Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley CA
Jaw clicking can happen while you eat, yawn, or when trying to brush your teeth. You may even wake up with a sore jaw that tends to lock up at times. This annoying clicking sound may seem like nothing more than a nuisance, but often times it leads to tender jaw joints or pain. If this sounds familiar, TMJ specialists in Santa Cruz at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry want you to know why you should take your jaw clicking seriously.
These clicking sounds that you may often hear, along with a sore or painful jaw, are signs of temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD for short. It often begins around puberty for women, although it can affect anyone of any age. It involves the jaw joints experiencing stress and strain, which causes inflammation that leads to discomfort or pain. That clicking sound that you hear is actually the cartilage in your jaw joint popping back into place as you open or close your mouth. Just reading that sentence probably makes you want to grab your jaw and wince in pain! It’s no wonder it hurts when you chew or have to open your mouth wide.
Why you should take your jaw clicking seriously
Untreated TMD may lead to damage to the joint cartilage or chronic inflammation. It also can cause you to wear down your teeth due to uneven wear from a misaligned jaw. Many sufferers also experience frequent headaches of migraine-like intensity since the inflammation and muscle strain occurs so close to the head. Sometimes TMD may cause tinnitus or ear ringing. Sleep breathing disorders also can be caused by untreated TMD.
How to tell if you have TMD
TMD has a wide array of symptoms ranging from popping or clicking sounds in the jaw, pain in the jaw joints, headaches, neck or back pain, ear pain, dizziness, lockjaw, or pain when eating or chewing. Even some cases of fibromyalgia have been linked to untreated TMD. Therefore, if you experience any one of these symptoms, contact Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry for an evaluation.
Since TMD is a disorder that often is misdiagnosed by doctors, which is why you should choose a dentist that specializes in diagnosing and treating this disorder. Our office is equipped with cutting-edge technology to diagnose a case of TMD. We use sonography, electromyography, specialized X-ray machines, and joint vibration analysis to determine the precise misalignment of your jaw so that we can provide the most accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Treating TMD is case specific, and therefore, may vary from patient to patient, we offer noninvasive methods of treatment and recommend surgery only for extreme cases. To learn which method of treatment is best for you, schedule a TMJ disorder evaluation with us at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry.
Treatment for TMJ Disorder in Los Gatos
The most important thing to remember is not to ignore your jaw clicking. It could be a sign of something more serious such as TMJ disorder. If you would like to learn more about TMJ disorder or treatment for this condition, please contact our office by calling (831) 438-4411.
Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry is proud to serve patients in the areas of Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley, California.