When you are suffering from a disorder of the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, suffering can be so severe that opening and closing the mouth can be difficult or even impossible. The temporomandibular joint is the hinge joint at the back of the jawline that connects your lower jaw to your skull — and since every movement of your jaw relies on this joint, everything from chewing, speaking, and breathing can be negatively affected when it is disordered. The symptoms below may indicate that you need treatment for a TMJ disorder:
- Headaches and/or dizziness
- Earaches, hearing changes, or ringing in the ears
- Pain and/or popping and clicking sounds when chewing, yawning, or opening the mouth
- Jaws locking or catching when opening and closing the mouth
- A completely locked jaw joint, making any movement of the jaw excruciating
Oral and maxillofacial surgeons have the training to diagnose and treat TMJ disorders. Once an evaluation confirms a diagnosis of a TMJ disorder, Dr. Williams will determine the proper course of treatment, which may include a combination of self-care and certain medications to relieve the muscle spasms and joint pain. Sometimes, steroids can be injected directly into the joints to reduce pain and inflammation. Dr. Williams will consider corrective surgery, such as joint repair or replacement, only as a last resort.
A combination of self-care treatments, including the following, can be effective and are often the first recommended course of action when TMJ pain hits:
- Resting your jaw
- Keeping your teeth apart when you are not swallowing or eating
- Eating a diet of soft foods
- Applying ice and heat to the jaw joint
- Special prescribed exercises for the jaw
- Practicing good posture
TMJ disorders can be debilitating and frustrating, and freedom from this pain can vastly improve a patient’s quality of life. At our practice, your well-being is a priority, so once a diagnosis of TMJ disorder is confirmed, Dr. Williams will spend time educating you in self-care techniques that can improve your condition while working with you to develop and implement the best plan for your long-term recovery.
We encourage you to check out our Patient Stories page for videos from our patients who have undergone TMJ treatment at White Mountain Dental Implant and Oral Surgery Center.
TMJ Treatment in North Conway and Littleton, NH
Several treatment modalities for the muscle spasms and pain of a TMJ disorder are offered at our practice. If you think you may be suffering from a TMJ disorder or have questions about TMJ treatment, please contact us to schedule a consultation with Dr. Williams. The team at White Mountain Dental Implant and Oral Surgery Center looks forward to helping you feel better.