TMJ disorder refers to a medical condition affecting the temporomandibular joint. “TMJ,” or temporomandibular joint, is the name for the joints on both the left and right side that connect the jaw and the skull. TMJ disorder is when either joint is not functioning properly in the way they are supposed to. The oral surgeons at Somerset Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Group can help people in Somerset County and Hunterdon County through surgical TMJ disorder treatments. The result is a healthier jaw, less pain, and a higher quality of life.

What Causes TMJ Disorder?

The temporomandibular joint works by combining a sliding motion with a hinge-like movement when it functions as it is intended to. The bones that connect with the joint have a layer of cartilage around them and are separated by a small disc helping to absorb the shock that comes from everyday activities, such as eating and drinking. TMJ disorder can happen when this disk becomes eroded or misaligned, thus no longer allowing it to do its job. The cartilage around the bones may also be damaged due to undetected arthritis.

It’s very difficult for even a trained medical professional to discover the exact cause of this disorder. The discomfort a person feels may result from arthritis, an injury to the jaw, or simply an inherited genetic concern.

Our doctors in Somerville, Hillsborough, and Lebanon are highly experienced medical professionals and can perform an examination for evidence of TMJ disorder, as the diagnosis is the first step on the road to a successful treatment plan. They can also help understand the severity of the disorder, thereby determining if surgical treatment is the best treatment plan.

Common Symptoms

Many people suffering from this disorder may notice a clicking sound when they open and close their mouths or try to move their jaws. Many people with TMJ disorder tend to clench or grind their teeth, leading to further discomfort and structural damage. These symptoms are also often accompanied by an uncomfortable feeling or limited movement in the jaw. Some other common symptoms of TMJ disorder include:

  • Discomfort around the ear
  • Frequent jaw discomfort
  • Difficulty chewing or drinking
  • Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
  • An aching sensation in other parts of the face

If these symptoms persist and interfere with daily life or general comfort, Somerset Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Group can provide treatment options to reduce the discomfort and return mobility to the jaw.


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Treatment Options

In some cases, the discomfort associated with TMJ disorder may eventually go away on its own. However, if symptoms continue, our oral surgeons can provide relief to patients in the Somerset County and Hunterdon County areas.

Some treatment options include:

  • A mouth guard – One option is having a mouth guard fitted over the teeth. This helps reduce joint pain and any grinding associated with the disorder.
  • Physical therapy – Some types of exercises will help strengthen and stretch the jaw muscles. Other types of physical therapy include heat and ice along with ultrasound.
  • Relaxation techniques – Deep breathing and meditation can help reduce the tension felt in and around the temporomandibular joint. This can help with clenching or grinding and lead to a more comfortable jaw.

Medications can also help reduce the discomfort that’s associated with the disorder. Used in conjunction with natural treatment options, they can help alleviate TMJ disorder symptoms.

Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can help with discomfort. This includes NSAIDs like ibuprofen. However, sometimes they’re not enough. If the discomfort is affecting a person’s daily life, a treatment plan may need to be made with our doctors. Muscle relaxers are also used to relieve serious discomfort. These are meant only for temporary relief while a more natural treatment option is developed.

Get Relief from TMJ Disorder

Our doctors help Somerset County and Hunterdon County patients suffering from TMJ disorder achieve a more comfortable, healthier jaw. By evaluating a patient’s jaw and teeth, a plan will be created if any corrective procedures are needed and if a mouth guard should be fitted to protect the teeth from grinding. Our doctors will also determine if medication is needed for discomfort and what type of therapy a patient will benefit from. Contact us if symptoms of TMJ disorder persist. We are here to help.

Somerset Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Group has provided compassionate care to generations of Somerset County and Hunterdon County patients. With convenient hours and offices in Somerville, Lebanon & Hillsborough, we provide unparalleled access to care for both our patients and referring doctors.

If you believe you are suffering from TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder, contact our Somerset County and Hunterdon County offices to schedule a consultation. 

“The staff was caring and amazing. The dentist was friendly and explained everything. I would highly recommend this practice.”