Experiencing jaw issues in Fairhope? If you are having problems such as jaw “clicking” when you chew, speak, yawn, or open your mouth wide, you may be wondering what the issue is. If you’ve noticed that your jaw is locking in place unexpectedly, you might have serious concerns about your oral health.
But what do jaw clicking and locking mean? What causes it, what are your treatment options, and what should you do? Here’s everything you need to know:
Jaw Clicking And Locking? This is a Common Sign of TMJ
The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is a small and delicate join located right next to each of your ears. This joint is responsible for connecting your jaw to your skull and allowing you to move your mouth to speak, chew, and yawn.
If you are experiencing issues such as jaw clicking and locking, you may have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (usually referred to as TMJ/TMD).
TMJ/TMD occurs when the temporomandibular joint becomes damaged or inflamed due to an injury, inflammatory disorders, and other such issues. Normally, the temporomandibular joint functions as a smooth “hinge” and lets your jaw move freely and naturally.
When this joint becomes inflamed or damaged, smooth movement is impaired. This can cause issues like jaw clicking and locking, and make it difficult to open your mouth wide. Other common associated issues include pain in your jaw, aching and radiating pain around your ears, and difficulty chewing or pain while chewing. If you notice these issues, you may have TMJ/TMD.
Treatment Options For TMJ/TMD – What Can I Do To Keep My Jaw Healthy?
This depends on the cause of your TMJ/TMD. In some cases, lifestyle changes can help resolve the problem. For example, if you chew a lot of gum, this can cause stress to your temporomandibular joint. Ceasing gum chewing will allow you to recover. Some other steps you can take include reducing stress, getting a night guard to treat teeth grinding, eating softer foods, and using NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) to help with inflammation.
If you have a more serious case of TMJ/TMD caused by an oral injury, inflammatory disease or another such cause, you may need further TMJ/TMD treatment from a medical professional. For example, corticosteroid injections into the joint can help provide relief and allow the joint to heal.
Another common treatment is an “oral appliance.” This device will be made by a qualified dentist like Dr. Brabston. It’s designed to take the stress off of the temporomandibular joint, and helps it heal. Your jaw position will be shifted to help your joints relax, promoting healing and better TMJ health.
Surgical treatments may be required for TMJ/TMD, but this is extremely rare, and a last resort that’s typically only used if all other treatments fail.
Get Help For TMJ/TMD In Fairhope – Contact Living Oaks Dental Now!
If your jaw is clicking or locking, you may have TMJ/TMD. Without proper treatment, your condition could get worse, and cause you even more pain, discomfort and inconvenience. So don’t wait. Contact us right away to get help. You can give us a call now at (251) 928-1645, or stop by our office at 506 N Section St, Fairhope, AL 36532 and get the help you need.