Do you have some difficulty or stiffness in opening your mouth in the early morning?
Have you heard a clicking sound or pain in front of your ears while eating or opening your mouth, or closing your mouth?
Did anyone complain why you munch very heavily whether they can feel some sound?
Jaw popping refers to a clicking sound from the jaw every time when we try to open or close, which can be followed by sensations of pain.
Most of us will experience this kind of jaw clicking sound or jaw pain at some point in our life.
Can this clicking/ Pain go away on its own?
Most of the time these complaints are temporary and go away on their own, but sometimes these symptoms are serious and can alarm a larger issue.
Is Clicking serious? Is TM joint pain a big deal?
YES, If Clicking sound((every day or almost every day) or pain persists there’s something wrong. Ignoring this clicking or pain symptoms can result in irreversible damage.
So, how to fix this?
A lot of people assume this is not related to dentistry and they consult with general practitioners. They can give pain killers for these jaw issues but that isn’t enough to solve the issue. Sakti Dental, We are specialized in neuromuscular dentistry.
There is no single and one straightforward approach to fix TMD. Each and every case is different which means we have to analyze each case and choose which treatment method they think would work best. Some individuals’ treatment is easy and only takes a short duration. In some other cases, it can take years to become pain-free.
Before we dive into what kind of treatment methods we use at Sakti Dental, let’s explain a little bit about what TMD/TMJ is and why it happens.
What is TMD?
The movable Lower jawbone is attached to the skull by the Temporomandibular joints.
Still difficult to imagine?? simple, Just keep your finger in front of your ear and try to open and close your mouth, you can easily feel the TM joint.
It is one of the most frequently used joints (like eating and speaking) in the human body.
TMD refers to Temporomandibular Disorders.TMD is a group of conditions that creates clicking, pain, and dysfunction in the jaw joint and the muscles that control jaw movement.
TMD pain may also be referred to other regions (head, face, neck, and shoulders). This can confuse patients and make them difficult and uncertain about where the pain is truly coming from.
Symptoms of TMD
- Jaw clicking/popping/Grinding sounds
- Jaw pain while eating/speaking/Rest
- Radiating pain in Face, Jaw, and Neck
- Jaw Stiffness
- Ear fullness, Earache
- Jaw locking
- Restricted mouth opening
- Discomfort/pain when holding your head up straight
What Causes TMD?
- Congenital problems
- Birth Trauma
- Malalignment of Tooth
- Disproportion of the jaw size
- Bruxism( Night Grinding)
- Can stress and anxiety cause TMJ?- Surprisingly, yes
- Osteoarthritis of rheumatoid arthritis
- Hormonal influences
- Articular disc issues
- Previous injury
It is thought that the prevalence of TMJ problems may be up to 76% of the population, being more prevalent in patients between 20 and 40 years of age (Shi et al, 2003) and in women (Luther et al, 2010).
How Can We Treat TMD?
TMD-related treatment methods vary depending upon the stages. At Sakti Dental, our specialists look at TMD from a holistic standpoint, taking into account things like dental malalignment and blocked airways that can cause clenching/grinding and thus TMD.
Conservative Treatment Approach
- Soft Diet
- Applying ice packs
- Avoid excessive mouth opening(Yawning)
- Meditation to relieve stress
- Jaw Stretching and relaxing exercises
Various Treatment Methods
- Orthodontics (Braces) to correct the tooth alignment)
- Occlusal Splints / Stabilization splints
- TENSing (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) to help relax the jaw
- Custom Nightguard (to prevent grinding/clenching)
- Psychological therapy to help manage stress better
- Hyaluronate Injection
- Botox injection
TMJ exercises for pain relief – https://www.healthline.com/health/tmj-exercises
In most cases, a combination of these different treatment options will help get a patient to a point where they no longer experience TMD pain.
How do I know I have TMD?
If you’ve been experiencing some of the symptoms listed above for a few weeks, it may be time to visit Sakti Dental. Do not wait to schedule an appointment if your jaw is continually clicking or is causing you serious pain.
Minor TMD can, and typically does, go away on its own but ignoring chronic symptoms will only make things more difficult for you and your dentist down the road.
We’d love to help you with your TMD! Contact us by calling (0462)2534585 to set up a TMD consultation with our experts.
Dr. Shiva Sankar is the Clinical Director and Orthodontist at Sakti Dental Clinic, Tirunelveli with over 18+ years of experience in dentistry. He is also a Professor in the Department of Orthodontics, Rajas Dental College affiliated to, Dr.MGR Medical University. Dr. Shiva Sankar frequently publishes research papers in leading scientific national and international journals.