Do you ever experience a popping or cracking sensation in your jaw? What about chronic headaches or jaw pain? While these issues may seem like mild irritants, they are also symptoms of a serious medical disorder. TMJ disorder, also known as TMD, affects over 10 million people in the United States. Thankfully, treatment is available. In today’s blog, your Livonia dentist, Dr. James Stewart, explains the causes of TMD and how to treat this painful disorder.
What Causes My Jaw to Pop?
TMJ disorder occurs when excess strain is placed on the temporomandibular joints. These joints not only connect the jaw to the skull, but also control all jaw movement, such as chewing or speaking. A variety of factors can lead to painful stress on the jaw joints, including:
- Bruxism, or teeth grinding
- Injury to the jaw or face
Symptoms of TMJ Disorder
Patients with TMD report a wide array of similar symptoms, such as:
- Headaches and migraines
- Earaches and tinnitus
- Jaw and face pain
- Sore neck and shoulders
- Popping or clicking in the jaw
Misalignment and teeth grinding are the most common causes of TMD-related symptoms. Fortunately, Dr. Stewart can recommend a single treatment for both issues. An oral appliance, similar to a mouth guard, is a popular and minimally invasive treatment often prescribed to reduce the pain related to TMJ disorder. The oral appliance repositions the jaw, returning proper alignment and relaxing overworked jaw joints. The dental device also prevents the upper and lower teeth from touching, which eliminates teeth grinding. Teeth grinding often leads to severely damaged teeth and should be addressed immediately.
Schedule an Appointment with Your Livonia General Dentist
Do you experience a popping jaw or other painful symptoms of TMJ disorder? Then talk to your Livonia general dentist, Dr. Stewart, today. Dr. Stewart can provide a diagnosis and sit down with you to discuss treatment options. We provide general, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry to maintain beautiful smiles for the entire family! Contact our 48154 dentist office. Schedule a visit by calling (734) 425-4400. We serve patients from Livonia, Farmington, Farmington Hills, and surrounding areas.