services-procedures - Coastal Carolina Oral Surgery - Wilmington, NC


TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) is an acute or chronic inflammation of the joint that connects the mandible to the skull. The disorder can result in significant pain and impairment. Many people inaccurately associate facial muscle with the "catch all" phrase TMJ. The vast majority of facial muscle issues can rather be classified as "myofascial pain."

Symptoms associated with TMJ disorders may be:

  • Clicking, popping, or grating sound when opening or closing the mouth
  • Earache, headache and/or migraine pain
  • Reduced ability to open or close the mouth
  • Tinnitus

Symptoms associated with myofascial pain may be:

  • Dull, aching pain in the muscles of the face
  • Jaw pain or tenderness of the jaw
  • Reduced ability to open or close the mouth particularly in the mornings after waking

Patients with bridges or crowns should be checked for bite discrepancies, which may cause excessive strain or even spasms of the chewing muscles. Treatment could include adjusting the restorations or replacing them.

Surgical treatment for TMJ are reserved for the most severe cases where other therapeutic methods have failed. One option for oral surgery is to manipulate the jaw under general anesthetic and wash out the joint with a saline and anti-inflammatory solution.