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"Can you have surgery to fix TMJ?"

ZocdocAnswersCan you have surgery to fix TMJ?


Got a bite guard from my dentist to help with TMJ. It is not doing anything to help and I swear my jaw feels like it is actually more out of line than ever. Is surgery an option? Would that be a way to fix it?


I am sorry to hear that you are having such trouble with your TMJ. This is a very common problem in which the temporomandibular joint becomes inflamed and painful, leading to trouble opening the mouth, chewing, and the like. Usually, inflammation of the joint is due to an overuse or strain injury, most of the time from misalignment of the teeth or from grinding of the teeth. This is one of the reasons that your dentist has given you a bite guard, as this is supposed to help correct the alignment of the jaw and reduce some of the strain on the joint, allowing it to heal. You will need to discuss this issue with your dentist, to see how long they recommend you use the bite guard before deciding it is not working. Often, you need to give it a good trial of several weeks to month to know whether or not it is going to do the trick. Sometimes, in the most severe cases of TMJ, surgery is needed to directly correct jaw alignment. However, this is a major procedure, and typically it is avoided until all other simpler and less invasive measures have been tried and have failed. Again, please see your dentist soon!

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