Management of TMJ Disorders
What Is Management of TMJ Disorders?
Management Disorders of the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ), or the jaw joint, ranges from conservative medical treatment and physiotherapy to joint removal and replacement in severe cases, aimed at reducing pain and improving the function of the joint.
Why Management of TMJ Disorders Is Done?
Management of TMJ disorders is done when one suffers from:
- An inability to open the mouth wide
- Long-standing pain or clicking in front of the ear
- Unexplained head or neck pain
What Management of TMJ Disorders Can / Can’t Do
- Treat joint pain and clicking
- Improve joint mobility
- Increase the opening of the mouth
- Improve chewing efficiency
- Prevent further destruction of joint tissues
- Help in repair of joint tissues
- Change the appearance of the face
- Treat headaches not related to the TMJ
How You Should Prepare For Management of TMJ Disorders ?
- Treatment usually requires a shift to soft diet
- Before treating the TMJ itself, it is important to treat any and all factors that may cause undue stress on the joint. Share any dental concerns you have with your surgeon, including missing or decayed teeth, erupting wisdom teeth, tooth clenching or grinding habits
- Discuss any medical illnesses, if you have, with your doctor
- Stop smoking for at least 2 weeks before the surgery
What is the Procedure of Management of TMJ Disorders ?
Depending on the severity of the condition, management of TMJ disorders may include:
Many mild to moderate or early cases can be managed conservatively by:
- Treating the dentition (decayed or missing teeth, erupting wisdom teeth, mal-aligned teeth, clenching habits)
- Analgesics and other medications that improve joint and muscle function and repair
- Joint physiotherapy
- Diet modifications
- Injecting medicines that reduce joint damage directly into the joint
- Joint lavage
Consult at the earliest to find out if this is an option for you.
Advanced and unresponsive TMJ disorders, with significant tissue damage usually require TMJ surgery to either repair displaced or torn soft tissues (TMJ disk), or remove and replace the entire joint with a prosthetic titanium device.
TMJ disk repair surgeries usually involve repositioning and stitching the displaced disk back into its normal position, centered between the bony joint surfaces. Alternatively, any tears in the disk itself may be surgically repaired.
Severe damage to the joint often requires the joint to be removed and replaced with a metallic implant, which can be customized to fit your individual joint cavity and is fixed to the bones using titanium screws. This surgery is similar to a hip or knee replacement surgery, where the implanted prosthesis performs the function of the joint.
At our centre, the use of piezosurgery for bone cutting prevents the risk of injury to vital nerves and teeth during surgery, making the entire treatment experience safer and more comfortable for the patient. Also, the joint prosthesis used is of premium quality and meticulously crafted after detailed planning on surgical simulation software, 3D printed specially for each patient, undergoes serial testing and rigorous sterilization procedures before being approved for used to avoid any risk of infection.
Recovery After Management of TMJ Disorders ?
- Mild swelling may be seen for up to 10 days after the procedure
- Solid foods and heavy exercise are to be avoided for a few weeks after the surgery
- Improvement in joint mobility is a gradual procedure which may take a few weeks to develop completely
- Physiotherapy may be required in some cases to augment joint mobility
- Joint replacement may require a period of jaw closure (intermaxillary fixation) of up to 7-10 days
- You may experience some weakness of the facial muscles in some cases for up to 12 weeks
Risk involved in Management of TMJ Disorders?
If not performed by an expert, it may lead to:
- Weakness of facial muscles
- Wound infection
- Mal-alignment of teeth