Does A Popping Jaw Mean TMJ Disorder?

Often, patients with persistent popping or crackling in their jaw joints may be experiencing symptoms of a serious oral health issue. TMJ disorder, also known as TMD, can lead to difficulty fully opening and closing your mouth. In today’s blog, we’re going to talk about identifying and treating TMD.

The Cause and Common Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

TMD can occur when the jaw joints undergo excessive stress, which can happen as a result of tooth loss, misalignment, or injury to the face or jaw. Patients with the disorder may notice popping or clicking in the jaw joints, as well as headaches, soreness in the jaw or face, or even pain in the neck or shoulders. If these potential symptoms apply to you, then you may need to see us for a diagnosis.

Treating TMD

Treating jaw joint strain can stop uncomfortable symptoms and help prevent problem opening and closing your mouth. We can often address the issue with an oral appliance. The device will look similar to a nightguard and be worn as you sleep. The device repositions the jaw joints to ease the strain on your jaws. We can also address TMD-related dysfunction with orthodontics or custom-made restorations, such as dental crowns.

The Link to Bruxism

Bruxism is a disorder in which patients regularly grind their teeth or clench their teeth. The disorder can not only damage teeth, but also place pressure on the jaw joints, making the onset of jaw joint problems more likely. Untreated TMJ disorder in turn can make the onset of bruxism more likely. Fortunately, we can often treat bruxism with an oral appliance as well, which also places a barrier between the upper and lower sets of teeth to prevent further damage. If you have any questions about treating TMJ disorder then contact our team today.

Talk To Cedar West Family Dentistry About TMD

At Cedar West Family Dentistry, we can offer treatment for TMJ disorder. Our practice can work with you to provide solutions to common oral health issues. To learn more, or to schedule an appointment with us, call our family dental office in Richfield, MN, today at (612) 861-7188.