TMJ: Is That Click or Pop in Your Jaw Causing Pain?
You often notice a clicking or popping in your jaw when you chew. Recently, you’ve only been eating soft foods and you can’t even go a few days without taking pain medicine.
Some days, intense pain can make it difficult to do anything and you wish you knew what to do about it.
You may be suffering from a TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, disorder. At Exhale Sinus and Facial Pain Center, we can work with you to diagnose and treat your TMJ for lasting relief.I’m Tired of My Jaw Pain
What is Temporomandibular Disorder (TMJ)?
The temporomandibular joint is a “sliding hinge” joint that connects your jawbone to your skull and consists of the mandible and temporal bones. A dysfunction or disorder of the joint is usually characterized by clicking, popping, or pain when opening or closing the mouth.
TMJ can also have symptoms of
- Tooth pain
- Ear pain
- Pain over your sinuses
- Ear pressure/fullness/fluid in the ear feeling
- Dizziness or off balance
What is Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMD)?
TMD stands for temporomandibular joint disorders and collectively refers to the disfunction of the joint, muscles and nerves.
What’s The Cause?
The cause of each patient’s TMJ disorder can be unique and difficult to determine. Most of the time it’s caused by several factors that can consist of:
- Jaw muscle or bone injury
- Clenching or grinding the teeth
The telltale sign of a TMJ disorder is clicking or popping in the jaw accompanied by jaw pain or tenderness. Often, the pain can be intense enough to warrant a visit to the doctor on its own, but some other common symptoms include:
- Pain in the temporomandibular or jaw joint
- Difficulty when trying to close or open the mouth
- Pain while chewing
- Pain around the ear
- Aching pain in the face
When Should I Get Treatment for My Jaw Pain?
Occasionally the pain in your jaw will subside and go away on its own or with mild at home treatment. However, the pain may return if the clicking continues. If you’re experiencing TMJ that comes and goes or is persistent, you can come into Exhale Sinus and Facial Pain Center for effective treatment. Our treatment plans may include a combination of the following.
TMJ Treatment Options
Treatment for TMJ can vary based on its cause and severity. Common treatments for TMJ we utilize at Exhale Sinus and Breathe Free include:
Physical therapy and non-drug treatments are a good place to start when looking for long-term relief from your TMJ pain. Some of these include:
Physical Therapy - Physical therapy exercises can help improve the strength and flexibility of the joint and muscles in the jaw. You may also be taught relaxation techniques.
Hot and Cold Compresses - Alternating hot and cold compresses can help alleviate the pain and relax the muscles.
Infrared therapies/low level laser treatments (LLL)
Frequency specific microcurrent (FSM)
Management of abnormal jaw function (bruxism/teeth clenching and grinding)
When therapy treatments aren’t enough to stop the pain by themselves, pain medication may be needed.
Over The Counter - OTC medications, such as Ibuprofen, are often strong enough to relieve painful symptoms.
Prescription Pain Relievers/Anti-Inflammatories - When the pain is so severe that OTC medications aren’t cutting it, you may need a prescription. Anti-inflammatories are often used in patients whose TMJ is caused by arthritis.
If you’ve been working with us to find a solution but nothing has helped, it may be time to consider surgery or procedure. We can discuss with you which procedures will work for the cause of your TMJ and your overall lifestyle.
You Can Get Jaw Pain Relief at Exhale Sinus and Facial Pain Center
If you have been suffering from the tell-tale clicking, popping, and pain in the jaw associated with TMJ, it’s time to schedule an appointment. You don’t have to continue putting up with the pain just because that’s how it’s been for so long.I’m Tired of My Jaw Pain