The temporomandibular joint, more commonly known as the TMJ, is a hinge that connects the lower jaw to the skull and is what allows your mouth to open and close and move side to side smoothly. It connects just in front of the ear on each side of your head and is attached to muscles that control your mouth’s movement. You can feel these joints working by placing your fingers directly in front of your ears and opening and closing your mouth.
Some patients experience pain in this joint and the surrounding muscles or have difficulty chewing. This condition is called a TMJ disorder and is not as uncommon as some may think.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may have a TMJ disorder:
- Trouble opening the mouth all the way
- Pain in the facial muscles, around the ears, or in the jaw joints
- Difficulty biting or chewing foods
- Grating, popping, or clicking sounds when opening and closing the mouth
- Increased headaches, dizziness, hearing loss, ear pain, or ringing in the ears
The cause of TMJ disorders is not always clear; however, it is important for an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to understand how the disorder arose to properly treat the problem. Sometimes the disorder might be a result of multiple causes.
Common causes of TMJ disorders include
- Injury to the jaw or muscles in the neck or head
- Excessive clenching or grinding of the teeth
- Displaced or perforated disk in the joint
Our surgical team will determine your treatment plan based on the specific cause or causes of your disorder. During your initial consultation, you will receive a thorough oral examination and may need additional X-rays, a CT scan, or MRI to pinpoint the functional problem. In some cases, your TMJ disorder may not be severe and can be alleviated with self-managed care or nonsurgical treatments, such as pain relievers, bite guards, or physical therapy.
If your condition requires surgery, the procedure performed will be based on your specific problem. If you think you may have a TMJ disorder, we urge you to contact one of our two office locations in Watkinsville and Gainesville, GA, for a consultation. For over 25 years, Dr. Fred Simonton has provided TMJ treatment for patients suffering pain or discomfort related to TMJ disorder and is a highly qualified specialist in the areas of the mouth, teeth, and jaws, making Oconee County Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery your best option for correctly diagnosing a TMJ disorder.
Where can I get a TMJ disorder treated near Watkinsville, GA?
Oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Dr. Fred Simonton, is a specialist in providing solutions for the treatment of complex oral and dental health problems, including the treatment of temporomandibular joint disorders. With two office locations in Watkinsville and Gainesville, GA, Dr. Simonton and his staff serve a wide region, including cities in Georgia, as well as cities in South Carolina and North Carolina.