When you open your mouth, yawn, or chew, does your jaw make clicking, popping, or grinding noises? If so, your jaw may be talking to you, telling you that you have a problem. Your jaw is designed to function smoothly without noise or pain. Your jaw joints, or temporomandibular joints (TMJs) can be felt by putting your fingers in front of your ears and opening your mouth. That is where your lower jaw is connected to your skull. If it’s grinding, clicking, or popping, then something is wrong.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
Clicking, popping, grating, and grinding in your jaw are symptoms of a temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD. Other symptoms include:
- Achy or stiff jaw
- Jaw pain or tenderness
- Pain in, ringing in, or a “plugged” ear
- Difficulty chewing, or toothache
- Headache, neckache, backache
- Locking jaw
- Muscle spasms in your face or jaw area
Your jaw consists of tissue and a special disc within the joint. It is designed this way so it can open and close numerous times each day without a hitch, literally. If your jaw begins to hitch or ache or pop, you should bring it to the attention of your dentist.
What Causes TMD?
TMDs can be hard to diagnose, and they can be caused by several factors including:
- Chronic grinding and clenching (bruxism): Overworking the jaw muscle by bruxing can stress the joint
- Trauma to the jaw area: A blow to the jaw or any type of accident
- Bite misalignment
- Osteoarthritis: Can cause wear and tear inside the jaw joint
- Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and gout
The good news is that treatment for TMD is generally easy and non-invasive and consists of a custom designed oral appliance that you wear at night. The appliance helps alleviate stress on your jaw joints which helps reduce or eliminate symptoms. Dr. Wright may also suggest Botox® treatment, to help your jaw joints and surrounding muscles relax and recover.
If Your Jaw Is Talking To You, Let Us Know!
Don’t continue to live with the aches and pains associated with TMDs. Schedule your consultation with Just Wright Dental in Corsicana, TX, today at (903) 225-2221. We proudly serve patients from Navarro County, Mildred, Eureka, Ennis, Fairfield, Teague, Blooming Grove, Dawson, Hubbard, Hillsboro, Mexia, Groesbeck, Kerens, Malakoff, Rice, Centerville, Buffalo, and Athens.