The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is the hinge joint at the back of the jawline that connects your lower jaw to the rest of your skull. Every movement of your jaw relies on this joint, so it’s no surprise that when it is disordered, everything from chewing, speaking, and breathing can be affected. Issues with this joint can cause discomfort so severe that opening and closing the mouth can be difficult or even impossible. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms below, you may require treatment for a TMJ disorder:
- Headaches or dizziness
- Earaches, hearing loss, or ringing in the ears
- Difficulty or intense pain when chewing, yawning, or opening the mouth
- Popping or clicking sounds when opening the mouth
- Jaws locking or catching when opening and closing the mouth
- A locked jaw joint, making any movement of the jaw unbearably painful
When you are suffering from a disorder of the temporomandibular joint, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon is the specialist with the proper training to diagnose and treat your case. Drs. Baker and Jepsen have the insight and experience to develop and implement successful TMJ therapies that may include a combination of self-care (such as use of a nightguard and/or the application of ice and heat), certain medications or steroid injections into the joints to reduce pain and inflammation, a special splint called an occlusal splint to help hold the jaw in the ideal position to alleviate the strain, or, as a last resort, corrective surgery such as joint repair or replacement.
It is sometimes difficult to determine why a TMJ disorder has developed, but the following causes can all contribute to TMJ problems:
- Injuries to the jaw, neck, or head
- Arthritis in the jaw joint
- Teeth clenching or grinding
- Displacement of the joint’s disk
Freedom from the pain caused by TMJ disorders can vastly improve quality of life. At our practice, your well-being is a priority, so once a diagnosis of TMJ disorder is confirmed, we will work hard to develop and implement the best plan for your long-term recovery.
TMJ Treatment in Pocatello and Blackfoot, ID
Various treatments for the muscle spasms and pain of a TMJ disorder are offered at our locations in Pocatello and Blackfoot, ID. If you suspect you have a TMJ disorder or have questions about TMJ treatment, please contact us to schedule a consultation with Drs. Baker or Jepsen. We thank you for the opportunity to care for you at Oral Surgery Specialists of Idaho.