The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) works like a hinge to attach your jaw to your skull. There is one joint on each side of your jaw. Each joint attaches to the skull in front of the ears. The ends of the bones are covered with cartilage, and there is a small disk of cartilage in between them.
TMJ disorders can result in a number of symptoms, including:
- Clicking sounds as you open and close your mouth
- Ear pain or pressure
- Jaw pain and muscle stiffness
- Locking of the joint, open or closed
- Trouble chewing or pain when chewing
If you have symptoms of TMJ, the oral surgeons at Henry Ford Health can help. They will conduct a thorough examination to determine the cause of your symptoms.
In many cases, nonsurgical solutions, such as a custom mouth guard, can successfully treat TMJ. If you’ve tried conservative treatments and still suffer from jaw pain or other symptoms, we can help.
Our skilled oral and maxillofacial surgeons use the most advanced techniques to effectively treat TMJ. Your provider will discuss the best options for your specific condition.
Surgical techniques include:
- TMJ arthroscopy: This less-invasive surgical technique involves inserting a small tube into the TM joint. The surgeon then passes an arthroscope (magnifying camera) and surgical tools through the tube to perform surgery. Because the procedure requires only a puncture (not an incision), recovery is generally faster than traditional surgery.
- Open-joint surgery: Your surgeon may use this technique if your condition is more complex. We use open-joint surgery when necessary to repair or replace a TM joint.
Take the next step
If you need a specialist’s care to treat your TMJ, we are here to help. Request an appointment today with one our oral surgery experts.