The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) on either side of your face connect your jawbone to your skull. These joints allow you to open and close your mouth to speak, eat, and chew. At times, these joints can wear down, become damaged, or degenerate due to osteoarthritis. When this happens, you may experience persistent migraines and facial pain. At DFW Oral Surgeons, Dr. Shillingburg and his team can skillfully repair your joints to alleviate pain and restore your ability to eat and speak normally.
What Are the Side-Effects of TMJ Disorder?
TMJ disorder can cause a great deal of pain and difficulty while performing everyday tasks. If left untreated, this condition may worsen and require a total joint replacement. When the temporomandibular joint wears down or becomes damaged, it can lead to:
- Difficulty eating and speaking
- Chronic migraines
- Pain in the face and neck muscles
- Nighttime grinding and clenching (bruxism)
What Types of Surgeries Are Available?
There are three different types of surgeries Dr. Shillingburg may perform to address this condition. The first and least invasive is arthroscopy. For this, Dr. Shillingburg will make a small incision by the ear and insert a small scope. He will use this scope to look for potential causes and signs of damage. During this procedure, he may also remove a small amount of inflamed tissue to help alleviate some discomfort.
Arthroplasty, or open joint surgery, is a bit more invasive and involves replacing or repairing the disks in your joint. These disks are what make it possible to open and close your jaw. When they become damaged, they often cause pain and difficulty moving the jaw. If necessary, Dr. Shillingburg may remove or realign any scar tissue or bone spurs in the area as well.
The last surgery available is a total joint replacement. Dr. Shillingburg may recommend this when a joint is damaged beyond repair from trauma, injury, or osteoarthritis. For this, your full joint will be replaced. Patients generally need to spend 3-5 days in the hospital for recovery after this procedure.
Dr. Shillingburg will discuss all three of these surgical options with you during your initial consultation to find the best treatment.
How Can Botox Alleviate My Symptoms?
Botox is an excellent option for patients experiencing minor TMJ disorder and signs of bruxism. Botox is non-invasive, and each visit only requires about thirty minutes of your time. For this, Dr. Shillingburg will inject a small amount of the substance into your temple, forehead, jaw muscles, and surrounding muscles as needed. It will take at least three appointments to feel the full benefits of your treatment.
To learn more about Botox, TMJ disorder, and all of our services, please call our office at 972-947-5742, send us an email, or schedule an appointment online.