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FAQ:  Jaw Clicking


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TMJ Jaw Clicking Ask The Dentist Ira Koeppel Question:
Clicking jaw: The right side of my jaw has been clicking for the last eight months.

It started after I had dental work in June. My jaw would not open for a day or two, and it's been clicking on the right side ever since.

It happens when I'm eating, yawning, laughing. I find it very frustrating and uncomfortable.

My usual dentist told me to wear a mouth guard because it might be caused by grinding or clenching. Another dentist referred me to a TMJ specialist, but the cost isn't covered by my insurance.

Would you recommend that I get a mouth-guard first and try that out before going to see a specialist? ... Visitor from Canada

Answer:
It sounds likes the area you are talking about is the stylohyoid ligament.

Try to put moist heat on the area, below the ear, behind the angle of the jaw, and take either ibuprofen (advil), aspirin, or Tylenol. After the moist heat I would take your finger and massage the area, unfortunately to get the best results you need to do this often.

It seems that with all the surgeries you have had, they had to open your mouth very wide and some of the muscles seem to be in spasm. The stinging burning sensation could possibly be some nerve damage or irritation, and that would need to be evaluated every three to six months.

Sometimes however the muscles could be so tight and cause irritation to nerves as well.

Ira D. Koeppel, D.D.S.
New York Reconstructive Dentistry
126 Gnarled Hollow Road
East Setauket Long Island, NY 11733
(631) 689-9777

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