TMJ/TMD Treatment

Your temporomandibular joint, or TMJ as it’s more commonly known, is a complex sliding hinge joint that connects your jaw to your skull on both sides.

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Exam

If you feel like you may be experiencing signs of TMD, your doctor will perform a thorough examination of your head, neck, mouth and jaw. We will listen for “popping” sounds when the mouth opens and closes. The specialist will feel around for areas of pain or discomfort.

Additionally, a CT scan or an x-ray may be used to detect any underlying issues affecting the jaw. In some cases, a TMJ arthroscopy can be used to properly diagnose TMD. The arthroscope is a small camera that is inserted around the jaw joint in order to make an informed diagnosis.

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Treatment

  • Therapy
    • Physical Therapy
    • -Utilizes an array of exercises to strengthen jaw joint muscles

    • Oral Splints
    • -Mouth guard to alleviate jaw pain
      -Provides jaw joint support

  • Procedures
    • Injection
    • -Corticosteroid or Botox injections used to alleviate jaw pain

    • TMJ Arthroscopy
    • -Small tube (cannula) is inserted into the jaw joint area
      -Arthroscope (camera) is introduced and surgery performed with tools to eliminate TMD

    • Arthocentesis
    • -Tiny needles are inserted directly into the jaw joint
      -Fluid alleviates jaw inflammation
      -Minimally invasive

    • Open-joint Surgery (Arthrotomy)
    • -Used for structural jaw issues
      -Repairs or replaces the jaw joint

  • Medication
  • Your doctor may prescribe pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medicine to alleviate TMD. If you are experiencing muscle spasms, muscle relaxants are used to tend to the area.

tmd/tmj causes