The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) joins the lower jaw to the skull. The TMJ can be felt by placing two fingers in front of the ears while opening and closing the mouth. It is what makes you able move your mouth open, close, and move from side to side. A TMJ disorder refers to an injury of one or both joints and its surrounding muscles. Some TMJ disorders can go away on their own, but more severe cases may require lifestyle changes or other treatments.
If you are experiencing any signs of a TMJ disorder, Dr. Brown at Northlake Oral & Facial Surgery can form the right treatment plan for you. Learn more about TMJ treatment or schedule a consultation by contacting one of our offices in Slidell, LA, or Mandeville, LA.
TMJ Disorder Symptoms
Several symptoms can indicate a TMJ disorder:
- Pain that radiates in the jaw and chewing muscles
- Grating, popping, or clicking sounds as the jaw opens and closes
- Pain in the ears or jaw joints
- Tension around neck and face
- Ringing of the ear or hearing loss
- Increased headaches or dizziness
- Limited jaw movement or tightness
While TMJ disorders may stem from other conditions, including arthritis, teeth grinding or clenching, injury, displaced joint, etc., the cause is not always known. An experienced oral surgeon will evaluate you to determine the best course of treatment.
Pain relief is the primary treatment of TMJ disorders. Your oral surgeon may prescribe pain medicine, such as a pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, or muscle relaxant. Steroids may also be recommended. In addition, many at-home treatments are highly effective as part of an overall treatment plan, including
- Ice and heat
- Easy to chew foods
- Relaxing the face
- Jaw exercises
- Side or back sleeping
If you have a TMJ disorder, certain activities should be avoided, such as clenching the jaw, eating foods that are difficult to chew, and sleeping on your stomach.
Surgery or other invasive treatments may be avoided if TMJ pain is successfully treated with more conservative methods. Your oral surgeon will provide a customized treatment plan during your consultation.
Surgery may be necessary for severe cases of TMJ if conservative methods fail to work. Sometimes the root cause of a severe TMJ disorder is another problem, such as jaw misalignment. Because your oral surgeon has received years of specialized training to understand the structures and features of the face, they can provide the best treatment plan for your personal condition.
TMJ Disorder Treatment in Slidell & Mandeville, LA
If you suspect you have a TMJ disorder, we encourage you to call our office in Slidell, LA or Mandeville, LA. Dr. Brown will meet with you for a consultation and provide a personalized treatment plan based on your symptoms and condition.