Doctor-recommended TMJ treatment differs depending on the severity of your condition and other factors, such as your age and health status. While some cases of TMJ may be managed through basic treatments like fitted oral appliances, other cases are much more serious and require oral surgery.
If you are wondering which category your case falls into, take a look at the six signs below to help you determine if your doctor may recommend surgery as a treatment option.
1. You Have Serious Jaw and/or Facial Pain
TMJ disorder isn’t an easy condition to live with. It can cause significant pain from chewing, but also just from talking. If your jaw constantly locks and gets stuck in one position, it could create pain that radiates throughout your upper body. From migraines to ear pain, TMJ disorder can be the cause of severe discomfort.
2. Your Teeth Are Wearing Down Faster Than Usual
Many times, TMJ disorder is the result of a misaligned bite. This can cause your natural teeth to come together incorrectly, making them wear down much faster than they should. Since this can lead to the need for tooth restorations, TMJ disorder intervention is often recommended to ward off damage.
3. Your Teeth Are Becoming Loose
Another extreme side effect of TMJ disorder is when your misaligned bite causes teeth to slowly become loose. Again, this is cause for immediate treatment in order to delay the negative effects and preserve your natural teeth.
4. There Are Serious Breathing Concerns When Sleeping
Sometimes the need for TMJ treatment intersects with the need for sleep apnea treatment. TMJ exacerbates sleep apnea, and if you aren’t getting the necessary oxygen at night, your oral surgeon may recommend a surgical solution.
5. The Jaw Joint Is Severely Damaged
Whether caused by TMJ or not, advanced arthritis in the jaw joint can have degenerative effects that only worsen with time. If there is joint cartilage degradation or the disc has moved out of place, stabilization or a rebuild could be required.
6. Nonsurgical Treatments Do Not Have the Desired Effect
One of the key signals that surgical TMJ treatment is necessary is when nonsurgical treatment avenues have been exhausted to no affect. Qualified, experienced oral surgeons will always coordinate with your doctor and dentist to make sure all other treatments have been tested for success before taking the next step.
When Your Doctor Recommends Surgery
When our team at Richmond Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery recommends surgical TMJ treatment, we have your long-term best interests in mind. We are happy to share more about our approach. Contact us today to take the first step.