After months—or years— of the debilitating symptoms, like chronic headaches and earaches, painful chewing, clicking of the jaw, and trouble opening and closing the mouth, many of our patients wonder if it is worth waiting it out and seeing if TMJ disorder goes away on its own or if seeking out professional treatment is the next step.
We are here to help you better understand when the symptoms may be temporary and will likely clear up on their own, or when it is best to visit an oral surgery specialist for TMJ disorder treatment.
What is the Temporomandibular Joint?
The temporomandibular joint is a complex network of bone, muscle, tendon, and tissue that connects your jaw to the base of your skull. When compromised, even just one part of the temporomandibular joint, this can set off a cascade of issues, like headaches, earaches, difficulty chewing, and more. These issues are characterized as temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ.
Will TMJ Disorder Go Away on its Own?
This is one of the most common questions we get at the Los Angeles Center for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, and the answer is it depends on the cause and severity of the disorder. There are numerous causes behind TMJ disorder, and unless the root cause is addressed, symptoms may persist and even worsen over time.
For some individuals, their TMJ disorder is caused by stress. After taking the necessary steps to reduce their stress and anxiety, the symptoms clear up and may never return.
For others, TMJ disorder is caused by a combination of teeth grinding and arthritis. These may not be effectively treated with at-home self-care techniques and would require professional treatment to address the underlying cause.
When Should You Seek Professional TMJ Disorder Treatment?
If you are experiencing any pain around the jaw area, we recommend consulting with an oral surgeon, as it is important to uncover the cause. Even if you have minor TMJ pain, an oral surgeon that specializes in TMJ can recommend personalized self-care techniques or professional treatment that may help alleviate any pain or discomfort.
TMJ disorder treatments often include one or a combination of the following:
- Improving your posture
- Resting the jaw
- Using a mouthguard at night
- Stress management techniques
- Jaw exercises to build strength and flexibility
- Diet recommendations
- Jaw surgery
If you have tried all the at-home self-care techniques to address and resolve your TMJ disorder symptoms but have not seen an improvement, it may be time to consider more comprehensive solutions, like surgery. An experienced oral surgeon can help you decide if that is the right course of action for you and your unique situation.
Treating Your TMJ Disorder
You shouldn’t have to settle for TMJ pain that impacts your quality of life. Visit the board-certified oral surgeons at the Los Angeles Center for Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery for professional TMJ disorder treatment. We are here to help you uncover the underlying cause and find an effective treatment plan that improves your oral health and smile! Schedule a consultation at (310) 842-4811.