Popping and locking might be a part of your teen’s dance recital, but for your jaw, it can mean trouble. As with all joints, popping and locking of the jaw can indicate dysfunction or arthritis. When yawning, the occasional jaw pop is not necessarily a chronic problem, but if it is regularly occurring, a dental exam at Sparkle Dental Care can help identify the problem.
Other symptoms can include:
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Facial pain
- Sensitive teeth
Jaw joints, called temporomandibular joints or TMJ, should open and close smoothly without clicking, popping or locking. While the cause of TMJ disorders can vary, malocclusion (poor bite), trauma, teeth grinding and orthodontic relapse can all contribute to jaw joint dysfunction, or TMD.
If you awaken with painful muscles, sensitive teeth or headaches, you might require TMJ treatment at your Fairfield dental clinic.
TMJ problems are incredibly treatable when detected early. In many cases, a nightguard or bite balancing will restore healthy function of your joints. When left untreated, jaw joints can deteriorate further and require surgery or orthodontics to resolve the condition.
One of our highly skilled dentists will perform an evaluation, which includes:
- Observing the opening and closing of the jaw
- Feeling the muscles in stages of opening or closing
- Looking for bite marks on the inside of the cheeks
- Determining if bony growths under the tongue have developed
- Identifying uneven wear on the teeth
- Taking any necessary x-rays
Every patient is different, and the TMJ treatment we recommend in our Fairfield surgery will be based on your needs and what will restore healthy jaw function for you.
If eating, yawning or speaking causes your joints to pop or lock, give us a call. Arranging a visit is easy, and our team can help you enjoy improved comfort and a healthy smile.