Six Common Facts You Need To Know On Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder

Medical Doctors or dentists are known all over the world to treat their patients based on the severity of their health challenge. In most cases, drugs are recommended to correct disorders, but in exceptional cases, they are left with no choice other than to prescribe surgery. A lot of times certain incident do happen that threaten the well being of our health. One example of such is an accident that causes extreme damage to the mouth, teeth, and jaw areas of the human head body which in severe cases cannot be treated by a dentist , but rather an Oral Surgeon. It might need major oral surgery by a registered and experienced oral surgeon. An Oral surgeon is a medical doctor that performs surgery on the jaws, teeth, and mouth. They are known to be able to handle more complicated treatment of the mouth, teeth, and jaw that require surgery, which a dental surgeon due to training cannot perform. One of such treatments is the removal of impacted wisdom teeth, a procedure that only an oral surgeon can undergo.
One common area where an oral surgeon expertise is called upon is in the treatment of Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, especially the one that involves surgery. This is a health issue that affects the temporomandibular joint present in the human head region. This in most cases arises when this joint connecting the jaw to the skull is impaired. As a result, the individual affected goes through severe pain in the joint that connect the jaw to the skull, and equally around the muscles that aids jaw movement. According to New Zealand health directory, 10% of kiwi people took TMJ disorder last year 2016. Many people are scared regarding these major dental surgery. However, surgery can be only solutions for these disorder procedures. There are many facts involve with these TMJ disorder treatment. I am going to illustrated 6 major facts regarding this disorder.


I would be sharing with you, six (6) common facts you need to know on TMJ disorder.

Six (6) Common Facts You Need To Know On Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) Disorder

1. Women are more affected by TMJ Disorder

It is really interesting that women are more likely suffered by TMJ disorder than man. Same things happen in New Zealand as well.  it is a known fact that eight (8) out of every ten (10) sufferers of this disorder are women. While a lot of studies are still being conducted on TMJ disorders, some of the things research has shown which could be responsible for these high rates in women are:

Arthritis: Women are known to suffer more from arthritis compared to men.

Vitamin Deficiencies: This has been link to the cause of TMJ disorder in women. Women are known to suffer vitamin deficiencies during their menstruation years.

The use of oral contraceptives: Studies have shown that a woman that uses oral contraceptives is more likely to suffer from TMJ disorder.

2. Women between the age of 20, and 40 years old are more prone to TMJ Disorder

As mentioned in 1 above, TMJ disorders are more common in women. Due to some of the things research have shown to be responsible for this, it is seen to be more predominant among women in their child bearing age, mostly among those between 20 and 40 years.

3. TMJ Disorder affects One (1) out of every Four (4) Adults

It is really socking news that ever one in four adults affects by critical tmj disorder Studies have shown that one out of every four adults have varying degrees of TMJ disorder. While some individual especially those with mild condition of the disorder might be able to apply some simple solutions to treat it, those with severe pain would require regular visit to the hospital.

4. TMJ Disorder can be treated surgically or non surgically 

Many people has fear regarding surgical procedures. They they face this type of disorder, they always look for non-surgical procedures. Simple solutions like eating soft food, avoiding extremely jaw movement, applying ice pack, and practicing different relaxation techniques have been demonstrated to be effective in treating patient with this disorder.

Also, surgery can be performed to treat this disorder. The use of surgery should be considered as the last treatment when other options have failed in alleviating the discomfort experienced by the patient. Depending on the severity of the condition, this can be performed either by a Dentist, Plastic surgeon, or an Oral Surgeon. Treatment by an oral surgeon mostly involves the replacement of the joint, which is seen as irreversible. Because of the sensitive nature of the joint replacement surgery, patients are advised to use it only when other options by either a dentist or plastic surgeon have failed.

5. TMJ Disorder is difficult to diagnose. 

Though a lot of things have been said to be responsible for this disorder, but the fact remain that no one have been able to know the exact cause of this disorder. This has in a way made the diagnosing of the disorder to be difficult. In addition to this, some of the symptoms individual suffering from it claimed to have are known to resemble other ailments. If anyone can diagnose this problem in early stage, it might be helpful for getting quick rid off. So, we need to meet local dentists , if we face any issues in our lower or upper jaw.

6. TMJ Disorder is associated with pains

Individual suffering from TMJ disorder are known to experience varying degree of discomfort that causes severe pain. This pain is thought to be as a result of the movement of the trigeminal nerve that passes through the jaw, when transmitting signals to the human brain.



I understand that TMJ disorder is one of the shocking and scary dental problem. It might take major surgical procedures for getting fully cure from this disorder. Good things are , we are having advanced dental technology and experienced oral surgeon. So this type of dental problem can be uprooted ,  if we can diagnose on time.

There is hope for the future, all over the world, research are currently being done by health scientists to know more about TMJ disorder, especially on issues relating to its prevention, causes, and diagnosis, and also on how to improve the quality of life of those who are suffering from the disorder.

Six Common Facts You Need To Know On Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder

Difference between oral surgeon and general dentists

Who is an oral surgeon?

An oral surgeon is different from a dentist. He or she is a specialist with an extensive surgical training and specifically specializes in performing oral surgical procedures on a daily basis. The office of an oral surgeon may look similar to that of a dentist, but he or she uses more complex and specialized equipment compared to the ones found in a dentist’s office. The specialized equipment allows the oral surgeon to perform delicate surgical procedures more quickly, precisely, and comfortably.

oral care auckland

Who is a dentist?

Apart from performing simple oral surgical procedures, a general dentist is also involved in other non-surgical procedures on a day –to day basis, including cleanings, x-rays, fillings, root canals, preventive maintenance , and diagnostic exams . Essentially, he doesn’t specialize in performing oral surgical procedures as an oral surgeon does.

Difference between oral surgeon and Dentist

If you consider  treatment or academic background, you might get huge different between oral surgeon and general dental professional. You need to do major treatment as an oral specialists , however there are some other general work done by general dentist. For example, dental cleaning, regular check-up or more. Dr Lance West, oral surgeon at Auckland oral care said “An oral specialists are more likely involve with very niche dental treatment. They need to involve with major pre or post surgical treatment. Beside, a dentist can involve with regular dental procedures and he /she might refereed urgent patient to dental specialists. “There are a few differences between an oral surgeon and a dentist. These include:


After receiving a bachelor’s degree, both oral surgeons and general dentists must complete their coursework in dental school, which takes four years of full-time study. This coursework involves studying anatomy, pharmacology, physiology, oral surgery, and pathology. They also study how to diagnose and treat dental problems.

After successfully earning the Doctor of Dental Medicine or Doctor of Dental Surgery, a general dentist is required to complete a licensure examination in order for him or her to practice in a specific area. On the other hand, oral surgeons are required to complete surgical residency lasting from 4 to 6 years. In addition, the Commission on Dental Accreditation must accept the residency program. This requirement is meant to help ensure that each resident has successfully completed training in oral surgery, oral pathology, and anesthesia. After completing the surgical residency, a board certification examination is mandatory.

-Scope of work

General dentists are involved in providing primary care for dental medicine. For this reason, they provide such services as gum care, X-rays, teeth cleaning, root canals, veneers, dental fillings, crowns, as well as comprehensive screening of dental problems, among other duties .However, they are sometimes involved in performing simple tooth extractions, but do not usually perform complex surgeries.

On the other hand, oral surgeons are specialists in treating various conditions affecting the mouth, face, and jaw. They deal with complex cases which are beyond the expertise of a general dentist. Some of their duties include performing simple and complex tooth extractions and complex dental procedures on accident victims. Their other duties include performing soft tissue biopsies, jaw realignment surgery, tumor removal, and positioning of implants, among others.

Why the role of oral surgeons is vital
Oral surgeons play a very important role in society for a number of reasons, including the following:

-They perform complex surgical procedures

Unlike general dentists, oral surgeons are specifically trained to perform complex surgical oral procedures that are beyond the scope of general surgeons. For instance, they perform complex dental procedures on accident victims, a role that general dentists cannot perform.

-They work in collaboration with other specialists

Oral dentists often deal with patients who have been referred to them from general dentists because of complexity of their cases. Their work includes overseeing post- operative activity of their patients, as well as coordinating care with other specialists.

-They are well equipped than general dentists, making them more effective in dealing with complex oral problems.

-They can write scientific papers on special techniques and various topics in oral surgery, leading to more advancement on oral care.


Oral surgeons and general dentists play an important role in society when it comes to the provision of oral heath care. They work together to ensure that people access the best oral health care they possibly can.

Difference between oral surgeon and general dentists

Emergency Oral Care Services in Auckland, New Zealand

Oral treatment is the practice of maintaining clean teeth and mouth in order to prevent dental issues including gingivitis, bad breath, dental cavities and periodontal [gum] diseases.

There is however some dental diseases that requires surgery to be treated. This is where an oral surgeon comes in. An oral surgeon specializes in treating various diseases, defects and injuries in the face, jaws, head, neck as well as the soft and hard tissues of the mouth and maxillofacial [face and jaws] region. Lance west clinic is one of the leading dental service provider for ORAL & MAXILLOFACIAL treatment. Dr. Lance West provides safe and best oral and maxillofacial treatment in Auckland, New Zealand. He started his practice in Auckland in 1987. Because of his renowned reputation, he receives many referrals from GPs, orthodontists and dentists but also welcomes enquires directly from patients.

Depending upon the jurisdiction, oral surgeons may need training in dentistry, surgery, as well as general medicine.

Dental service is a phrase used to describe the different types of procedures that are done by a dentist. This term can involve the general tooth maintenance as well as major jaw and facial reconstruction. It can also include cosmetic dentistry.

Oral service on the other hand is the act of observing the cleanliness of your mouth and teeth in order to prevent dental disorders. It involves a particular practice done to keep your mouth clean and healthy by observing regular routines such as flossing, using a mouthwash and brushing. Oral services are very important if you want to maintain good overall health.

oral care auckland

How to get good oral surgeon in Auckland

Auckland has many oral surgeons and this may cause you confusion while trying to find the best one. However, with a little research as well as a small help from the pros, you can find the right oral surgeon for your surgery.

Whether you are looking for someone to remove your troublesome wisdom teeth or one who will fix your broken jaw, your insurance company or dentist can help you find the right person.

Talk to Your Dentist

Your search should begin at your regular dentist’s office who may have suggested that you have the surgery. He’s likely to have some recommendation.

After getting a name, ask your dentist these questions,

1.  Why do you recommend the particular surgeon?

2. What are his specialities?

3. What’s the surgeon’s background?

Check Out Your Insurance

You can reach doctors from your insurer’s network by visiting their website or calling them. Most companies list doctors according to their speciality and will show you their offices.

Make a list then cross-check with any recommendations that you get, and then move from there.

You can also choose out-of-network doctors. But that will cost you more.

Hit the Internet

There are many oral surgeons in New Zealand, so if your regular dentist, family or friends do not recommend one for you ,then it is good to take advantage of the internet.

There are many sites that rate surgeons as well as their offices. However, remember to critically read the patient reviews.

Websites will also reveal information on the doctor’s background. These include professional affiliations, education, experience and more.

Usually, your teeth are well set, but because of some undesirable practices and habits your oral health deteriorates and this makes your teeth suffer. If you need any form of oral surgery, you should seek the services of an oral surgeon. One more thing you ought not to forget when choosing an oral surgeon is to make sure that the one you choose is certified by the relevant bodies.



Emergency Oral Care Services in Auckland, New Zealand