What is TMJ Disorder?
TMJ disorder is the name for a group of issues associated with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) in your jaw. This joint connects the jaw bone to your skull and is responsible for smooth and comfortable movement of the mouth. Stress from clenching and grinding, injury, arthritis, or disease can all lead to damage of the joint and muscles. While TMJ disorder can never be fully resolved, Dr. Reza Bolourian provides different types of treatment that can help ease jaw pain and improve the function of your jaw. You may have TMJ disorder if you have one or more of the following symptoms:
• Teeth grinding or clenching
• Muscle soreness or stiffness around the jaw
• Recurrent headaches or neck aches
• Jaw clicking or popping with movement
• Arthritis in other joints
• Head, jaw, or neck injury
• Teeth that do not touch when you bite
• Sensitive, worn, or broken teeth
• Pain in the jaw, ears, shoulders, or back
Comprehensive TMJ Disorder Treatment
Appropriate treatment depends on the cause of TMJ pain. Managing daily stress can help patients clench and grind their teeth less frequently, helping relieve the jaw muscles from the strain that can lead to TMJ disorder. If at-home treatment is ineffective, Dr. Bolourian can provide a thorough evaluation to pinpoint the source of your jaw pain and determine the correct type of treatment.
Patients can practice stress management and activities such as relaxing the jaw, holding teeth apart, using ice and heat packs, eating a soft diet, and exercising good posture. Simple jaw exercises, such as carefully opening and closing the jaw, can also help restore its normal range of motion.
Conservative treatment measures are designed to help relieve muscle tension and TMJ pain. Treatment generally involves pain relievers, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory medication, and splint therapy. A splint is a nightguard that keeps teeth from touching, helping to alleviate muscle spasms and jaw pain associated with clenching and grinding.
Jaw Joint Arthrocentesis
Arthrocentesis involves flushing out inflammatory toxins and adhesions in the jaw joint with a saline solution. This allows the articular disk between the jaw bone and skull to regain its proper position in the joint.
Surgery for TMJ disorder, such as arthroscopy and open joint surgery, is only recommended for the most severe cases that have not been improved with any other TMJ treatment. Dr. Bolourian reserves surgery only for jaws that are unable to open, are dislocated, or have severe degeneration.
Specialized Care from a Board-Certified Oral Surgeon
Dr. Reza Bolourian is a dual-certified oral and maxillofacial and cosmetic surgeon and has limited his practice to these two specializations. Along with training and experience in diagnosing and treating problems with the head, neck, and jaw, he is licensed to administer general anesthesia required for more complex treatments and surgeries. If you think you may have symptoms of TMJ disorder, Dr. Bolourian is highly qualified to address these symptoms and provide effective treatment.