Having issues with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is not an uncommon problem. For many, these issues can cause debilitating pain that makes it hard to get through the day. Luckily, the doctors at Reston Advanced Oral and Cosmetic Facial Surgery have years of experience diagnosing and treating TMJ disorders. Under their care, patients can finally put an end to their troublesome symptoms.
What Are the Signs of TMJ Problems?
There are a few tell-tale signs that a patient may have a TMJ issue. These include:
- Pain or soreness along the jaw, especially on one side.
- Pain in the TMJ, which is located on the side of the face next to the ear.
- Pain in the ear that’s not caused by an infection or other ear issue.
- Having difficulties chewing food because it is painful.
- Having difficulties opening or closing the mouth because the jaw locks.
Many people don’t always realize their pain stems from a TMJ problem because it isn’t localized to the jaw. In many cases, TMJ pain can also spread to the rest of the face, head, and temples.
How Are TMJ Disorders Diagnosed?
Before our oral surgeons can recommend any treatment for TMJ disorders, they first need to diagnose the problem. Every patient is different, which is why they provide a comprehensive evaluation when a patient presents with TMJ pain. Our doctors will have the patient open and close their mouth to listen for any popping noises or feel for any obstructions of movement. They’ll also test the patient’s range of motion and pinpoint the location of their pain. Finally, they’ll also use some of the following imaging tests to get a closer look at the internal structures:
- X-rays to see the jawbone and teeth.
- CT scan to look at the bones of the TMJ.
- MRI to identify problems with the joint disc.
What Are Some Common TMJ Treatments?
TMJ treatments vary depending on the source of the pain. Conservative treatments can include the following:
- Medications, such as muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatories, and pain relievers.
- Physical therapy to strengthen the jaw.
- Mouth guards to prevent teeth grinding.
- Oral splints to hold the jaw in place.
For many patients, these TMJ treatments are enough to reduce pain and restore functionality. However, some patients will require corrective jaw surgery, which can involve surgically cutting the TMJ and placing the jaw in the correct position. In the most severe cases, total joint replacement may be necessary, which is when the TMJ is removed and replaced with a prosthetic joint. While it’s more of an extreme fix, it can greatly benefit patients by improving their speech, range of motion, diet, and pain levels.
Reduce Pain With TMJ Treatment From Reston Advanced Oral and Cosmetic Facial Surgery
If you’re having chronic TMJ pain that never seems to go away, there’s a good chance you have a TMJ disorder. By scheduling an appointment with Reston Advanced Oral and Cosmetic Facial Surgery, we can work with you to discover what’s causing your pain and devise a personalized TMJ treatment plan to put an end to it.
Don’t let TMJ issues control your life — give us a call today at (571) 595-3223.