Surgery and “Disk Removal” for TMJ?

Every so often, I get questions from people about TMJ and surgery, be it a disk removal or grinding of the teeth or what have you. I am not a medical doctor and I cannot give medical advice. But what I can do is review the research on TMJ surgery, consult with experts, and make a recommendation – almost always – that if your doctor or dentist is recommending surgery – get a second or even a third opinion. Research institutions recommend getting the most conservative and reversible treatment available (i.e. not surgery):

“Because more studies are needed on the safety and effectiveness of most treatments for jaw joint and muscle disorders, experts strongly recommend using the most conservative, reversible treatments possible. Conservative treatments do not invade the tissues of the face, jaw, or joint, or involve surgery. Reversible treatments do not cause permanent changes in the structure or position of the jaw or teeth. Even when TMJ disorders have become persistent, most patients still do not need aggressive types of treatment.”

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that leads the federal research effort on temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders (TMJ) and is a good resource for more information:

And, of course, I can recommend my gentle, safe and effective Feldenkrais-based sensory-motor sessions for relieving and eliminating TMJ pain: