Poway and Rancho Bernardo, CA
Snap, crackle, and pop! No, we aren’t referring to one of America’s greatest cereals. Instead, we are referring to sounds coming from your jaw joints. What do these sounds mean? Are they bad? Are they causing any damage? How can it be stopped? These questions and more will be answered on the blog today. Read on to learn how neuromuscular dentist in Poway, Dr. Nicol Cook, describes the cause behind these annoying, and often painful, noises that occur when you open and close your jaw.
As we age, our joints become a bit worn out and aren’t quite what they used to be. As a result, sounds may emanate from our joints, and while it may not cause any pain, it sometimes could be a sign of something more serious that won’t go away without treatment. In fact, as is the case with most health-related issues, they only worsen over time unless treatment is sought.
For one reason or another, the jaw joints tend to be forgotten by most general practitioners. Still, even with the medical advancements and knowledge that we have today, the mouth tends to be treated as a separate unit compared to the rest of the body. But, as a trained neuromuscular dentist, Dr. Cook understands the intricate connection between the health of the jaw joints and overall well-being. This is one reason why a neuromuscular dentist is the best practitioner to see regarding jaw joint-related problems or pain.
So, back to those strange sounds that you may hear when you open and close your jaw. Don’t ignore it. These sounds could indicate a serious disorder referred to as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. This disorder develops when the teeth or jaws become misaligned, but also can result from an injury to the face, or even arthritis. The jaw joints are intimately located near the head and neck, which just so happens to also be near the location of the spinal cord. You can easily see how jaw joint malfunction can lead to widespread discomfort or pain through the head, neck, and body. Therefore, treatment should be sought, even if the sounds you hear don’t seem to be causing any pain, yet.
Dr. Cook employs special technology that can track and measure the degree at which your jaw is misaligned. These readings help devise the best treatment plan to align your jaw properly. Treatment doesn’t have to mean extensive surgery, and many of Dr. Cook’s patients that suffer from TMJ disorder find relief from wearing a custom-made oral orthotic, which helps hold the jaw in proper alignment.
TMJ Dentist in Poway
Even though those strange sounds that you hear coming from your jaw joints may not cause any pain, you still should receive an evaluation. If you hear popping or clicking emanating from your jaw, and it is accompanied with discomfort or pain, ringing in the ears, or the inability to close or open your mouth properly, then contact Smiles by Dr. Cook today or call (858) 673-0141. Dr. Cook would love to meet with you to discuss your smile needs and devise an individualized treatment plan to address all of your dental health needs. We welcome patients of Poway and Rancho Bernardo, California.