Why Has Your Dentist Suggested Jaw Surgery for TMJ Treatment?

jaw surgery

If you have been diagnosed with TMJ disorder and have not responded to conservative TMJ treatment options, you may have to see an oral surgeon for jaw surgery. TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder can be a painful condition that requires jaw surgery to repair.

Typically jaw surgery is the permanent solution to the problem, but other less invasive methods may be used first. A good oral surgeon can help you to find the relief that you need with jaw surgery.

What is TMJ Disorder?

TMJ disorder or TMJ syndrome is caused by injury or malfunction of the TMJ joint. This joint connects the lower jaw to the skull. In some cases, trauma is the culprit, in other cases, it is a malformation of the joint.

There is a wide range of issues that can contribute to TMJ pain syndrome. Gum chewing, poor posture, misalignment of the jaw, injury to the teeth, teeth grinding, teeth clenching, and misalignment of the teeth can all be contributors to the problem.

In some cases like where teeth grinding is causing the problem something as simple as a mouthguard can help, in other cases like jaw misalignment, the intervention has to be a bit more aggressive to treat this painful condition.

This is a common condition that affects about 35 million people in the United States. There is help available.

TMJ Treatments

If you notice clicking in your jaw when you speak or chew, you suffer from pain in the jaw, headaches, and limited range of motion in the jaw, you may have TMJ disorder. There are a few treatment options that can help to relieve the pain and improve the condition.

Pain relievers and anti-inflammatories can be prescribed. Mouthguards and splints may be used. Physical therapy can also be used as a treatment intervention. Unfortunately, in many cases, all of the less invasive methods do not improve the condition enough.

Jaw surgery can be the right treatment option. Jaw surgery options include:

  • Arthroscopy for TMJ. Arthroscopic TMJ jaw surgery can be a very effective treatment option for TMJ disorder. A tube is surgically implanted in the joint. Arthroscopic surgery uses very small instruments which means much shorter recovery time. It offers less risk than traditional open jaw surgery.
  • Condylotomy. Modified condylotomy is a jaw surgery for the mandible. It does affect the joint itself but can be a good treatment when locking is occurring. Your oral surgeon can explain this option.
  • OJS. Open joint jaw surgery repairs mechanical issues with the joint. Your oral surgeon will discuss the risks and potential outcomes of this surgery with you.

As with any type of surgery, there are risks. An experienced oral surgeon that has performed these types of surgeries before is the best option if you have tried all the TMJ treatments and none of them have worked.