TMJ Disorder Treatment in Fayetteville

Trust Our Fayetteville TMJ Specialists 

You may have TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder, sometimes just called “TMJ,” if you are suffering from pain in the joint of muscles surrounding your jaw. This joint is located in front of the ear where the skull and lower jaw meet and permits the lower jaw, or mandible, to move and function. TMJ disorders are relatively common and have a variety of symptoms, from earaches, jaw clicking, headaches, and a limited ability to open the mouth. 

At Half Moon Oral Maxillofacial and Implant Surgery, we want you to be fully confident in our comprehensive oral surgery techniques and understand your treatment options for TMJ disorders. We are here to guide you through the process and alleviate your discomfort. 

To schedule a TMJ evaluation in Fayetteville, contact Half Moon Oral Maxillofacial and Implant Surgery today at (479) 364-6889 or reach out online.

What Causes TMJ Disorders? 

Determining the cause of your TMJ disorder is important because it will ultimately be what guides your treatment. 

Some of the potential causes of TMJ include: 

  • Teeth grinding or jaw clenching
  • Jaw and facial tension
  • Arthritic cartilage damage 
  • Jaw trauma 
  • Erosion of the shock-absorbing discs in the jaw

How We Treat TMJ

Even though our practice is run by oral surgeons, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll need surgery to treat your TMJ. In fact, we only consider surgery as an option after we have exhausted all nonsurgical treatment options and for the most severe TMJ cases. 

Treatment typically starts with conservative dental and medical care such as short-term non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain and muscle relaxation, bite plate or splint therapy, and even stress management counseling. BOTOX® medical injections may be recommended to relax strained jaw muscle and ease headaches associated with TMJ. Dental treatments such as dental crowns can help restore a more balanced bite to relieve jaw stress. 

If these nonsurgical therapies prove unsuccessful or if you have clear, severe joint damage, surgery may be indicated to realign the jaw and prevent long-term harm such as worn teeth, increased vulnerability to tooth decay, and more severe joint damage in the future. We will thoroughly explain your options for TMJ treatment and help you decide which is the best option for your situation. 

Non-Invasive Therapies for TMJ Management 

Non-invasive therapies play a pivotal role in effectively managing TMJ disorder, offering relief without surgical intervention. These therapies include:

  • Physical Therapy: Targeted exercises to strengthen jaw muscles and improve range of motion.
  • Oral Appliances: Custom-fitted splints or mouthguards to alleviate jaw tension and correct bite misalignments.
  • Heat and Cold Therapy: Application of heat or cold packs to reduce inflammation and soothe discomfort.
  • Stress Management Techniques: Incorporating stress-reducing practices to minimize teeth clenching and jaw tension.
  • Dietary Modifications: Avoiding hard or chewy foods to prevent strain on the jaw. Non-invasive approaches are often the first line of defense, providing effective TMJ relief and enhancing overall oral well-being. 

Frequently Asked Questions About TMJ Treatment

What is TMJ?

TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint, which acts as a hinge connecting your jaw to your skull. It allows you to open and close your mouth, enabling actions like chewing, speaking, and yawning. TMJ disorders occur when there are problems with the jaw joint and surrounding muscles, leading to pain and discomfort in the jaw, face, and neck, as well as difficulty in jaw movement. Symptoms may include jaw pain, clicking or popping sounds in the jaw, headaches, and difficulty chewing.

How long does TMJ treatment take? 

The length of treatment depends on the severity of the condition and the chosen treatment plan. In mild cases, self-care measures and over-the-counter medications may provide relief within a few weeks. For more severe cases, a patient may require ongoing treatment for several months or longer.

Can TMJ be cured? 

There is no cure for TMJ, but the symptoms can be managed with appropriate treatment. Patients who follow their treatment plan and make necessary lifestyle changes, such as reducing stress and practicing good oral hygiene, can manage their symptoms and prevent further damage.

Will I need surgery for TMJ? 

Surgery is our last resort for treating TMJ and is only recommended in severe cases where other treatments have been unsuccessful. We will discuss all treatment options with you and help determine the best course of action based on your individual needs.

What lifestyle changes can I make to manage TMJ symptoms? 

Stress reduction techniques, such as meditation or yoga, can help reduce muscle tension in the jaw and prevent teeth grinding or clenching. Patients should also avoid hard or chewy foods, and make an effort to maintain good posture and avoid sleeping on their stomachs. Maintaining good oral hygiene and avoiding habits like chewing gum or biting nails can also help prevent aggravating TMJ symptoms.

What are the benefits of seeing a TMJ specialist in Fayetteville, AR?

Seeing a TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) specialist for treatment offers several benefits. Our experts have in-depth knowledge of TMJ disorders and can provide accurate diagnoses and tailored treatment plans. They often offer a range of effective therapies, including physical therapy, medications, and dental appliances. 

Specialists can address complex cases and severe symptoms, providing relief from chronic pain, jaw dysfunction, and associated issues like headaches or teeth grinding. Additionally, they stay updated on the latest advancements in TMJ treatment, ensuring patients receive the most effective and up-to-date care for their condition. 

To learn more about TMJ treatment in Fayetteville, get in touch with our knowledgeable staff at Half Moon Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery today at (479) 364-6889 or reach out online to schedule a consultation.