TMJ refers to the “temporomandibular joint” – the joint at the jaw that allows you to open and close your mouth. This is a complex hinge joint that can cause a wide array of symptoms if it is not functioning as nature intended, and out of alignment. The symptoms associated with this condition include severe headaches, pain, sore facial muscles, and difficulties with jaw motion – all of which affect your quality of life.
What is TMJ?
TMJ is a term that we use to describe several symptoms caused by jaw dysfunction. When the jaw joint is put under too much stress or pressure due to an imbalance of the mouth or defective jaw positioning, this results in painful symptoms, including:
- Migraine headaches
- Pain in the jaw, face, neck or ear
- Inability to open the mouth wide
- Jaw sticking in the open or closed position
- Loud popping or clicking sound when opening the jaw
- Tired and sore muscles in the face
A TMJ disorder can be the result of several physical conditions, including arthritis, injury, teeth grinding, or teeth loss. If left untreated, TMJ can worsen and lead to long term complications.
It is crucial to have your TMJ treated by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon, as these specialists are the only medical professionals trained specifically to treat disorders of the temporomandibular joint. Treatments for TMJ in North Scottsdale can range from non-surgical in mild cases to surgery in more severe TMJ cases. The proper treatment can only be determined by a board-certified specialist in maxillofacial surgery.
Solutions for TMJ and headaches
In some cases, Dr. Kuerschner takes a non-surgical approach to treat TMJ in Cave Creek. BOTOX has demonstrated an ability to not only treat migraines, but benefit those suffering from temporomandibular dysfunction as well. BOTOX relieves tension in the jaw by reducing the involuntary muscle contractions, which can cause headaches and TMJ.
When is surgical intervention required for TMJ?
There are several non-surgical treatments which can be delivered before surgery would be considered an option such as BOTOX injections, corticosteroid injections, physical therapy, and medications.
When TMJ does not respond to non-surgical treatment or when it requires bite adjustment, other options such as restorative dentistry, orthodontics, and some surgical procedures may be needed to repair the jaw and position to avoid reoccurrence of the condition and symptoms.
Am I a candidate for TMJ treatment?
To determine if you require surgery or another treatment to bring you relief from TMJ in north Scottsdale, speak with our maxillofacial surgeon, and undergo an evaluation of your condition. If you are tired of dealing with chronic headaches, loud popping and clicking in the jaw, ringing in the ears, neck pain, tired facial muscles and an inability to open or close the jaw easily, you may be a good candidate for TMJ treatment.