The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a crucial part of your anatomy, connecting your lower jaw to your skull. Unfortunately, this joint can sometimes become stressed, injured or misaligned, leading to a condition known as TMJ disorder, or TMD. This can result from various factors, including stress, bruxism (teeth grinding and clenching), arthritis or trauma to the head, neck or jaw.

If you experience frequent jaw or facial pain, you might be suffering from TMD. Other symptoms include grinding, clicking or popping sounds in your jaw when you open or close your mouth; difficulty opening your mouth wide; a locked or stuck jaw; pain when chewing or biting; neck, shoulder or ear pain; and frequent headaches.

Our dentist can help diagnose the cause of your TMJ disorder and recommend appropriate treatment. Depending on the severity and cause of your TMD, treatments may range from conservative, nonsurgical options to surgical interventions.

Nonsurgical treatments are often the first line of defense and can include jaw and facial relaxation exercises, lifestyle changes, restorative dental treatments and oral appliances like mouth guards or night guards. These approaches aim to alleviate the symptoms and address the underlying causes of TMD.

In some cases, if nonsurgical treatments prove ineffective, surgical options may be considered. Surgical interventions are typically a last resort due to their invasive nature and permanent outcomes. You might be a candidate for surgical TMJ treatment if you experience persistent, intense pain or tenderness, have difficulty fully opening or closing your mouth, face challenges eating or drinking due to pain or immobility or if your symptoms worsen despite other treatments.

Our dentist will conduct a thorough examination to determine if surgery is appropriate for you. Surgical options might include:

  • Arthrocentesis: A minimally invasive procedure where small needles are inserted into the joint to irrigate and remove debris and inflammatory byproducts.
  • Injections: Medications such as BOTOX┬« or corticosteroids can be injected to relieve discomfort and improve jaw function.
  • TMJ Arthroscopy: This involves inserting a thin tube into the joint space and using an arthroscope and small surgical instruments. It poses fewer risks than open-joint surgery but is slightly more limited.
  • Modified Condylotomy: This surgery addresses the TMJ indirectly by operating on the lower jaw rather than the joint itself, helping treat pain and jaw locking.
  • Open-Joint Surgery: Recommended for structural issues, this procedure repairs or replaces the joint.

Post-surgery, our team will provide detailed instructions to ensure a smooth recovery and return to normal activities.

We invite you to call State Street Dental at 208-939-1700 today to learn more about TMJ treatment in Boise, Idaho, and schedule your consultation with Dr. Gregory Davis.