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TMJ Disorders

Relieve TMJ Pain & Improve Jaw Function

The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is the most constantly used joint in the body. This joint is responsible for opening and closing the jaw and helps you eat, speak, and yawn. If problems arise that affect the jaw or muscles surrounding the joint, uncomfortable symptoms can appear that make it difficult to perform these everyday tasks. Dr. Larson is a dual-degree oral surgeon and physician in Norton Shores, MI, who treats TMJ disorders, helping manage jaw joint pain and improve jaw function.

Contact Breakwater Oral Maxillofacial Surgery & Dental Implants if you have TMJ pain. Dr. Larson will evaluate your condition and design a customized treatment plan to manage your TMJ disorder.

Symptoms of a TMJ Disorder

Individuals with a TMJ disorder may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Earaches
  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain or tenderness
  • Jaw clicking or popping
  • Difficulty chewing and eating
  • Inability to fully open the mouth or locking of the joint

When symptoms of a TMJ disorder appear, contact Dr. Larson for an evaluation. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons specialize in conditions pertaining to the face, head, mouth, and jaws and can manage TMJ disorders with surgical or non-surgical approaches.

What Causes TMJ Pain?

The exact cause of a TMJ disorder is not always known. Symptoms can arise due to arthritis, genetics, injury to the jaw, or habitually clenching or grinding your teeth. When these issues occur, the disk of cartilage that cushions the jaw joint can slip out of position. Without the disk in place the bite can become misaligned, and you may hear a clicking or grating noise when you open your mouth.

Treatment for TMJ Disorders

At Breakwater Oral Maxillofacial Surgery & Dental Implants, we use advanced 3D imaging technology to diagnose and manage oral health conditions, including TMJ disorders. Dr. Larson will use 3D scans of the jaw joint to create a custom treatment plan for your condition. There are surgical and non-surgical treatments available to manage TMJ disorders, but we will almost always consider non-surgical approaches before recommending surgery. If you require surgery, we will discuss your anesthesia options beforehand to help you select the right choice for your comfort.

Pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, or muscle relaxants can provide relief from TMJ pain, while BOTOX® or steroid injections can reduce pain and inflammation. We may provide you with a splint or night guard to wear when you sleep to keep the teeth apart, therefore relaxing the jaw muscles and reducing pain. We will also advise you on self-care methods you can use to reduce stress on the joint and prevent discomfort, such as:

  • Resting your jaw
  • Keeping your teeth apart when you are not eating
  • Applying ice and heat to the joint
  • Practicing good posture
  • Avoiding hard or very chewy foods

Physical therapy and stress management techniques have been effective for many patients experiencing TMJ pain. These treatments can manage jaw joint discomfort and promote general wellness.

If your TMJ disorder is more severe and the teeth or jaws do not fit together properly, surgical intervention may be necessary. Open joint surgery, arthroscopy, or orthognathic surgery can reposition the jaws or realign the disk that cushions the jaw joint. Orthodontic treatment is often combined with these procedures to align the teeth and bite after surgery.

Types of Anesthesia

There are many anesthesia and sedation options available for oral surgery.

TMJ Disorders in Norton Shores, MI

At Breakwater Oral Maxillofacial Surgery & Dental Implants, Dr. Larson manages TMJ disorders to help his patients live comfortable lives with a properly functioning jaw. If you have jaw pain or have been diagnosed with a TMJ disorder and wish to explore your treatment options, contact our practice in Norton Shores, MI, today.

Committed to Surgical Excellence & Patient-Centered Care

We offer a broad scope of oral and maxillofacial surgery services at Breakwater Oral Maxillofacial Surgery & Dental Implants. Contact our practice in Norton Shores, MI, where we provide patients in West Michigan with an unparalleled oral surgery experience.