Oral Surgery



What is a TMJ disorder?

Temporomandibular Joint disorders also known as TMJ disorders. The TMJ is an articulation that connects the lower jaw to the skull. Once an abnormality or malformation affects the articular disc, the bone or the muscles of mastication a TMJ disorder can result.

What causes TMJ disorder?

The causes of TMJ disorder include: facial trauma, arthritis, osteoarthritis, joint malformation, loss of teeth, displaced jaw disc, teeth grinding and clenching, and stress.

What are TMJ disorder symptoms and signs?

TMJ disorder can present as:

  • Pain of the jaw or surrounding tissues
  • Limited mouth opening
  • Difficulty and pain on chewing
  • Clicking and abnormal join sound on opening and closing of the mouth

 What are the treatments for TMJ disorder?

The first line treatment to temporomandibular disorders often involves stress relief, medications such as; meditation, exercises and massages, management of occlusion, and physical therapy.

In certain cases, surgical treatment can also help you treat TMJ disorders such as; Botox injections in the sore spots, TMJ injection, arthroscopic procedure or open joint surgery or in severe cases total join replacement.

Tips and Tricks

1.Keep a rest position to avoid muscle strain

We have frequently found that episodes of personal stress can exacerbate facial pain. This is mainly due to the fact that our natural response to stress is the clenching of the jaws. We recommend keeping a space of 3 mm between your upper and lower teeth at all times. The only time your teeth should touch is when you are eating. Making a habit of keeping this natural position of muscle rest may provide a certain level of pain relief. Strategies for personal stress management should also be explored when appropriate.

2.Apply warmth to the affected area

We strongly suggest applying warm compresses on the tender areas of the face to decrease any muscle pain which may be involved in your condition. Most of our patients have reported significant improvement of their symptoms when following this very simple advice.

3.Use appropriate analgesics

Unless you were informed of a personal contraindication to some medications we suggest taking ibuprofen (Advil / Motrin) to decrease any inflammation which may be present, and which may contribute to your condition. This medication will also help you in controlling some level of discomfort associated with your syndrome. The recommended dosage is 400 mg every 4 hours. The maximum daily dosage is 2,400 mg. You may take Robaxacet as directed by your pharmacist. Your oral surgeon may prescribe some myorelaxants to improve the effect of the medication.

4.Inform us should any emergency arise

Should you experience the inability to close your mouth (also referred to as “open-lock syndrome”), please contact us without delay so that we can assist you.

5.In case of emergency

We hope that you never experience such an emergency, but if you do, we want you to know that we are always available. During office hours, if you experience Open-lock syndrome or severe and increasing pain, please call us immediately so that we may schedule the best available time for you. We will do everything possible to treat your problem immediately and attend to your needs. If an emergency occurs after hours, we can be reached 24 hours a day at 514 486-1002. The recorded message will instruct you as to how to reach the Oral Surgery residents at the Montreal General Hospital.

We will be happy to explain TMJ disorders to you in detail, call us today for further information!

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