Dr. Mark Barnes with TMJ Sleep Solutions in Colorado.
I had patients come in recently who have read and been told when their jaw started to click they should simply limit how wide they open their mouth so that it doesn’t click thinking that is healing for the joint.
That’s not true and wanted to offer a brief explanation why.
TMJ or temporomandibular joint is a condyle disk and socket and as we open and close our mouths muscles move the discs and muscles move the jaw. Those two stay in harmony and this provides cushion to the bones and easy movement.
In a hypermobile joint when you close together the disc slips a little bit and over time as it slips enough with sound of the clinic is one of the condyle pops back on the cartilage in and moves with it the rest of your opening.
What is Lockjaw And how do you get it?
If you limit the amount that you open or wait long enough the muscles contract and the condyle works its way further into the socket eventually locking out the disk and creates was called a locked jaw. You’re opening suddenly decreases and muscle tension increases.
At that point arthritis starts in the joint it’s more difficult to treat this non-surgically but the sooner we can see you if you’re going to clicking the more likely it is we can help with this situation and avoid a locked jaw.
I hope this offers an explanation why it’s best to get it sooner rather than later if your temporomandibular joint is clicking.
If you would like some more information or have questions on TMJ treatment click here.