If your jaw is clicking or popping, it is time to see a dentist. These symptoms are often indicative of a TMJ disorder, a condition affecting the temporo-mandibular joint.
The TMJ is located on either side of the temple. When problems occur with the joint or the muscles around the joint, painful and bothersome symptoms can occur. One of these common symptoms is a clicking or popping jaw.
If you are experiencing jaw clicking, our dentists in Houston can determine the cause and find a solution.
What Causes a Clicking Jaw?
- One of the most common causes of a TMJ disorder that causes jaw clicking is when the articular disc slips. The articular disc serves as a cushion between the mandible and the temporal bone. When the disk slips, it causes the bones to rub against one another. There may or may not be pain present with the clicking, but either way, it is a problem you will want to solve.
- Other possible causes of a TMJ disorder include: arthritis, stress, trauma, and jaw/bite misalignment.
- In addition to jaw clicking, other symptoms of TMJ disorder may include: jaw pain, neck aches, headaches, pain in the ear, jaw locking, a grinding noise, and trouble opening and/or closing the mouth.
What Can Be Done?
Jaw clicking can be obnoxious, painful, and embarrassing if it is loud enough for others to hear. However, there are several ways to treat TMJ disorder that causes the jaw to click. The treatment will depend on the cause of the disorder, which is why it is so important to see a dentist if you are experiencing jaw clicking or other TMJ disorder symptoms.
- If the disorder is being caused by a misalignment, we will provide you with an appliance to correct your bite and ease the stress and pressure being placed on your jaw.
- Physical stress, such as teeth grinding, can irritate the TMJ, and emotional stress can cause the patient to (often unknowingly) clench the teeth. If stress is found to be the cause, we will recommend methods for stress reduction.
- If a TMJ disorder has been caused by trauma, we can recommend a variety of at-home treatments to relieve your symptoms as your jaw heals.
If your jaw is popping or clicking, it’s important for you to see a dentist as soon as possible. Contact The Houston Dentists, Dr. Frazar and Dr. Hedge. We can identify the cause of your discomfort and find a solution.