Oral surgery may need to be performed for a variety of reasons that affect a person’s dental health. At the office of Miller Family Dentistry, we take all the necessary care to ensure that our patients are relaxed and comfortable during their surgery.
One of the surgical procedures conducted at our dental practice is for treatment of disorders related to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The TMJ acts like a hinge that helps you in easily opening and closing your mouth. It is one of the most complex joints in the body, and any disorder in the joint could cause pain in the head, neck and facial muscles. The main causes of TMJ disorder have been identified as trauma to the jaw, grinding and clenching of the teeth, and stress.
The symptoms of TMJ Disorder can be mild to severe. It can cause a sharp pain in the jaw, limit the jaw movement and cause you difficulty in opening your mouth. There may be a clicking and popping sound from the jaw joint and you may also experience pain while widely opening the jaw, yawning or chewing. TMJ disorder can also cause migraine-like headaches, tooth sensitivity and facial swelling.
Surgical treatment is needed only when the cartilage in the jaw joint is severely displaced, resulting in pain and limited jaw movement and function. The most common way to fix this is to surgically remove the part of the jaw joint that is causing obstruction. This is done by making a small incision in front of the ear and then removing the bone. Stitches are placed at the site and recovery is quick. On rare occasions, an open joint surgery may be needed, wherein the cartilage is removed and replaced.