Temporo Mandibular Joint (TMJ)
Human beings have two jaws – maxilla( upper jaw) and mandible ( lower jaw). upper jaw is fixed while lower jaw helps in opening and closing of mouth with the help of jaw joint called temporomandibular joint. There are two jaw joints. Temporomandibular joint is unique joint as it always functions in pair. Unlike other joints of our body a holistic approach to treat and we at GNATHOS are all equipped to provide a holistic treatment for all jaw joint issues.
Temporomandibular Joint disorders:
Right from lock jaw to frequent joint dislocation there is an array of jaw joint disorders. But the most common in temporomandibular joint or jaw joint arthritis.
Arthritis of Jaw Joint also?
Yes, this is largely not known to general public and hence the severity of the problem.
Like any joint of our body, jaw joint undergoes wear and tear. But unlike other joints of our body , TMJ arthritis is not just due to age related wear and tear but also many times stress induced. Stress is one big reason why we see jaw joint in people as young as 25 years of age.
When should you get your Jaw Joint (TMJ) evaluated:
One or more of these symptoms call for an immediate evaluation of your jaw joint.
What could have happened to your joint:
How do we know what is happening in the joint?
Several diagnostic aid like x-rays, CT scan , MRI are being used since several years. But none of them are conclusive about diagnosis.
DIAGNOSTIC TMJ ARTHROSCOPY is the latest and advanced diagnostic tool which gives a complete picture of the jaw joint condition.
Jaw joint arthroscopy (TMJ ARTHROSCOPY):
TMJ Arthroscopy is a procedure where a 1.8mm camera is passed into the joint space so that the joint can be visualized in a magnified size on the computer screen. This will help us evaluate the joint thoroughly and accurately identify the causes of the problem.
If the jaw joint problem is identified in initial stages it can be treated with medicines and physiotherapy. But in case of severe problem with synovitis and disc adhesions , joint lavage under arthroscopic guidance should be performed. The jaw joint is very small. So locating it accurately is not possible with out help of arthroscopic camera.
Disc displacement is another major issue with jaw joint. Disc repositioning surgeries are quite successful and safe to under go. Sometimes if the disc is torn or perforated, then a fat graft or muscle flap should be used to replace the damaged disc. In severe cases where the joint is completely worn out and no relief is obtained with any other treatments , then TMJ or jaw joint replacement should be done.
Jaw Joint replacement?
Yes, jaw joint can also be replaced like knee, hip or any other joint . Any joint big or small when severely damaged needs replacement. TMJ can be replaced with biocompatible patient specific artificial jaw joint without any risks or complications
Absolutely not. Arthroscopy is a key hole surgery. Actually speaking the instrument used to perform the procedure is just 1.8mm , so there will be absolutely no scar.
The duration of procedure depends on the severity of the disease . it might take 1 to 2 hours.
TMJ Arthroscopy will be done under general anesthesia . so it
will be absolutely pain free.
There will be mild discomfort after procedure for 24 hours. Can get back to work in 2 days. Soft diet and limited mouth opening will be advised for one week.
General wear and tear of the joint occur gradually with aging. But aggressive changes occur due to injury , stress, habits like severe clenching of teeth and grinding (bruxism). These can be managed by life style changes and habit breaking appliances. Consult your surgeon and learn appropriate precautions.