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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How serious is temporomandibular joint disorder?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Dr Paul Coceancig

    Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

    I am a specialist oral & maxillofacial surgeon based in Sydney and Newcastle, Australia. I graduated in medicine from the University of Otago, and in … View Profile

    TMJ (or temporomandibular joint) disorder, is a collective term for a number of conditions and diagnoses that have affected the jaw joint(s), causing pain, inability to chew, and general headache.

    There are a range of conditions that cause problems with the jaw joints. Not all are serious, but some are, and some conditions are incurable.

    Acute jaw joint sprain is often acutely painful, but with early care, is almost entirely curable and without any long term effects.

    Jaw joint meniscal dislocation often starts as a simple joint sprain, which if treated early is also completely reversable. If allowed to progress, the meniscus can be permanently deranged and dislocated. With active treatment, and awareness of aggravation factors, it can become stable, and also pain free.

    Frank joint disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or advanced osteoarthritis can lead to effects on joint size, and function that are irreversible if caught late. There are however tretaments for both, and both the severity of disease activity, as well as reduction of symptoms is all possible through directed and insightful medical, and occasionally surgical care.

    Always seek the advice and care of an oral & maxillofacial surgeon who is trained and interested in jaw joint disease. Early treatment is often successful.

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