TMJ disorders refer to a group of conditions that affect the jaw joint and surrounding muscles. The TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is located where the skull meets the lower jaw, just in front of the ears. You can feel the TMJ moving by placing two fingers just in front of your ears and opening and closing your mouth. Sometimes TMJ disorders will disappear on their own, but in more severe cases, patients must make lifestyle changes or receive other treatments to solve TMJ issues.
Oral surgeons like Dr. Robert Bryan and Dr. Jeremy Goodson at Oral Surgery Specialists of Oklahoma are experts at diagnosing TMJ disorders and forming treatment plans to relieve the tension in the jaw. If you live in the Oklahoma City metro area and you are experiencing TMJ pain or tenseness, feel free to contact our office to learn more about TMJ treatment or schedule a consultation with one of our surgeons.
TMJ Disorder Symptoms
Problems with the TMJ can cause pain or difficulty when opening your mouth or using your jaw. The exact cause of TMJ disorders is not known, but many symptoms can contribute to a diagnosis. A few of the most common TMJ symptoms include
- Radiating pain in the jaw and chewing muscles
- Pain or tenseness around the neck and face
- Limited jaw movement or jaw tightness (locking of the jaw)
- Changes in the alignment of the teeth
- Uncomfortable clicking, popping, or grinding sounds when fully opening the jaw
A patient who exhibits these symptoms should see expert evaluation from an oral surgeon. Early diagnosis can minimize the treatment required to manage the problem and avoid the need for surgical intervention.
During the initial consultation appointment, Drs. Bryan and Goodson will critically assess the jaw and TMJ to prescribe the best course of treatment. TMJ pain can often be treated without the need for surgery or other more invasive approaches. Lifestyle changes such as resting the jaw in an open state and improving posture often help with TMJ issues. Sometimes your doctor can prescribe medication to relax the muscles or ease pain associated with TMJ disorders. Physical therapy is also sometimes successful at relieving TMJ symptoms.
For severe cases of TMJ, where lifestyle changes, physical therapy, and other treatments are unsuccessful, surgery may be necessary. Occasionally, TMJ disorders are only a symptom of a larger problem, such as severe jaw misalignment. Oral surgeons undergo years of training to understand the balance between the facial muscles, bones, joints, and other structures.
Treatment of TMJ Disorders in Oklahoma City, OK
When TMJ disorders interfere with your daily life, an oral surgeon is highly qualified to treat the issue. Drs. Bryan and Goodson can perform a full consultation and exam to determine the best course of treatment for your condition. To learn more about TMJ treatment at Oral Surgery Specialists of Oklahoma, contact our office in Oklahoma City, OK.