Lake Norman Oral & Facial Surgery • Dr. Raymond J. Haigney II • 9727 Northcross Center Ct. Huntersville, NC 28078 • (704) 987-3132
9727 Northcross Center Ct. Huntersville, NC 28078 • (704) 987-3132
TMJ Surgery Procedure
Problems with the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, can sometimes be treated with therapy and medication and sometimes they go away on their own. More severe cases may require tmj surgery huntersville nc intervention. Below, we will review the different treatment options available for TMJ disorders.
Your doctor may advise a combination of medication and therapy. Some medications used to treat TMJ disorders include:
- Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories and pain relievers are usually tried first but if they are not enough, your dentist may prescribe something stronger such as prescription-strength ibuprofen.
- Tricyclic medications often associated with the treatment of depression can sometimes be used in low doses to relieve pain, reduce bruxism, and trouble sleeping.
- Muscle relaxers can also be used to treat the muscle spasms that are often the cause of TMJ disorders. Your doctor may prescribe you to use these for a few days up to a couple of weeks.
Sometimes used in conjunction with medications, oral therapies may include:
- An occlusal guard can be beneficial for people suffering from TMJ pain.
- Physical Therapy can use techniques such as ultrasound, moist heat, ice, and exercises to help stretch and strengthen the jaw muscles.
- Counseling is another tool that your dentist may suggest. Learning what behaviors you do that aggravate your TMJ pain can help you avoid doing them. Such behaviors can include clenching or grinding your teeth, biting your nails, and even leaning on your chin.
Surgery and Other Procedures
When medication and therapy are not helping, there are a few invasive options that your doctor may suggest. They include:
- Arthrocentesis is minimally invasive and is the use of small needles inserted into the joint so any buildup of fluid and debris can be irrigated out through the joint.
- Injections such as corticosteroid injection into the joint itself may be helpful and sometimes, Botox injections into the jaw muscles used for chewing can relieve pain.
- TMJ arthroscopy can be as effective as open-joint surgery for some cases. For this procedure, a small thin tube (cannula) is placed into the joint space and an arthroscope is then inserted and small surgical instruments are used for surgery. TMJ arthroscopy does have some limitations but it has fewer risks and complications than open-joint surgery.
- Modified Condylotomy is surgery in the mandible but not on the TMJ joint. This procedure can be beneficial for patients who experience jaw locking.
- Open-joint surgery is the most invasive treatment for TMJ disorders and should not be taken lightly. If your jaw pain does not improve with more-conservative treatments and it appears to be caused by a structural problem in the joint, your doctor may advise open-joint surgery to repair or replace the joint.
Your doctor will exhaust all efforts before resorting to surgery. If they do recommend surgery, make sure to ask any questions you have and understand the procedure and its risks and benefits.
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