The jaw is a sliding hinge joint, which allows for seamless movement when we open and close our mouths to speak, yawn, and chew food (the building blocks of human life). Known as the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), the jaw, like any joint, is susceptible to inflammation and wear and tear that can cause pain, stiffness, clicking, and even locking. Pain can develop for a number of reasons, the most common being trauma or a prolonged teeth grinding habit. When pain and stiffness in the jaw persist over a period of time, along with clicking, popping, or locking when trying to open and close the mouth, it can be a sign of Temporomandibular disorders (TMD).
TMJ Symptoms and Treatment in Wayne, PA
An occasional click or crack of the jaw from time to time without other lasting symptoms is most likely not a sign of TMJ/TMD. Dr. Jonathan D. Stone, your Wayne, PA based dentist, treats TMD associated chronic jaw pain, and advises patients to pay attention to symptoms and pain that do not resolve on their own, such as:
- Pain/stiffness in the jaw
- Pain/ache in the ear
- Pain/discomfort while chewing
- Facial aches and pains
- Clicking, popping, locking of the jaw
In most cases, conservative treatments can help to relieve the underlying causes of strain and stress to the jaw. Chronic teeth grinders may benefit from behavior modification techniques to help alleviate stress, or dental treatment like night guards or orthodontics for significant misalignment of the teeth. Dental restorations like crowns and bridges are also sometimes sufficient to ease stress on the jaw.
Contact your Dentist in Wayne, PA
If you are experiencing persistent pain, stiffness, and locking of the jaw, you may be suffering from TMD. For a precise diagnosis and more information on treatment options, contact Dr. Jonathan D. Stone by calling (610) 687-0505 to schedule an appointment today.
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