TMJ disorder can lead to severe jaw pain, clicking sounds, popping sounds, and an inability to chew or eat comfortably. Severe TMJ disorders may necessitate surgical intervention. However, Dr. Fathimani always starts the treatment with non-surgical, minimally-invasive solutions.
Understanding TMJ Disorders
Your temporomandibular joints are the hinges that connect your jaw to your skull. These joints allow you to move your jaw up and down and side to side, so you can talk, chew, and yawn. If you have a problem with these joints, it’s called temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). You may suffer from TMD for numerous reasons, such as grinding or clenching your teeth, arthritis, stress, dislocation or injury to the joint, and more.
A disorder of TMJ can cause pain in your jaw and face and make it hard to chew or open your mouth wide. You may hear a clicking or popping noise when you move your jaw. You may even have headaches. Depending on the severity and root cause of your TMJ disorder, the treatment may consist of self-care measurements, stress management, medications, non-surgical treatments, and, as a last resort, jaw surgery.
For starters, you can avoid activities that stress your jaw, such as chewing gum or eating hard candy. If you must chew, do it on the side of your mouth that is not hurting. You should also avoid clenching or grinding your teeth. You should also place a warm, wet towel on the side of the face for five to ten minutes at a time to relax the muscles and reduce pain.
Several physical therapy options can alleviate the symptoms of TMJ. Jaw exercises can stretch and strengthen the joint muscles, helping reduce pain and inflammation. Massage therapy can also relax the muscles and reduce tension. Ice can be applied to the jaw to reduce swelling and pain. If you’re suffering from TMJ pain, your doctor may recommend some jaw exercises and physical therapy.
Schedule Your Consultation
Dr. Kayvan Fathimani is a triple-board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon dedicated to improving your TMJ symptoms using the least invasive techniques available. He always starts his treatments with non-invasive and non-surgical solutions and only recommends jaw surgery when all other solutions fail. Each treatment plan is personalized according to your unique needs. Please schedule a consultation to explore your non-surgical TMJ treatment options.