why does my jaw keep locking and popping
What is TMJ? TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, means that the hinge connecting the upper and lower jaw isn't working properly. This hinge is one of the most complex joints in the body, responsible for moving the lower jaw forward, backward and side-to-side. Any problem that prevents this complex system of muscles, ligaments, discs and bones from working as it should is called TMJ. Often, TMJ feels like your jaw is popping or clicking or even "getting stuck" for a moment. The exact cause of this misalignment is often impossible to determine. What are the Symptoms of TMJ? TMJ disorders have many signs and symptoms. It's often hard to know for sure if you have TMJ, because one or all of these symptoms can also be present for other problems. Your
can help make a proper diagnosis by taking a complete medical and dental history, conducting a clinical examination and taking appropriate X-rays. Headaches (often mimicking migraines), earaches, and pain and pressure behind the eyes Pain brought on by yawning, opening the mouth widely or chewing Jaws that "get stuck," lock or go out How is TMJ Treated? While there is no single cure for TMJ, there are different treatments you can follow that may reduce your symptoms dramatically.
Your dentist may recommend one or more of the following: Trying to eliminate muscle spasm and pain by applying moist heat or taking medication such as muscle-relaxants, aspirin or other over-the-counter pain-relievers, or anti-inflammatory drugs Reducing the harmful effects of clenching and grinding by wearing an appliance, sometimes called a bite plate or splint. Custom-made to fit your mouth, the appliance slips over the upper teeth and keeps them from grinding against the lower teeth Learning relaxation techniques to help control muscle tension in the jaw. Your dentist may suggest you seek training or counseling to help eliminate stress When the jaw joints are affected and other treatments have been unsuccessful, jaw joint surgery may be recommended Frequently performing these behaviors can cause wear and tear on the joints, which can lead to erosion. Jaw popping is generally not a cause for concern if there isnвt any jaw pain with it. However, certain underlying causes for the popping can create a TMJ condition that needs medical attention. These causes can include: Arthritis can cause damage to the cartilage of the temporomandibular joint.
Both and can affect the jaw. Loss of cartilage makes the jaw movements lack proper absorption in the joint socket. Other OA symptoms are joint pain and stiffness in other areas of the body. This also includes a lowered range of motion. If you have RA, you might experience a loss of appetite, tiredness, and. Arthritis requires long-term treatment from a medical professional. If you have sustained an injury, you might have a broken or dislocated jaw. Dislocation occurs when the jaw joint becomes unhinged. If your jaw is broken or dislocated, you may also experience: Jaw injuries need to be treated swiftly for proper healing. Malocclusion of the teeth results in misalignment. This can cause the jaw to pop. Malocclusion is also known as a crossbite, overbite, underbite, open bite, or crowded teeth. Misalignment is usually treated with braces and other orthodontic care. Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) causes chronic pain in the musculoskeletal system. The pain is usually localized to one area. MPS in the jaw can cause the jaw to pop. People with MPS have trigger points, or sensitive spots.
These trigger points cause pain when pressure is applied. Someone who has MPS may have: Jaw popping can be caused by both obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA). OSA causes a person to stop breathing involuntarily throughout their sleep cycle due to narrowness in the throat. The limited airflow restricts how much air goes into the lungs. This causes the individual to wake up so they can catch their breath. People who have CSA stop breathing periodically during sleep because the brain doesnвt accurately signal the muscles. People with CSA may experience: Using a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine is the most common treatment for sleep apnea. Infection of the salivary gland can lead to TMJ and jaw popping, among other symptoms. The infection can reside in: You may be unable to fully open your mouth, which can cause the popping. You may also have: Salivary gland infections should be treated right away. A tumor, which can lead to oral cancer, can impact the jaw. Tumors can develop in the: When the tumor interferes with the movement of the jaw, you may experience jaw popping. Consult your doctor for treatment.
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