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COVID-19 update:  Our hospital is still fully open for appointments and admissions, however visitors are not permitted.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ)

It is estimated up 30% of adults will experience problems with the Temporomandibular joint in their lives. The exact cause of these disorders is often difficult to determine with a range of factors involved including genetics, osteoarthritis and jaw injury.

 

The temporomandibular joint is a hinge of cartilage between the jawbone and the skull which is powered by the muscles that guide chewing and speech mechanics. There is one joint on each side of the head just in front of the ear.

It is believed that people who clench or grind their teeth in sleep are more susceptible to TMJ and natural wear and tear on the joint is also an issue.

It can cause localized pain and have a detrimental impact on quality of life.

Patients typically experience pain in the jaw that spreads to the cheek and ear. It can also cause the jaw to feel tight, making it difficult to open the mouth fully and eat properly.

Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ) Treatment

Lifestyle changes can lessen the pressure on the joint and allow it to recover and a steroid injection can be used to reduce the swelling and pain in the soft tissue surrounding the joint.

The joint can be washed out with sterile fluid to help it return to its normal position and function in a procedure called an arthrocentesis which normally takes place under a general anaesthetic.

The joint can be completely replaced with a prosthetic disc but this is rare and usually employed when the patient has suffered trauma or degenerative arthritis which severely impairs jaw movement.

Make an appointment

To ask a question or to book an appointment with one of our experts you can call us on 020 7078 3845 or email us at maxfaxlondon@hje.org.uk.

MaxFax Clinic

Our MaxFax Unit provides a bespoke medical service at St John and St Elizabeth Hospital specialising in oral and maxillofacial conditions, offering a range of surgeries and other treatments.

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Patient information

Our Hospital is renowned for providing exemplary levels of care across more than 90 services. From orthopaedics, to urology, our private GP practice and Urgent Care Clinic, our services are led by some of London’s leading Consultants. For more information, and to find a service suitable for your care, find out more about the services that we offer.

Make an enquiry

If you have any questions relating to treatment options or pricing information, get in touch with us by filling out one of our contact boxes or giving us a call on 020 7078 3845.

Our Appointments Team have a dedicated and caring approach to finding you the earliest appointment possible with the best specialist.

If you are self-paying you don’t need a referral from your GP for a consultation. You can simply refer yourself* and book an appointment.

If you have health insurance (e.g. Bupa, Axa Health, Aviva), you will need to contact your insurer to get authorisation before any treatment, and in most cases you will also require a referral letter from your GP.

If you are not registered with a GP, we have an in-house private GP practice you can use. Alternatively, we can suggest the most appropriate course of action for you to take, given your location and individual circumstances.

*Please note – for investigations such as X-rays and MRIs, a referral will be required. However, we may be able to arrange this for you through our on-site private GP.

    Make an enquiry

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