At Dr. Kelly’s Chicago dental office, jaw clicking and popping treatment has successfully stopped loss of jaw function.
When healthy, the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) functions quietly. The jaw moves smoothly, and does not pull to one side or make abrupt changes in speed and/or direction. The socket of the TMJ is connected to the rounded head of the lower jaw (condyle) by ligaments that bind the two bones together. There is a disc of cartilage between these two bones, which acts as a bearing. Ligaments hold the disc to the head. In the case of trauma to this ligament, usually due to injury or chronic clenching, the disc can slip out from between the two bones. This dislocation is usually toward the front. When the jaw opens to a certain angle, the disc moves to the top of the condyle, causing a clicking or popping noise. In certain cases, the disc remains in front of the condyle, resulting in the inability of the jaw to open widely. This is called a closed lock of the TMJ. When the jaw closes, the disc will slip out—usually without much noise. This causes soft tissue to lie between the bones instead of the disc. This tissue has an active blood supply, which can cause inflammation. If the soft tissue is torn or pierced, there is bone-to-bone contact during jaw function. The joint surfaces will roughen with continued contact, causing a grinding noise. Although it may seem insignificant, the clicking and popping of TM joints may lead to irreversible damage to the jaw. It is best to correct the problem as soon as possible to retain full function of the jaw.
For Chicago jaw clicking and popping treatment, schedule an appointment with Dr. Kelly today.