Temporomandibular joint syndrome is also known more commonly as either a popping jaw or a clicking jaw, and it means there is an inflammation in the temporomandibular joint or possibly an action that is not being co ordinate by the muscles in the face. The lower jaw, medically referred to as the mandible is moveable in conjunction with the temporal bones in the skull at the point of the tempro mandibular joint. The upper jaw is medically known as the maxilla and is fixed tight to the skull. The upper and the lower jaws coordinate with each other to help with chewing, biting and eating food. Sometimes the tempro mandibular joint communication can be disturbed which will then lead to a number of issues for example a clicking jaw, a pain in the jaw, headaches and a popping jaw. This will happen when inflammation is present.
Causes of Jaw Clicking and Pain
Usually a person will notice a pain at the back of their jaw in the location of their ear and wisdom teeth and it can also spread to the temples of the head. A dental abscess could be the culprit in the jaw pain as can impacted wisdom teeth, parotiditis, otitis media, otitis externa or the mumps. If you experience any pain you should always see your doctor for a full examination as such symptoms can be signs of serious issues such as angina and an impending heart attack.
Symptoms of Jaw Clicking
Most people will experience pain coupled with tenderness and/or swelling of their jaw, others will say they hear a clicking sound when they are opening and closing their mouth. Some people say, they can hear and feel a popping or/and a grinding sensation of the tempro mandibular joint when they are opening and/or closing their mouth. Sometimes you may have a headache on your forehead and/or on the temples and an aching feeling generally around the ears. In some cases people have said they experienced a locking sensation of their jaw while trying to open or close their mouth. Often people will have difficulty chewing their food and some people even have incidences where their teeth have started to erode.
Treatment for a Clicking Jaw
Using a dental guard can help with clenching the jaw however it will not help with temporomandibular joint inflammation symptoms, although it can slightly help with the pain. Anti inflammatory drugs will assist you with the swelling.