TMJ disorders are very common and have a variety of symptoms.
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a small joint located in front of the ear where the skull and lower jaw meet. It is the most used joint in the body.
Patients with TMJ disorders may experience earaches, headaches, joint clicking or grinding, and may have difficulty opening or closing their mouth. Determining the cause of a TMJ problem is important, because it guides the treatment. Problems like arthritis, TMJ disk damage, muscle pain and spasms, or trauma may cause pain in the region of the TMJ.
The appropriate diagnosis of TMJ pain determines the treatment.
Treatment of TMJ disorders may range from conservative dental and medical therapy to surgical repair. Depending on the diagnosis, treatment may include short-term anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, dental splint therapy, and stress management.
Surgery is generally reserved for patients with clear joint damage or for patients who have had minimal relief of symptoms with conservative treatment. Surgical treatment can include arthroscopy (a camera is inserted into the joint), disk repositioning/repair/removal, or joint replacement.
Dr. Walther is skilled in the diagnosis and surgical management of TMJ disorders, from non-surgical evaluation to complex TMJ replacement. He will work closely with your dentist to formulate a treatment plan with the goal of improving function, relieving pain, and improving your quality of life.