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.
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.