TMJ Arthritis

Arthritis & TMJ

Often times TMJ can occur due to arthritis. There are three types of arthritis that affect TMJ:


  1. The most common type of arthritis is osteoarthritis, which causes the cartilage and bone to degenerate at the joint, resulting in TMJ. Osteoarthritis can occur because of trauma or because of age related issues.

  2. Rheumatoid arthritis patients experience chronic inflammation of the joint, which can affect the jaw the same way patients experience pain in other areas of their body.

  3. Ankylosis of the joint, a more severe form of rheumatoid arthritis, where the joint fuses.


Symptoms of TMJ and Arthritis


Each form of arthritis can allow symptoms to develop in different ways. The most common symptoms include:


  • Swelling at the joint

  • Poor joint mobility, inability to move the jaw

  • Popping, clicking, or grinding noises that occur when the mouth is opened and closed.


During your first visit, Dr. Farnad will review the following:


  • Your full medical history

  • Your current symptoms and pain

  • Your sleep habits and energy levels throughout the day

  • A complete dental examination to determine the quality of your bite and jaw alignment.

  • An examination of the jaw joint and muscle for tenderness

  • Check the ears and head for sensitivity and/or pain

  • Examine jaw mobility and movement side-to-side

  • Monitor, feel, and listen to jaw movement

  • X-rays, CT scan, or MRI of the jaw


During your TMJ evaluation, Dr. Farnad will examine the movement of the jaw and look at the structural integrity of the bones and joints through a CT and/or MRI. If Dr. Farnad suspects an infection, or feels the joints need to be washed, arthocentesis will remove infection and fluid.




Patients with arthritic TMJ can often follow the same treatment for other TMJ conditions. These treatments include: a soft diet, applying heat to the painful TMJ area, and using an oral device or splint. Patients also feel physical therapy and stress management can improve their painful symptoms.


Other patients find relief from Botox TMJ treatment, which relaxes the joint and increases mobility of the jaw. Often times, patients take Botox treatments after arthocentesis, which washes the inflamed joint.


In severe cases, with severe degeneration of the joint and bone, surgery may be the most beneficial treatment. Another option is arthoscopic surgery. Our office is one of the only offices in Beverly Hills which offers patients arthoscopic treatment. As an expert in facial pain and jaw reconstruction, Dr. Farnad uses small instruments with a camera to look at the joint. It is a minimally invasive procedure that produces big results for the patient. There is less scaring and a shorter recovery time than other procedures. In the most severe cases, Dr. Farnad will suggest jaw surgery, only after all conservative, minimally invasive efforts, have been exhausted and the patient is still in tremendous pain.


During your consultation with Dr. Farnad, he will review your entire health history and discuss every treatment option. If you are currently being cared for by a rheumatologist, Dr. Farnad will work together with your physician to ensure total care and treatment.


Arthritis & TMJ Treatment