Problems with the jaw joint can be difficult to address. You see, the jaw is one of the most complicated joints in the body. As such, many different sorts of problems and disorders may affect it. While non-surgical therapies for jaw problems are generally more ideal, sometimes the best option for alleviating pain and other associated issues is a surgical procedure. By meeting with skilled oral surgeons, you may be able to achieve wellness again.
Right now, we went to turn our attention to a certain kind of jaw problem that is quite common with many people: TMJ disorders.
About TMJ Disorders
The TMJ is the temporomandibular joint, the junction between the skull and the mandible. A TMJ disorder refers to the locking, clicking, popping, and grinding of this joint that can be quite uncomfortable. Colloquially, the problem is called just “TMJ.”
Common Causes of TMJ Disorders:
- The most common causes of TMJ disorders include:
- Teeth grinding (bruxism)
- Injury/trauma to the jaw
- Stress on the jaw
- Arthritis of the jaw joint
Also known as joint aspiration, arthrocentesis is a minor facial surgery that is helpful for treating TMJ disorders. Dr. Golding has performed this procedure many times and has a high rate of success when treating TMJ disorder treatments. Arthrocentesis is currently the least invasive TMJ disorder surgery and helps improve mobility of the jaw joint while easing discomfort as well.
Ideal Candidates for Arthrocentesis
The best candidates for arthrocentesis are TMJ disorder patients who suffer from serious TMJ disorders and have not responded well to non-invasive and non-surgical therapies. Our oral surgery specialists will carefully consider the circumstances of your case and determine if arthrocentesis is indeed the right option for you and your needs.
The Arthrocentesis Procedure
Since arthrocentesis is a minor surgery, general anesthesia is not required. Patients will be placed under light sedation to minimize any sense of discomfort or unease during this minor procedure. The TMJ is carefully accessed using two needles. These needles are inserted into an area just in front of the ear. Any scar tissue in the TMJ will be washed out using a special sterile solution. Once clean, medication, steroids, lubricant, or other special solutions can be used to promote wellness if needed.
Recovery following arthrocentesis is generally relaxed, though patients may need to take a day or two off work following the procedure. Cold compresses can be used in order to address any swelling in the jaw area, and patients are encouraged to eat a soft food diet for a few days so as not to place undue stress on the jaw.
Learn More About All Your Treatment Options for TMJ
There are many different treatment options out there aside from arthrocentesis. When you meet with our team, we will go over all potential treatment options and ensure that you undergo the one that best meets your needs. The only way to find out which treatment for TMJ disorders is right for you is to speak with experts.
We encourage you to schedule a consultation with our team. To make that appointment, be sure to contact our Phoenix and Tempe oral / facial surgeons today. We look forward to hearing from you soon.