At NJ Spine and Wellness, our TMJ specialists understand that jaw issues can cause a genuine disruption in your life.

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) in your head serves an essential purpose for your entire body. Not only does your temporomandibular joint connect your skull to your face, but it also enables your jaw to move — allowing you to eat and speak. The abbreviation TMJ also refers to a group of jaw-related problems that can cause tenderness and swelling at the joint, leading to pain, discomfort, and limited mobility at the site.

From headaches and earaches to facial pain and even issues with the shoulders and neck, TMJ disorders may lead to severe problems, including serious pain and even malocclusion, or a misalignment of the upper and lower teeth. If you’re experiencing TMJ issues, schedule a consultation at one of our locations throughout New Jersey, in:

What Causes TMJ Disorders?

In addition to a sudden trauma or injury to the jaw or face, TMJ can also be caused by a number of factors, like:

  • Stress
  • Grinding or clenching the teeth (also known as bruxism)
  • An improper bite
  • Arthritis in the temporomandibular joint
  • Dislocation of the disc between the ball and socket joint
  • And more

When Is TMJ Surgery Necessary?

While it should only be considered as a last resort, TMJ surgery may be necessary to effectively treat your temporomandibular joint disorder. If serve pain remains despite exhausting other treatment options, there are generally three different types of TMJ surgery available:

  • Arthrocentesis: a minor procedure where the joint is washed out with sterile fluids using needles. This treatment is best suited when the jaw suddenly locks in a closed position.
  • Arthroscopy: performed under general anesthesia, this procedure uses a tiny incision in front of your ear and allows your doctor to examine the area and determine the cause of your TMJ.
  • Open-joint surgery: this treatment may be necessary if there is significant scarring or if there is a tumor in or around your temporomandibular joint.

TMJ Treatment Options

Treatment options for TMJ range from conservative measures to surgery and everything in between. Your NJ Spine and Wellness TMJ specialist will work with you to accurately diagnose your TMJ, pinpoint its cause, and create a customized plan to help you Get Better Faster. While some therapies may be combined, non-surgical treatments include:

  • Applying ice or hot packs to the affected area to reduce swelling and increase the mobility of the joint
  • Eating soft foods to prevent your jaw from working too hard
  • Taking medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or muscle relaxants to ease pain and relax tight jaw muscles
  • Wearing a night guard, splint, or another mouthpiece device to correct your bite and place your jaw in a favorable position
  • Undergoing corrective dental treatments like replacing missing teeth or getting orthodontic braces to balance and align your jawbone and bite

In some cases, conservative treatment may be unsuccessful and a more aggressive approach may be necessary to treat your TMJ. While your NJ Spine and Wellness TMJ specialist will consult on the most appropriate treatments for your condition, common therapies include:

  • Ultrasound to relieve soreness and encourage joint movement
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS), which uses low-level electrical currents to reduce pain and relax the jaw muscles
  • Trigger point injections of pain medications or anesthetics to relieve discomfort
  • Radio wave therapy to stimulate blood flow and reduce pain
  • Botulinum toxin (Botox) which can decrease muscle mass and swelling

Contact Us for More Information

Temporomandibular joint disorders can cause more than just mild pain and discomfort; they can also lead to more severe issues if not properly treated. At NJ Spine and Wellness, our TMJ specialists are dedicated to helping you conquer your TMJ and Get Better Faster. For more information on TMJ disorders or to speak with a physician about your condition, schedule a consultation at one of our New Jersey Locations in East Brunswick, Freehold, Matawan, or Old Bridge today.