TMJ surgery FAQs

In these frequently asked questions, find out more about the various types of surgery for tackling TMJ disorders.

TMJ arthroscopy is a minor surgery, but other, more invasive TMJ operations (such as jaw joint replacements) are often considered major surgery. That means you’ll need more downtime, and recovery may take longer.

TMJ problems may be considered severe enough for TMJ surgery if:

  • Your symptoms haven’t responded to conservative TMJ treatments.
  • TMJ pain is affecting your daily life (such as your ability to eat and drink).
  • You have constant severe pain around your jaw.

Some types of TMJ surgery can affect your face shape, particularly if you need more invasive surgery like jaw joint replacement. However, modern medical technology means we can create a jaw joint that closely mirrors your existing face structure, leaving you with minimal visible changes.

If you’re still in the early stages of TMJ pain, you may be able to alleviate pain and prevent further jaw damage by:

  • Using a dental appliance similar to a mouth guard to prevent teeth grinding.
  • Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen.
  • Performing jaw-strengthening exercises.
  • Practising regular stress reduction techniques.
  • Eating soft foods and avoiding chewing gum.
  • Not biting your fingernails or other items.

Not all patients with TMJ disorder need surgery. If you’re in the early stages, your condition may be treatable with less invasive TMJ treatments.

However, if you need surgery and decide against it, you could experience painful or chronic problems, including tinnitus, long-term jaw and face pain, worn-down teeth, and migraines.

We welcome patients with private medical insurance or those wishing to pay for their own treatment.