Popping and clicking is not normal when you hear it in your jaw or near your ears. However, approximately 5 to 12 percent of Americans have this exact issue according to statistics published by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. It’s a jaw problem called TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder. You can have this issue officially diagnosed and treated by orthodontist Dr. Gregory Ross at Ross Orthodontics in Hudson, WI and Forest Lake, MN.
What Is TMJ Disorder?
Sometimes called TMD, TMJ disorder is an inflammation and dysfunction of the joints in the jaws. It happens at the point where the upper and lower jaws are hinged together, allowing you to open and close your mouth. TMJ interferes with your ability to talk and eat normally. It can also become a disruptive daily annoyance, distracting you when you’re trying to work and have fun with your friends.
Signs and Possible Causes of TMJ
Do you hear a clicking or popping sound when you open or close your mouth? Do you feel pain at either side of your face near your ears? Do you have trouble opening your mouth wide to shout? Or have you even had your jaw lock in an open or closed position? These are all possible symptoms of TMJ disorder. It is most common in patients who fall into one or more of these categories:
- Have a history of an arthritic condition.
- Struggle with bruxism (clenching and grinding the teeth).
- Have poor orthodontic structure (jaw misalignments).
- Regularly shout or yell for work or recreation.
- Suffered from a whiplash injury in the past.
Fixing TMJ Disorder
You can get relief from TMJ by visiting our orthodontist for advice and treatment. You’ll discuss these treatment options:
- Orthodontic treatment.
- Laser or TENS therapy.
- Heat and ice therapy.
- Jaw exercises, or stress-relief therapy.
- Joint surgery in advanced cases.
Get Help for TMJ Symptoms
TMJ symptoms can get worse and become a source of pain rather than just annoyance if you don’t have it treated in a timely manner. Call (715) 808-8379 for the office in Hudson, WI, or (651) 464-6988 for the office in Forest Lake, MN, today to set up an appointment with Dr. Gregory Ross at Ross Orthodontics.