Do You Have a Jaw That Clicks?
Do you have a jaw that clicks when you open your mouth? A jaw click can mean there may be a small tear in the fibrous capsule attached to the disk in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). If your jaw makes a clicking sound that is not combined with pain, many times the click can correct itself and you will not need an invasive procedure to fix it. For uncomplicated jaw clicks sometimes wearing a custom fitted night guard can help. Wearing a well fitting night guard helps eliminate over stressing the temporomandibular joint.
When your jaw clicks and you experience pain, the combination of pain and clicking is an indicator that there is more of an acute problem with the temporomandibular joint. Inflammation or a more severe tear in or around the joint is usually the root of the pain. If you are experiencing joint pain in your jaw you should schedule an appointment with your dentist and report the problem. Your dentist may be able to diagnose and treat your problem or they may refer you to a specialist.
Traditional recommendations to help eliminate or reduce temporomandibular joint pain include the following suggestions:
- Eat easy to chew foods and avoid heavy use of the jaw
- No gum chewing
- Do not open mouth as wide as possible.
- Take anti inflammatory medications
- Wear a custom fitted night guard
Tears in the capsule of the temporomandibular joint do not self heal. Severe tears may require surgery to repair, however most small tears will stop hurting over time and cause no further complications. In some cases occasional flare ups occur. If you have a jaw that clicks be sure to seek the advice of an experienced dentist to help remedy the problem.