Clicking and popping in the jaw joint, along with pain and locking, are symptoms of temporomandibular joint dysfunction, conditions of the jaw joint that can be incredibly detrimental to your quality of life.
How TMJ Develops
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the joint where your lower jaw connects to your skull. If you place your fingers just below your ear and open and close your mouth, you can feel this joint in action. The jaw joint is complex and designed to have an impressive range of motion, which allows for our complex speech and varied diet. Unfortunately, complex joints can also have complex problems.
When the joint becomes inflamed, it stops working correctly. Pain is often the result, along with the popping and clicking described. Fortunately, solutions are available.
First, we'll want to see if we can pinpoint the cause of the dysfunction. Sometimes, the joint is inflamed because of arthritis or an injury to the joint itself. Sometimes it's the result of a long-term clenching and grinding habit known as bruxism. Sometimes stress is a factor. In addition to addressing the underlying cause, we will also address your symptoms to relieve your discomfort and restore function to the joint.
A custom-made splint, worn at night, will help to relax your jaw muscles and provide support to reduce the inflammation.
Our Green Bay Office Can Help with TMJ!
If you are experiencing pain or other jaw symptoms, please call our De Pere dental office right away so we can determine the best solution for you.