Click, pop, click — hear that? If you’ve got TMD, or temporomandibular joint dysfunction (often referred to as simply TMJ), you probably can’t get away from the noise of your jaw clicking. Sound like something you need a morse code translator for? Listen closely, because it’s your jaw’s way of telling you to get help. Your TMJ can cause chronic pain and problems elsewhere in your body — but seeking treatment from your Houston oral surgeons can help you find relief at long last.
What Causes Your Jaw to Pop
Problems with the TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, can develop for a number of reasons. A traumatic injury or blow to the face, stress, teeth grinding, dental misalignments, and other factors may throw your jaw joint out of whack. When it happens to you, you will certainly feel the effects. TMJ/TMD has been linked with a number of painful symptoms in the jaw, neck, face, and head.
When a Clicking Jaw Equals TMJ/TMD
More than 10 million Americans suffer from the symptoms of TMJ/TMD, and the condition is more common in women than men. Is your clicking jaw a sign of TMJ/TMD? The symptoms aren’t easily ignored. Difficulty opening and closing the jaw, the sensation of lock jaw, pain when eating, speaking, yawning, and opening wide are all related to TMD/TMJ. The condition can also causes tingling extremities, headaches, as well as facial and neck pain.
Don’t ignore the popping or clicking in your jaw any longer. TMJ therapy can take the pressure off of your jaw joint or bring it into proper alignment once and for all. Professional treatment may include a bite guard or splint worn at night, and surgical options are available for the most serious cases of TMJ/TMD.
Try Self-Help for Your Clicking Jaw First
Before you seek professional treatment for jaw pain, there are a few things you can try to relieve excess pressure on your TMJ. If your jaw pain is getting in the way of your daily life, try to heal the TMJ by eating a soft foods diet for a few days. Apply a warm compress before going to bed to relax the jaw joint and prevent clenching during sleep. To deal with discomfort, take an over-the-counter pain medication while your jaw heals.
Reducing stress can also relieve tension in the TMJ. Take notice right now — are you holding tension in your jaw without realizing it? If so, relax. It’s not uncommon to clench the jaw throughout the day and at night. Some patients are able to find relief from their TMJ pain by beginning stress-management tactics, like meditation, yoga, talk therapy, and other coping skills for tension, anxiety, and stress.
When to Seek Professional Help for TMJ
If you have tried natural solutions for your jaw pain but find that your symptoms persist, contact your Houston Oral Surgeons for professional treatment for your TMJ. We can discuss your different therapy options to help you find the lasting relief from TMJ/TMD you need and deserve. Schedule an appointment with Piney Point Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery today!