Jaw joint problems are often related to the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, as it is commonly called. This small joint allows the lower jaw to move and function. It is located near the base of the ear, where the skull and lower jaw meet. Common symptoms of TMJ problems include:
- Popping, clicking or grinding sounds
- Limited jaw mobility
- Discomfort or pain when moving jaw
What to Expect:
TMJ treatment may range from conservative dental and medical care to complex surgery. Depending on the diagnosis, treatment may include short-term non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain and muscle relaxation, bite plate or splint therapy, and even stress management counseling.
Generally, if non-surgical treatment is unsuccessful or if there is clear joint damage, surgery may be indicated. Surgery can involve either arthroscopy (the method identical to the orthopaedic procedures used to inspect and treat larger joints such as the knee) or repair of damaged tissue by a direct surgical approach.
Once TMJ disorders are correctly diagnosed, appropriate treatment can be provided.
- American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS)