeons and learn more about your options, contact North Carolina Specialty Hospital today and request an appointment online.
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