Pearl, a French teen who developed TMJ, has had a long odyssey to get successful surgery for her condition. She developed TMJ just a few years ago. Although the “before” images in this news story show her in braces, it’s unlikely that her orthodontic work was related to developing her TMJ. But the jaw pain was excruciating, even when her jaw was inactive, so she knew she had to get treatment.
First One Surgery, Then Another
Pearl got a surgery for her condition in France. The surgery involved breaking her jaw and reshaping it to try to get it to fit together properly without having the jaw pop in and out of place. The surgery required her jaw to be wired shut for eight weeks, and she was in what she describes as “the biggest pain you could ever imagine.”
Unfortunately, this first surgery didn’t work. Initially, it seemed successful, but then the jaw began to move back out of place and even threatened to block her airway.
So Pearl came to the US to get an advanced temporomandibular joint replacement surgery. This surgery used advanced imaging to model Pearl’s jaw and design a reconstructive surgery that replaced the jaw in a single stage.
So far, it seems that Pearl is pain-free and has a functional jaw. Hopefully, the jaw will continue to function.
Surgery Creates Problems only Surgery Can Fix
Pearl’s case is all too common in TMJ sufferers. Once you seek a surgical solution, you’re often locked into more surgeries, because the kinds of changes that surgery induces can only be corrected with more surgeries.
This is why it’s often best to make sure you’ve tried all noninvasive TMJ treatments first, before you begin getting surgical treatments. Try home care first, then seek help from a TMJ dentist who can offer you noninvasive treatments.