Health & Fitness

Dental Surgery

Five Treatments for Your Clicking Jaw

An occasional click or pop in your jaw when you are yawning or chewing is a normal occurrence. Repeated clicks and grinding noises, however, may indicate an underlying condition. Frequent clicking, especially when it’s accompanied by jaw pain, can be a symptom of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. TMJ symptoms also include facial swelling, frequent headaches, jaw stiffness, difficulty opening and closing your mouth and unexplained earaches and dental pain. A dentist familiar with TMJ can determine if you have this disorder and assist you in finding the TMJ treatment option best suited for you.
1. Appliances
Dental appliances are custom fitted by dentists and worn to adjust your bite. Bite guards, splints and other appliances reposition your jaw and cover any abnormalities in the biting surface of your teeth. Repositioning the lower jaw into the socket relieves discomfort and allows the muscles to work more efficiently. A bite guard can also minimize tooth grinding, which can aggravate TMJ disorders and cause muscle pain.
2. Occlusal Equilibration
Missing teeth and jagged or missing fillings can create an uneven biting surface, making it difficult for your jaw to close properly. Your dentist can balance the surfaces of your teeth by reshaping them. This allows your jaw to close effectively, improves positioning in the socket and can decrease jaw pain and other TMJ symptoms.
3. Orthodontics
Structural problems with your bite may also result in TMJ symptoms. A misaligned jaw and small mouth are examples of structural problems. Structural problems can also be caused by traumatic injuries. Orthodontists commonly use braces to treat structural problems and permanently improve the position of your jaw. Technological advances in orthodontics have made dental braces a viable option for adults as well as children.
4. Medications Best Dental Schools For Specializing
Several different types of medication are used to treat the symptoms of TMJ. Your dentist may prescribe pain medications that decrease discomfort by reducing inflammation and relaxing the jaw muscles. Antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications can also be ordered if stress and anxiety are intensifying your pain. Botox injections are another medication option. Injected into your jaw and chewing muscles, this medication blocks nerve impulses and causes a temporary relaxing of the muscles.
5. Surgery Good Dental Colleges
Some cases of TMJ don’t respond to conservative treatments. Surgical options vary depending on your particular situation. Cleansing and minor repairs to the inside of your jaw joint can be accomplished by an oral surgeon through arthrocentesis and arthroscopy. Open-joint surgery, however, may be the only option if your TMJ is the result of complex conditions such as bone trauma, scarring or tumors.