The TMJ is the joint connecting the lower jawbone to the rest of the skull. It’s a hinge joint as it can be moved up and down and slightly to each side. We each have two TMJ joints, one on each side of the face. At Jersey Smile in Berkeley Heights, NJ, we’ve noticed that more people are suffering from TMJ disorders or TMD.
Living with TMD can be quite difficult. At Jersey Smile, we have a team of experts who can treat your TMD so you can lead a normal pain-free life.
People suffering from TMD don’t always complain about the same things. For a group of people, pain is the predominant symptom, while for others, restriction of movement is the main issue. Either way, TMJ affection can make everyday activities almost impossible to perform.
Whether it’s due to pain or locking of the jaw, chewing and talking can be significantly limited for people with TMD. Additionally, some people have cracking or popping of the TMJ when they open and close their mouths.
Relieving the symptoms of TMJ disorder and treating the underlying issue are needed.
Treatment of TMD revolves around alleviating the pain and making sure the issue doesn’t recur. For starters, we usually prescribe painkillers and muscle relaxants. These drugs take away the pain and relieve any muscle spasms in the jaw. For many people, these are enough.
Others might require serious interventions. Injecting the joint with a corticosteroid to control the inflammation is an option. Those who have a locked jaw may benefit from joint aspiration, which is done using a needle.
The most severe cases will need surgery. Surgery is done using arthroscopy or via open surgery. Arthroscopy relies on an endoscope, which is a thin tube with a camera in it. Open surgery is traditional, and an incision in the skin is made to access the joint.
Regardless of the severity of your TMD, at Jersey Smile, we’re prepared to help you through it. After assessing your condition, we’ll be able to tell you the best treatment options for your case.