Treating TMJ Disorder with Oral Surgery
Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD, is caused by jaw malocclusion, or misalignment combined with the subsequent tightness of connected muscles. While the condition is typically addressed through the use of physical therapy and orthotics, some cases of misalignment may not be sufficiently treated through these traditional methods. In these cases, corrective jaw surgery may be the best solution.
What is Corrective Jaw Surgery?
Also known as orthognathic surgery, this type of oral surgery focuses on correcting the structure of the jaw. As a number of conditions stem from jaw position, corrective surgery can be applied to a number of dental issues, ranging from severe over and underbites to sleep apnea. In the case of treating TMD, corrective jaw surgery allows our oral surgeon to precisely target the cause of the condition, poor jaw alignment.
Causes of Jaw Misalignment
Facial trauma can certainly be a contributing factor to jaw misalignment, additionally, developmental issues are a common reason behind malocclusion. Incorrect skeletal development can have a long-term impact on the jaw, causing the teeth to grow incorrectly. Over time, misalignment causes unequal wear on teeth, accelerating dental deterioration and leaving patients vulnerable to cavities and decay. Jaw malocclusion also leads to increased pressure on the jaw joint, thereby triggering the characteristic symptoms of TMJ disorder (TMD).
Traditionally, treating TMD requires a plan that incorporates a combination of oral devices, orthodontics, and dental restorations. While some cases of severe skeletal misalignment can be corrected with these traditional methods, these treatment options may not fully address to root cause of malocclusion. As corrective jaw surgery is specifically tailored to each unique patient, orthognathic surgery is able to directly target and permanently correct the cause of malocclusion. In the long run, corrective jaw surgery is able to alleviate the symptoms of TMD and ultimately allows patients to enjoy healthful dental function.
Planning Corrective Jaw Surgery
At Lorton Springfield Dental Implants and Oral Surgery, orthognathic surgery starts with an in-depth assessment of the jaw, bite, and teeth. Using advanced diagnostic tools, Lorton oral surgeon Snehal Patel evaluates the condition of the smile and plots a strategic surgical plan. Following surgery, our experienced dental specialist works closely with your general dentist to ensure successful recovery and improved oral health well into the future.
If you’re experiencing serious symptoms of TMD, including migraines, difficulty chewing or swallowing, or excessive dental wear, contact our Lorton oral surgeon today. Together, Dr. Patel can help you regain full function of your smile.