Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a disorder of the jaw joint that causes migraines, radiating facial pain, jaw pain, and other symptoms. Although it is a common cause of jaw pain, TMJ is not the only condition that can cause your jaw to hurt. Sometimes, these other causes of jaw pain can even result in the development of TMJ. The formation of bone cysts and cysts that affect the jaw joint may cause TMJ-like symptoms, and can lead to TMJ over time. Understanding the types of cysts that can cause these problems is important for understanding the source of your pain.

Synovial Cyst Formation

Side view x-ray of the human skullTMJ can cause limited joint mobility in your jaw, preventing you from being able to fully open your mouth. A type of cyst that forms in the joint may also limit the mobility of your jaw. Synovial cysts are fluid-filled sacs that form in joints on rare occasion. Only about 12 cases have been documented in literature where this type of cyst formed in the jaw joint.

Although it is a rare occurrence, these cyst can cause problems when they form in the jaw joint. Several of the cases of synovial cysts forming in the jaw result in the patient being unable to bring their back teeth together fully without pain. Not only can they cause jaw pain and prevent your jaw from closing properly, but they can misalign your jaw over time. When your jaw is misaligned, TMJ can develop. TMJ treatment will not always relieve symptoms if the cyst is still present, so it is important to monitor your pain and discuss any lack of improvement with your dentist or medical provider.

Aneurysmal Bone Cysts

Other types of cysts may form in the bone itself. Aneurysmal bone cysts occasionally form in the knob-like bone that makes up the joints connecting your jaw to your skull. In the rare occurrence where this kind of cyst forms in the jaw, it can cause jaw pain and clicking in the joint similar to symptoms caused by TMJ. Growth of the cyst may change the positioning of your teeth and cause a bad bite. The development of a bad bite may lead to TMJ.

In severe cases, the cyst may continue growing and break apart the jawbone. Having jaw pain looked at right away is essential for stopping the progression of cyst growth before irreversible damage occurs. Surgery may be required to remove the cyst. After surgery, it is important to monitor the healing of your jaw to ensure that you do not develop TMJ.

Correcting TMJ Caused by Cyst Formation

The odds of developing a cyst in your jaw are slim, but it is important to be aware that the possibility exists. If you receive TMJ treatment but do not experience an improvement in your symptoms, your pain may be caused by other conditions, such as cysts. Your treatment may need adjustment if your symptoms are caused by other conditions.

In cases where TMJ develops as a result of damage done by cysts, non-surgical TMJ treatment can help. A bad bite can be corrected through changes to your teeth. Reshaping your teeth can change your bite back to a more natural position to alleviate pain. Depending on your condition, a bite splint could also reposition your jaw enough to relieve your pain.

Part of diagnosing and dealing with pain is monitoring the improvements that follow. Lack of improvement could indicate the presence of other complications that need treatment. If you would like to learn more about how non-surgical TMJ treatment can help improve your jaw pain, please call (407) 834-6446 to set up an appointment with Orlando TMJ dentist, Dr. Michael L. Weinstock today.