Orthognathic Surgery for TMJ Treatment
Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the small joint that attaches your jaw to the rest of your head. Most of the time, this little joint flies under the radar and hardly garners any attention. However, the moment this joint becomes dysfunctional, serious pain can soon follow. TMJ disorder is a fairly common condition, affecting up to 35 million Americans.
Signs of TMJ disorder can include a popping and clicking when opening and closing your mouth, pain when chewing and eating, and your jaw locking up unexpectedly when you open your mouth. For patients who have a serious TMJ disorder that is resistant to other treatment options, we here at Arrowhead Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery can help them get lasting relief with orthognathic surgery.
What is TMJ Disorder and How Should You Recognize It?
TMJ disorder is a painful condition that directly affects the temporomandibular joint. This condition is identified by its several telltale symptoms that can help us diagnose it in our patients. Signs and symptoms of this TMJ disorder can include painful popping and clicking in your jaw when you open and close your mouth, pain in your jaw and teeth, an unexplained headache or earache that does not seem to want to go away, and your jaw locking when you try to close it.
Causes of TMJ Disorder
The causes of TMJ disorder are not very well understood and can vary from patient to patient. In many cases, however, it can be directly traced back to stress. Other people may develop a TMJ disorder due to rheumatoid arthritis. Another common trigger for this condition can be due to bruxism, a condition that occurs when an individual clenches or grinds their teeth at night. An injury to the face or jaw may also lead to it. In many cases, genetics play a major role in developing TMJ, too.
How Orthognathic Surgery Can Help
Orthognathic surgery is another term used to describe jaw surgery. It is a specific type of jaw surgery that can help realign the position of the teeth and the jaw. For many of our patients, orthognathic surgery can help provide them with lasting relief from their TMJ disorder. It is often considered as an option when other types of treatment for the TMJ disorder have not proven to be effective. There are several different types of orthognathic surgery that may be available to you if you suffer from persistent TMJ disorder. The least invasive type of orthognathic surgery is called arthrocentesis, which is an outpatient procedure that involves both irrigating and lubricating the TMJ with a needle. Another type may include a modified condylotomy, which can help prevent the lower jaw from locking.
Both disc repositioning and discectomy involve surgery on the disc inside the joint, but one puts the disc back into place whereas the other removes it. Finally, you may encounter a complete joint replacement, which is a serious procedure that may include removing infected or seriously damaged bone or joint tissue.
If you suspect that you may have TMJ disorder and would like more information about it, or you are interested in setting up an appointment with us here at Arrowhead Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery to determine if you may be a candidate for orthognathic surgery, please give us a call today at (623) 738-2564!