TMJ DISORDERS
 
TMJ (Temporomandibular joint) disorders are problems related to your complex jaw joint.  The joint is on each side of your head in front of your ears, where your jawbone meets your skull.  This joint allows you to talk, chew and yawn.  TMJ disorders develop for several diffenernt reasons:  you may clench or grind your teeth, have pain or "clicking" sound, or tightening your jaw muscles and stressing your TMJ joint.  There are various treatment options that can be utilized to improve the harmony and function of your jaw.  Once an evaluation confirms the diagnosis of TMJ disorder, then we will determine the proper treatment.  No one treatment can resolve TMJ disorders completly, and your treatment may take time to be effective.  Most cases can be alleviated with self-managed care or nonsurgical treatment.
 
ORAL PATHOLOGY
 
Inside of your mouth is normally lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that is smooth and coral pink in color.  Any alteration in this appearance could be a warning sign for a pathological process.  The most serious of these is oral cancer. 
 
Following can be signs of the beginning of a pathologic process or cancerous growth:
 
-Reddish patches (erythroplasia) or whitish patches (leukoplakia)  in the mouth
-A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily
-Lump or thickening on the skin lining of the mouth
-Chronic hoarseness or sore throats
-Difficulty in swallowing or chewing
 
Any of these changes can be detected on the lips, cheeks, palate and gum tissue around the teeth, tongue, face and/or neck. Pain does not always occur with pathology and is not often associated with oral cancer.  However, any patient with facial and/or oral pain without an obvious cause or reason may also be at risk for oral cancer.
 
If you need to have a biopsy:
 
This procedure involves surgically removing a portion of the suspicious area and sending it to a pathologic lab to be examined underneath a microscope.  This allows for an accurate diagnosis of the problem, and then the doctor can make a treatment plan that is specific for the type of lesion you has been diagnosed with.
 
Remember early detection and treatment can mean a better chance of cure, so we recommend that you perform oral cancer self-examinations monthly.  Don't ignore any suspicious lumps or sores.  If you find something that you are concerned about, please call our office for a consultation.