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The temporomandibular joint, commonly referred to as the TMJ, is a hinge connecting the lower jaw to the skull and is what allows your mouth to open and close and move side to side smoothly. It connects just in front of the ear on each side of your head and is attached to the muscles that control your mouth’s movement. You can feel these joints working by placing your fingers directly in front of your ears and opening and closing your mouth.
When patients experience pain in this joint and the surrounding muscles, or difficulty chewing, the condition is called a TMJ disorder–and it’s not as uncommon as some may think. If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may have a TMJ disorder:
Trouble opening the mouth all the way
Pain in the facial muscles, around the ears or in the jaw joints
Difficulty biting or chewing foods
Grating, popping, or clicking sounds when opening and closing the mouth
Increased headaches, dizziness, hearing loss, ear pain, or ringing in the ears
The cause of TMJ disorders is not always clear; however, it is important for an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to understand how the disorder arose in order to properly treat the problem. Sometimes, the disorder may be a result of multiple causes. Common causes of TMJ disorders include:
Injury to the jaw or muscles in the neck or head
Excessive clenching or grinding of the teeth
Displaced or perforated disk in the joint
The specific cause or causes of your disorder will determine the treatment plan developed by our doctors. During your initial consultation, you will receive a thorough oral examination and may need additional x-rays or a CT scan to pinpoint the functional problem. In some cases, your TMJ disorder may not be severe and can be alleviated with self-managed care or nonsurgical treatments, such as pain relievers, bite guards, or physical therapy.
If your condition requires surgery, the procedure performed will be based on your specific problem. If you think you may have a TMJ disorder, we urge you to contact one of our two office locations in Queensbury and Saratoga Springs, NY, for a consultation. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons are highly qualified specialists in the areas of the mouth, teeth, and jaws and are your best option for correctly diagnosing a TMJ disorder.
Northeast Surgical Specialists maintains two office locations in Saratoga Springs & Queensbury, NY, and offers various oral surgical procedures and treatments, including the treatment of TMJ disorders. Drs. Condry and Kelling service all of Warren and Saratoga Counties, including Milton, Galway, Ticonderoga, Corinth, Saranac Lake, Burnt Hills, Warrensbury, Mechanicville, Queensbury, Lake Placid, Ballston Spa, Fort Ann, Malta, Hoosick Falls, Saratoga, Greenfield Center, Hudson Falls, Schroon Lake, Granville, Greenwich, Lake George, Gansevoort,Wilton, Glens Falls, Ballston Lake, South Glens Falls, Gloversville, Clifton Park, and Cambridge.
If you just want to ask a few questions, give us a call. You can find all the ways to contact us here. We look forward to hearing from you.