TMJ Disorders

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects your jaw to your skull. It facilitates proper jaw movement and aids in chewing and speaking. When damage or disease affects the jaw joint, it’s called temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). This condition can range from mild to severe, acute to chronic. Sometimes surgical intervention is required to address this issue. Dr Zoud performs apicoectomies at the Wisdom Specialist Centre. He has the experience and skill necessary to deliver remarkable results so patients can preserve their oral health.

TMD Symptoms

Symptoms of TMD can vary for each individual. However, some common warning signs include:

Jaw pain or tenderness

Earaches

Facial nerve pain

Neck or back pain

Chewing difficulties

Problems opening or closing the mouth

Popping or clicking of the jaw

Bruxism (teeth grinding or clenching)

Changes in the way the teeth fit together

If you notice any of these issues, be sure to schedule a visit with your dentist right away. Prompt diagnosis is beneficial, as we can treat the condition before it worsens.

What Causes TMD?

While TMD can occur for many reasons, the primary cause really comes down to a damaged articular disk. The articular disk cushions the TMJ and absorbs shock so that the joint can move freely. This disk can become damaged for several reasons. For example:

  • The disk may erode or move out of alignment.
  • The cartilage around the joint is damaged by arthritis.
  • Trauma, such as blunt force impact, damages the joint.

Patients with certain risk factors have a higher chance of developing TMD. For example, if you’ve sustained a jaw injury at any point in your life, you may be more likely to develop the condition. You may also be predisposed to TMD if you:

  • Have a history of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis
  • Suffer from bruxism
  • Have certain connective tissue diseases

Diagnosing TMD

Most of the time, your general dentist can diagnose TMJ issues during a routine evaluation. During a consultation, your dentist will palpate around the jaw joints and ask you to open and close your mouth. He or she assesses your range of motion and determines which areas are causing the most discomfort.

Scans and x-rays can also be taken to visualise the jaw joints and the associated muscles and ligaments. If minor issues are detected, then your dentist will discuss nonsurgical options with you, such as oral appliance therapy or jaw exercises. However, severe or complex cases often require surgical intervention. In these cases, your dentist will refer you to Dr Zoud.

Corrective Jaw Surgery for TMD

Also referred to as orthognathic surgery, corrective jaw surgery is necessary to correct skeletal irregularities of the jaw joints. This procedure realigns the bones and the teeth to improve overall oral function. In many cases, corrective jaw surgery is performed in conjunction with orthodontics. Treatment is typically performed under general anaesthesia at one of our private hospital operating locations.

During the procedure, Dr Zoud makes incisions to allow access to the jawbone. Next, the jawbone is sectioned and moved into the correct position. Surgical plates, screws, and wires are used to hold the jaw in its new location. In some instances, bone grafting material is added. Finally, the incisions are closed with sutures.

After the procedure, you’ll be provided with detailed post-operative instructions. Full healing can take up to 12 weeks but following the recommended guidelines can ensure that you enjoy a comfortable recovery.

Contact Our Practice for More Information

If you have chronic TMD, corrective jaw surgery may be right for you. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation at our surgery, contact us online anytime or call us at 02 8021-2728.

Burwood Rooms

Shop 1/8 Burwood Rd
Burwood NSW 2134
P: (02) 8021 2728
F: (02) 8021 2723
info@wisdomcentre.com.au

    Westmead Rooms

    Suite 40, Daher Centre, 163 – 171
    Hawkesbury Road Westmead,
    NSW 2145
    P: (02) 9633 4552
    F: (02) 9893 8801
    reception@westmeadomfs.com.au