A clicking or popping sound when you open your mouth can be heard. But if it’s also painful, you might be suffering from temporomandibular disorder, or TMD disorder (often called TMJ). The good news is that a dentist can diagnose and provide TMD treatment to help relieve TMD symptoms.
TMD pain results from dental problems specific to the jaw. Simple movements such as opening and closing our mouths, chewing, speaking and swallowing are all made possible by the collaborative work of the different parts of the jaw. When any one part doesn’t perform as expected, you may experience TMD pain.
If you have the following TMD symptoms for more than a week, consult a dentist. Symptoms are: pain in the face or jaw area, toothaches or headaches that cannot be relieved with toothache remedies or over-the-counter medications, earaches and pain in or around your ear when chewing, neck, shoulder or back pain, inability to open your mouth wide, jaw locking, whether open or closed, unusual sounds in your jaw like clicking, popping or grating when opening or closing your mouth, an uncomfortable bite that feels like your upper and lower jaw don’t quite fit together, and dizziness.
Your dentists can recommend the best dental treatment if you are diagnosed with TMD disorder. TMD treatment usually includes any of the following: Stretching exercises for your jaw, stress-reducing exercises, medications such as pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs as well as prescription-only drugs like muscle relaxants, a splint or night guard to prevent teeth from clenching and grinding.