Besides being annoying, jaw clicking alerts you to a problem with temporomandibular joint disorder or misalignment. It can also result from other reasons that may develop from wear-and-tear or from stress on the ligaments. The following information provides further details.
Does Your Jaw Click?
The clicking of the jaw can result from any number of various reasons. According to the Cleveland Clinic, this type of condition should be carefully assessed, as one of several events can trigger popping or clicking. For example, jaw clicking may result from a problem with a ligament. Sometimes a ligament will tighten, causing the jaw to click or pop during jaw movement. The incident may also result from the formation of air bubbles within the jaw joint. If you have muscle tightness in the neck area, the jaw may click or grind in response. Due to the aging process, Cartilage wear may also develop rough areas, which leads to jaw-related sounds.
Repositioning the Jaw
Clicking can result in the way a person positions their jaw and may be alleviated if the jaw is repositioned. That is why this type of dental anomaly should be carefully examined. This is especially true if the clicking or jaw noise is accompanied by some type of pain. You may be able to massage the jaw joint to get some relief, as stress and clenching of the jaw can also lead to unwanted jaw noise. When the clicking and jaw pain are affecting your daily life, surgery may need to be performed in some cases. Before considering surgery, you can also treat jaw clicking by applying an ice pack or moist heat to the jaw or by taking a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, such as aspirin or a muscle relaxant. Eating soft foods can help, as can wearing a splint or night guard. TMJ-specific exercises can help, as well, such as the following – Open your jaw as wide as possible for a count of 5, and stretch the tongue toward the palate.
We can give you specific recommendations for care, depending on your situation. If you have a problem with jaw clicking, snapping, or popping, or if you currently experience jaw pain, contact us at (702) 270-2999 for a consultation.