The “Temporomandibular Joint,” more commonly referred to as the “jaw joint,” assists in the basic opening and closing movements of the jaw. Unfortunately, this joint is a common area for recurring pain. Although conventional wisdom suggests that “popping” sounds in the jaw indicates a TMJ dysfunction, this is not always true. Many times, your jaw is functioning properly even if a “popping” sound is present when chewing or talking.
We offer a TMJ exam that evaluates the joint tissue in the “hinge” of the jaw. Possible problems include swelling, deterioration of the joint tissue or damaged joint tissue, which cushions the jaw bones during the opening and closing movement of the mouth. Common pain relievers and cold compresses can provide temporary relief for most cases of TMJ.
Depending on the severity of the TMJ/TMD symptoms, treatment options will vary. After a thorough examination, your doctor will determine the best treatment option for you. Treatments can range from practicing certain exercises with your jaw, eating a special diet and applying hot and cold compresses to practicing stress management techniques, using a splint or night guard to promote muscle relaxation or bite correction surgery.
Dr. Lugakingira limits his TMJ management to:
- New patients with symptoms that started within one year of being seen
- Bite splint therapy
- TMJ Arthroplasty
- Discectomy procedures
He also offers eminectomy and custom eminence for chronically dislocating TMJ cases.