About TMJ and Treatments

Christopher C. Babcock, DMD, earned his MD from the University of Louisville in 2003. Besides dedicating time to his dentistry career, Dr. Chris Babcock works in finance, focusing on disability insurance and life insurance. Currently, Christopher C. Babcock, MD, works as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon at Louisville Oral Surgery and Dental Implants, specializing in maxillofacial trauma surgery and TMJ treatment and surgery.

Maxillofacial surgery refers to surgery executed to address problems of the head, face, jaw, neck, and sinuses. Typically, surgeons of this area perform surgeries that involve bone, but they can also deal with tissue structures.

One example of a situation that may require maxillofacial surgery if other treatments fail is temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). This condition causes pain in the jaw due to the joint connecting the jawbone to the skull. People with TMJ often experience acute pain and have difficulty with everyday activities such as eating and talking. Although maxillofacial surgery is an option for those suffering from TMJ, some conventional treatments provide substantial relief.

Among the standard treatments are physical therapy, ice, rest, relaxation techniques, and orthodontic bite correction if bite problems cause the TMJ. In cases where bruxism (a condition in which the patient clenches or grinds their teeth while sleeping), causes TMJ, a custom-fitted splint may also be recommended by an orthodontist.