Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Surgery

What is the temporomandibular joint?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a small joint connecting the lower jaw to the rest of the skull, allowing the mouth to open and close. TMJ disorders are nine times more common in young women, often teens.

TMJ disorders are not always straightforward and may involve wider health issues. The team at MercyAscot Head and Neck Service are specialists in providing world-class treatment for patients with TMJ pain or functional disorders. Led by Dr Muammar Abu-Serriah, the team provides holistic surgical treatment founded on evidence-based practices.

Symptoms of TMJ disorders

TMJ disorders are complex and may be grouped into the following:

  • Impaired internal dynamics of the joint (e.g. click, mouth locking)
  • Facial muscle pain
  • Arthritis
  • Combinations of the above, or others including fusion, fracture, and infection of joint

TMJ disorders may result in complex symptoms, such as: 

  • Regular headaches
  • Neck or back pain
  • Muscle pain in the face or jaw
  • Grating, clicking, crunching, popping, or locking of the jaw
  • Teeth not fitting together to form a correct bite
  • Bruxism (grinding of teeth and clenching of the jaw)
  • Swelling and tenderness over the joint 
  • Muscle hypertrophy (squared face)
  • Earache, tinnitus, or hearing loss
If you are worried about any of these symptoms, talk to your GP or family doctor and ask for a referral to the MercyAscot Head and Neck Service.

What treatment do we offer?

TMJ disorders are relatively common and the majority of issues do not require surgical intervention. Oftentimes the problems can be addressed by changing habits or diet. Physiotherapy, acupuncture, and pain medication can also help. 

Other methods of self-care may include:

  • Resting the jaw as much as possible
  • Eating softer foods
  • Stop chewing gum
  • Avoiding opening the jaw too wide
  • Stress management to help you relax jaw muscles
  • Applying warm or cold flannels
  • Anti-inflammatory pain medicines like ibuprofen

If surgery is required, we provide a wide range of surgical procedures including joint washout, arthroscopy (minimally invasive joint surgery), open joint procedure, and total joint replacement. With a wealth of experience across a multi-disciplinary team, the team at MercyAscot Head and Neck Service specialise in helping patients recover from TMJ disorders.

If you are worried about any symptoms, talk to your GP or family doctor and ask for a referral to the MercyAscot Head and Neck Service.