Hearing clicking and popping sounds from the jaw area seems perfectly normal for some. However, quite often these clicking sounds might actually be the signs of a certain underlying condition.
Whenever you experience such signs and symptoms, it is time to go for a professional checkup right away.
Many times, jaw clicking is also accompanied by other annoying symptoms such as headaches or painful sensations in the neck and mouth area. Patients can also find it extremely difficult to open or close their mouths without feeling a great deal of pain.
If TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) disorder sets in, inflammation and pain might also occur. Some of the most common causes of TMJ disorder include:
– grinding and clenching of the teeth- when people experience a very stressful period of their life, teeth grinding and clenching might set in. This in turn might easily lead to severe TMJ disorder, especially if the patient does not get proper treatment in time (such as wearing a custom made night mouth guard during nighttime, in order to stop teeth grinding while sleeping).
– chewing excessively- chewing for long hours on gum, or chewing the food excessively, might lead to TMJ disorder.
– opening the mouth excessively wide during sneezing, eating, or yawning.
It is always important to pay attention to how you chew your food, to how long you actually chew on a gum, or to how much strain you put on your jaw muscles voluntarily or involuntarily. With the passing of the years, joint degeneration might set in, leading even to osteoarthritis.
If you experience more and more often TMJ pain, or inflammation in the area, it is important to follow a few healthy rules:
– give up on chewing gum- the more you chew, and the more pressure you exert upon your muscles, the worse the condition can get.
– try to consume more soft foods, and do away with hard to chew foods that put a strain upon your musculature.
– get treatment for the teeth grinding/clenching problem. Bruxism is a condition that will make the TMJ disorder even worse. You can simply ask your dentist for the best treatment in your case.
– do it yourself massaging- by massaging the jaw area with circular movements, you will actually de-tension the muscles, and relax the entire face and neck area.