How Do I Stop My Jaw Crunching Sound?
If you are experiencing jaw crunching, visit Koala® Center For Sleep & TMJ Disorders for a professional evaluation. Our TMJ dentists are experienced at treating jaw crunching and can help you overcome your symptoms for long-term relief. We serve patients from all over the USA. Locations in Bloomington IL, Peoria/Dunlap IL, Mishawaka IN, Kansas City MO, El Paso TX, and Wausau WI. For more information call us at one of our clinics today or request an appointment online.
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When it becomes injured, the jaw joint can sometimes make a popping, grating, or crunching sound. In fact, there are many more things than just injuries that can contribute to this audible noise coming from the jaw. Sometimes all it takes is opening the jaw too wide, moving the jaw too far to the side, or eating very chewy foods. While generally harmless, this crunching sound known as crepitus can be quite bothersome, which is why many people experiencing this issue often seek help from a qualified dentist.
A crunching, popping, grinding or grating sound in the jaw is known as crepitus, which may be caused by a number of problems. It is usually accompanied by pain or discomfort, but this is not always the case. One of the most common causes of jaw crunching is a disorder with the temporomandibular joint, known as TMD. There are many forms of TMD, most of which have the potential to cause audible sounds in the jaw. In addition to TMD, jaw popping or grating can also be caused by: arthritis; injury to the jaw; myofascial pain syndrome; obstructive sleep apnea; malocclusion of the teeth; an infection; or a tumor.
When experiencing jaw crunching, it is important to see a doctor who specializes in treating this symptom, such as a TMJ dentist. TMJ dentists go beyond oral hygiene and dental cleanings and focus on evaluating, diagnosing, treating, and preventing disorders with the temporomandibular joint, including jaw crunching. They have a wealth of knowledge on the anatomy of the mouth and jaw and can help determine exactly what is causing these symptoms.
There are many causes for jaw crunching and almost as many ways to fix it. Common treatments for jaw crunching include:
– Strengthen the Jaw Muscles — Jaw crunching is usually due to a muscle imbalance or joint problem. Strengthening jaw muscles with gentle isometric exercises—that use resistance and tighten muscles without movement—is very helpful. Joint problems usually improve with this strengthening and stretching exercises but may need medical attention if it worsens.
– Reposition of the Jaw — In some cases, the jaw needs to be repositioned with an orthotic that will likely have to be used full time. This can be prescribed by a dentist.
– Visit a TMJ Dentist — Regardless of the situation or severity, visiting a TMJ dentist for jaw crunching or popping can help resolve these issues and help patients learn how these problems originated in the first place. A TMJ dentist can find and resolve a bite imbalance that manifests mostly during sleep, which in turn causes muscles to contract very forcibly, also known as bruxism. This puts stress on the jaw muscles, teeth and TMJ.
For many issues involving the jaw, only a dentist with advanced training can properly diagnose and treat these concerns.
If jaw crunching is left untreated, it can result in further complications, such as soft tissue damage in the jaw joint. In addition, jaw crunching can also become worse if left untreated, resulting in harsher pops, louder crunches, and more intense pain.
For more information call us today to book an appointment for TMJ treatments. We look forward to serving you!