The TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is the joint that connects your jawbone to your skull. If you’re having problems with that joint, you may notice it in a few different ways. For example, it may be painful when you chew or it may be difficult to talk properly because of the stiffness in your jaw. You might hear a clicking or grating sound when you move your mouth. Some sufferers have ringing in their ears, dizziness or muscle spasms. Those individuals with serious TMJ issues are even unable to open or close their mouth completely. Depending on your situation, jaw surgery may be the solution you’ve been looking for to get back to a pain-free, fully functioning mouth.
Jaw Surgery 101
Corrective jaw surgery is called orthognathic surgery. The purpose of this type of procedure is to fix the misalignment or irregularities in your jaw so that function is restored. By function, we mean chewing, speaking, and breathing with ease. The surgery can vary from person to person depending on their specific TMJ issues. Generally it involves moving the jawbones to the correct positions and then securing them in place with plates and screws. We understand that may sound a bit frightening, but for some people, it’s the way they can finally live free of TMJ issues after years of discomfort and pain.
Other Treatment Options
If your TMJ issues aren’t severe or frequent enough to warrant surgery, then there are still other options for you. One possibility is to get a custom-made oral device or mouthguard. You wear the device while you sleep and it will reposition your jaw. Some of those with minor TMJ trouble may find this is just what they need, while others may want a more permanent solution.
Specialty Oral Surgery
At Smiles Dental, we don’t just provide general dentistry. We also offer advanced oral surgery as part of our suite of services. If you’re dealing with TMJ issues and think jaw surgery could help you, we’d be happy to bring you in for an in-office consultation. That way you’ll be one step closer to getting the relief you need. To set up your appointment, just head over to our Contact page to fill out our message form or you’re welcome to call our office directly.