TMJ Disorders

Jaw Pain & Clicking Treatment in Rancho Cucamonga

TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders are a family of problems related to your complex jaw joint. If you have had symptoms like pain or a “clicking” sound, you’ll be glad to know that these problems are more easily diagnosed and treated than they were in the past. These symptoms occur when the joints of the jaw and the chewing muscles (muscles of mastication) do not work together correctly. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is the name for each joint (right and left) that connects your jaw to your skull. Since some types of TMJ problems can lead to more serious conditions, early detection and treatment are important.

No one treatment can resolve TMJ disorders completely and treatment takes time to become effective. Dr. Dudziak, Dr. Choi, Dr. Hicke and Dr. Zakhary can help you have a healthier and more comfortable jaw.

If you experience pain or clicking in your jaw, call us to schedule your consultation!

Rancho Cucamonga Office Phone Number 909-581-7761 Email Us

Trouble With Your Jaw?

TMJ disorders develop for many reasons. You might clench or grind your teeth, tightening your jaw muscles and stressing your TM joint. You may have a damaged jaw joint due to injury or disease. Injuries and arthritis can damage the joint directly or stretch or tear the muscle ligaments. As a result, the disk, which is made of cartilage and functions as the cushion of the jaw joint, can slip out of position. Whatever the cause, the results may includec a misaligned bite, pain, clicking, or grating noise when you open your mouth or trouble opening your mouth wide.

Do You Have A TMJ Disorder?

Are you aware of grinding or clenching your teeth?
Do you wake up with sore, stiff muscles around your jaws?
Do you have frequent headaches or neck aches?
Does the pain get worse when you clench your teeth?
Does stress make your clenching and pain worse?
Does your jaw click, pop, grate, catch, or lock when you open your mouth?
Is it difficult or painful to open your mouth, eat, or yawn?
Have you ever injured your neck, head, or jaws?
Have you had problems (such as arthritis) with other joints?
Do you have teeth that no longer touch when you bite?
Do your teeth meet differently from time to time?
Is it hard to use your front teeth to bite or tear food?
Are your teeth sensitive, loose, broken or worn?

The more times you answered “yes”, the more likely it is that you have a TMJ disorder. Understanding TMJ disorders will also help you understand how they are treated.

Non-Surgical Treatment

There are various treatment options that our surgeons can utilize to improve the harmony and function of your jaw. Once an evaluation confirms a diagnosis of TMJ disorder, we will determine the proper course of treatment. It is important to note that treatment always works best with a team approach of self-care joined with professional care.

Self Care

Like an injury to the knee or other joint, it is important to rest the jaw joint (TMJ) by:

  • Resting your jaw
  • Keeping your teeth apart when you are not swallowing or eating
  • Eating soft foods
  • Applying ice and heat
  • Exercising your jaw
  • Practicing good posture


The initial goals are to relieve the muscle spasm and joint pain. This is usually accomplished with a pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, or muscle relaxant. Steroids or Botox can be injected directly into the joints to reduce pain and inflammation.

Physical Therapy

There are a variety of physical therapy techniques that may help treat certain TMJ disorders. These may require referral to the appropriate specialist and may include jaw exercises, posture training, electrical stimulation, ultrasound, biofeedback and others.

Splint Therapy

A splint (or nightguard) fits over your top or bottom teeth and helps keep your teeth apart, thereby relaxing the muscles and reducing pain. There are different types of appliances used for different purposes. A nightguard helps you stop clenching or grinding your teeth and reduces muscle tension at night and helps to protect the cartilage and joint surfaces. An anterior positioning appliance moves your jaw forward, relives pressure on parts of your jaw and aids in disk repositioning. It may be worn 24 hours/day to help your jaw heal.

What About Surgery?

If your TMJ disorder has caused problems with how your teeth fit together, you may need treatment such as bite adjustment (equilibration), orthodontics with or without jaw reconstruction, or restorative dental work. Various surgical options include arthrocentesis, arthroscopic arthroplasty or prosthetic replacement.

Treatment of TMJ surgery is often covered under your medical insurance plan.

Not everyone with TMJ problems is a candidate for surgery. Some will benefit from conservative therapies. Prior to scheduling a consultation, we ask that you fill out a screening questionnaire. Download TMJ questionnaire

Patient Reviews

Inland Empire Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons

5 out of 5 stars based on 6 TMJ Surgery reviews.

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

Very courteous professional and caring

- Khassan A

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I was referred by my Doctor and I am so thankful he did. This office is so professional,compassionate and kind. Thank you to everyone for explaining and answering all questions and putting me at ease with my procedure and future follow up. Love the little detail from the warm blanket,music,smoothie to follow up call from Dr Choi which made it so easy for me to feel comfortable since I was very nervous to start.

- Tere H

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

The nurses and doctors are unbelievably nice and welcoming. 🙂

- A D

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

State of the art procedure,equipment and top notch attention to details that really matter for a first time patient.Doctor was gentle and his assistant was very kind and understanding. Thank you for my experience.

- Carlos Madrid M

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

The procedure I experienced was not an option on this survey so just chose one. : ) Excellent experience.

- Rebecca M

5 out of 5 stars on

Our Latest Patient Testimonial

I am so impressed with Inland Empire Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons. They have treated my children in the past, but this morning was my turn. From the first phone call with Ashley to every call after with Gloria I couldn't have asked for anything better! Fantastic Staff, beautiful office, and exceptionally clean! I work for Dr. Gray who is an Orthodontist in Upland, so I hold a very high standard to the way a patient should be treated and this office scored an A+!! I always refer to this office but now actually being a patient myself I can really tell our patients about my actual experience. Thank you Inland Empire for the way you run your practice! Keep up the good work!

- tracy t

5 out of 5 stars on