Why Is My Jaw Clicking and Popping?

Why Is My Jaw Clicking and Popping?

If you've been battling chronic jaw pain, clicking, or popping, you may be suffering from temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD). Dr. Rick Dentistry is here to offer a range of treatment options to relieve your symptoms and improve your quality of life. A visit to our Scottsdale office will have you on your way to a healthy, functional smile that lasts!

Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction: An Overview

The temporomandibular joints or TMJs are the two joints that connect the jawbone to the skull that you'll find on each side of your head, right in front of the ears. They allow you to move your jaw back and forth, side to side, and up and down, so you can talk, chew, swallow, and yawn. These joints are used all the time, leaving them vulnerable to wear and tear, damage, swelling, and other complications.

Problems with the bone, muscle, or tissues in and around your TMJs can cause chronic, debilitating pain. Patients often report clicking and popping sounds when they open or close their mouths or when they chew or yawn. Symptoms of TMJ disorders include pain in or around the jaw, ears, head, temples, face, or neck, as well as swelling of the face or jaw and ringing in the ears, a condition known as tinnitus. TMD can also cause a locked jaw, and the upper and lower teeth may no longer fit together the way they should.

How Is TMD Treated?

Dr. Rick will evaluate your unique condition and recommend the best treatment option to relieve you of your discomfort. The following are proven methods that have helped many of our patients enjoy an improved quality of life:

Botox Treatment: Botox offers a safe and effective solution for patients with chronic TMD. When injected into targeted areas, the neurotoxin derived from botulinum toxin Type A relaxes the muscles, relieving the pain and discomfort. The results are promising, especially for patients with TMD resulting from stress disorders or from nighttime teeth grinding and clenching, a condition known as bruxism.

Oral Appliance Therapy: Dr. Rick may recommend oral appliance therapy using a stabilization splint to help reduce stress on your jaw and improve your bite. If your TMJ dysfunction is caused by chronic teeth grinding and clenching in your sleep, he may recommend a custom mouthguard called a night guard to prevent the grinding and gently reposition your jaw joints to a more favorable position, effectively reducing muscle tension.

Orthodontic Treatment: If an improper bite or misaligned teeth are creating an imbalance affecting your TMJs, you may require orthodontic treatment. Aligning your teeth and correcting your bite can relieve your TMD symptoms.

Occlusal Equilibrium: If defective interferences on your teeth are affecting your bite and causing improper jaw closure, occlusal equilibrium may help improve your TMD symptoms. That involves reshaping the biting surfaces of your teeth to allow your jaw to close correctly.

TMD Treatment Near Me

Visit Dr. Rick's Dental practice in Scottsdale, AZ, to learn more about our TMD treatment options. Dr. Rick will work with you to outline a fully personalized treatment plan to relieve you of your jaw discomfort. We look forward to restoring your healthy, pain-free smile. Call us and schedule your appointment today!