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Jaw muscles and teeth.
Jaw muscle and teeth.

TMJ Treatment

Achieve Healthy Jaw Joints & Relieve Facial Pain

The temporomandibular joint connects the jaw bone to the skull and helps you move the jaw to eat and speak. When this joint does not function properly, it can cause TMJ disorders, or TMDs, that range from acute discomfort to chronic pain. Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons can diagnose and manage TMJ disorders so you can find relief from your jaw joint pain and restore function to the jaws. 

If you have TMJ pain or seek oral surgery treatment for myofascial pain, contact Akeso Oral, Facial & Dental Implant Surgery to schedule an appointment. Treating a TMJ disorder can significantly improve jaw function and help you live a more comfortable life. We have offices in Columbia, Catonsville, Lutherville, and Westminster, MD, and proudly serve patients of all ages in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan areas.

What Causes a TMJ Disorder?

The cause of a TMJ disorder is not always known and may not have one singular cause. The parts of bone that interact in the joint are covered with cartilage and separated with a small disk, which allows you to move the jaw smoothly. If this disk erodes or falls out of place, or if the cartilage surrounding the joint becomes damaged, the temporomandibular joint will have difficulty functioning.

Many people develop a TMJ disorder due to some form of malocclusion, crooked teeth, or orthodontic issues. Habitually clenching or grinding of the teeth puts extra pressure on the jaw joint and surrounding muscles, making it difficult to chew and speak without discomfort. Injury to the face or jaws or various types of arthritis could also result in a TMJ disorder.

While we may not be able to determine the exact cause of your TMJ pain, we have many options available to alleviate discomfort and help you regain full function and health of the jaw joint.

Symptoms of a TMJ Disorder

Signs and symptoms of a TMJ disorder can include:

  • A clicking, popping, or grating sound when you open and close your mouth
  • Jaw pain or tenderness
  • Pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints
  • Difficulty chewing or pain when chewing
  • Chronic facial pain or headaches
  • Aches in or around the ear
  • Locking of the jaw joint, making it difficult to fully open or close your mouth

These symptoms may appear suddenly or worsen over time. If your jaw makes a clicking or grinding sound but does not limit jaw movement or cause pain, you may not need treatment for a TMJ disorder. However, if your symptoms interfere with daily life, you should contact our practice to explore your treatment options.

TMJ Treatment

Our surgeons create a custom treatment plan for every patient and use state-of-the-art imaging technology for enhanced precision. During your first visit, we will take 3D scans of your head, face, and jaws to evaluate the jaw joints and design your care plan. We often treat TMJ disorders with BOTOX® or corticosteroid injections, which are a minimally invasive way to address the source of the discomfort and help the muscles surrounding the jaw joint relax.

We almost always try non-surgical approaches before considering surgical procedures, as many patients find relief with conservative methods. Non-surgical treatments include:

  • Oral sleep appliance or night guard
  • Clear aligners to correct misaligned teeth
  • Temporarily changing to a soft food diet
  • Lifestyle changes such as improving posture, reducing stress, and preventing jaw clenching
  • Using ice and/or heat to relieve inflammation
  • Anti-inflammatory medications or muscle relaxants
  • Physical therapy

If traditional methods fail, surgical intervention may be necessary. Surgical procedures to manage TMJ disorders include:

  • Arthrocentesis. During this minimally invasive procedure, clear fluid is injected into the joint to wash out inflammation and reduce pressure.
  • Arthroscopy. By inserting a small camera through an incision, your surgeon will operate on the joint, which may include removing scar tissue, reshaping the joint, or injecting medication.
  • Open-Joint Surgery. Reserved for severe cases, this procedure consists of opening an incision over the joint so your surgeon can operate on the joint itself, which may include removing bony growths or excess tissue or replacing the disk.

Myofascial Pain

Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain disorder where pressure on sensitive muscle points causes pain in the muscle and sometimes unrelated parts of the body, known as referred pain. It can occur as a result of repetitive motions or stress-related muscle tension. Myofascial pain from trigger points around the TMJ or other parts of the body can cause headaches, jaw pain, neck pain, back pain, and shoulder pain.

Injectable treatments like BOTOX and steroids are an effective way to manage myofascial pain. They are injected around the jaw joints or trigger points and help the muscles relax. If you suffer from chronic myofascial pain, our team at Akeso Oral, Facial & Dental Implant Surgery can help. There are several potential treatments for myofascial pain and we will explore all of your treatment options so that you can live your life comfortably.

Types of Anesthesia

There are many types of anesthesia and sedation options available to you.

TMJ Disorder & Myofascial Pain Treatment in Columbia, Catonsville, Lutherville, and Westminster, MD

If performing everyday tasks like eating or talking is uncomfortable, we encourage you to contact Akeso Oral, Facial & Dental Implant Surgery. Our surgeons are experts in managing TMJ disorders and myofascial pain and will address the source of your discomfort to help you live a healthier, more comfortable life. Contact us today to schedule your appointment in Columbia, Catonsville, Lutherville, and Westminster, MD.

Committed to Patient Care & Clinical Excellence

As a patient at Akeso Oral, Facial & Dental Implant Surgery, you can expect to receive the highest level of care from a team centered around your needs. We proudly serve patients of all ages in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan areas and invite you to contact us to schedule your appointment.