Temporomandibular joint disorder surgery, also short for TMJ, is a procedure carried out to fix jaw-related conditions. The joint is the one that connects the jaw bone to the skull. Due to the complexity of this joint, TMJ conditions can be difficult to correct or treat.
When at-home treatments like dental treatments, tooth guards, consuming soft foods, and applying ice have failed, TMJ surgery is opted for as a last resort.
There are different types of SMJ surgery, ranging from minimally invasive to complicated surgeries that require a stay at the hospital. TMJ surgeries are divided into two groups; closed and open procedures.
That being said, the different types of TMJ surgeries are as follows:
This surgery is opted to treat severe conditions. In this case, the joint connecting the jawbone to the skull is replaced with an implant. This procedure is preferable for people that are dealing with extreme pain and limited functionality. Before considering joint replacement, it is recommended that you get the opinions of a couple of physicians.
This procedure is used to repair the jaw point and its structural problems. A hospital stay is required for this procedure. After making an incision, a wide range of surgical procedures can be carried out, like removing adhesions or growths in the jaw. Additionally, disc surgery can also be carried out.
This is a minimally invasive procedure where a scope is used to look at the affected joint. Then, the specialist will remove scar tissue, smoothen the bone, or reposition the disc.
This is another minimally invasive procedure where the patient can return home the same day it is carried out. The procedure involves the injection of a fluid to reduce friction and lubricate the joint using needles. No incisions are required for this procedure.
Recovery from TMJ surgery depends on the individual and the type of surgery they had. Open procedures make it possible for patients to return home the same day. Meanwhile, closed procedures could require a hospital stay, as already mentioned earlier.
On the day of the surgery, the patient must take someone with them because they may be unable to focus or might be woozy once the surgery has taken place, primarily due to the anesthesia they were administered. Also, the patient should take the day off from work for their surgery. They could take a couple more days off if their job requires them to talk a lot.
Once the procedure is complete, the patient’s mouth will be bandaged. The specialist may wrap an additional bandage around the head to keep the mouth secure in one place.
To recover quickly after the surgery, here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
Two to three days after surgery, be sure to visit your specialist to determine whether your road to recovery is on track or not. Moreover, your specialist could also provide additional instructions on how you can take care of your TMJ.
If your stitches do not dissolve on their own, your specialist may have to remove them during your visit. They may recommend medications for infections or pain that could arise after the surgery.
You may need to visit a physical therapist to keep your swelling limited and regain motion in your jaw.
TMJ is not an irreversible condition which means it can be cured with proper care. If you are looking for ways to cure TMJ permanently, then these tips will be right up your alley:
Get rid of the habit of grinding your teeth.
Do not clench your teeth, and do not put any pressure on the joint.
Getting surgery to treat TMJ should be your last resort; however, it could be the best option. While deciding whether you should get a TMJ treatment or not, be sure to include your dentist, regular doctor, and TMJ specialist on board. Learn as much as you can about the surgery and its risks, and then decide whether it is the best decision for you or not.