TMJ & Facial Pain

The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) allows for movement in the jaw. TMJ Disorders are conditions that affect the jaw and is characterised by varying degrees on pain in the mouth and face. Specific causes for TMJ Disorders are not known, but medical professionals believe genetics and injury can lead to pain in the joints of the mouth. Arthritis can also affect the TMJ.

Damage to the ligaments, muscles or bone in the jaw caused by injury, arthritis or other genetic factors usually leads to TMJ Disorders. Stress can also cause facial pain related to TMJ when the jaw is constantly clenched.


TMJ Disorders and other facial pain can be debilitating if left untreated. Symptoms of TMJ Disorders, however, can often be managed with therapy and medical treatment. TMJ and Facial Pain Disorders are generally characterised by chronic pain and tenderness in either or both jaws.

Signs and symptoms also include:

  • Pain in the ears
  • Generalised intense facial pain
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Lockjaw
  • Difficulty or restricted mouth movements

Surgical Treatment

Jaw Surgery to treat TMJ Disorders and Facial Pain requires the expertise of a Maxillofacial and Oral Surgeon such as Dr Naidoo. Oral surgery is also advised in cases of severe TMJ and Facial Pain.

Before TMJ Disorders are corrected by surgery, Dr Naidoo will conduct a series of tests and x-rays to determine the underlying factors causing Facial Pain. Non-surgical methods of therapy are applied often at the initial phase of the disease. If damage to the ligaments, muscles and bones have occurred, Dr Naidoo can work to repair damage and restore the full functionality of the jaw through Open Jaw Surgery. Other minimally invasive surgical techniques such as lavage and lysis, arthroscopy can be used to correct TMJ Disorders in less severe cases where facial pain is caused by inflammation in jaw. Injections can also be administered to assist with TMJ Disorders.

Smiles are free, but they are worth a lot.

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