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FAQ:  Jaw Clicking

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For the past 2-3 weeks I have begun hearing a clicking sound below my ear. Before this I was having difficulties breathing and would have to yawn very wide to get air. My breathing problems have since stopped but the clicking is still appearing.

My jaw feels as if it's dislocated and they don't fit together anymore. I used to have no room in my mouth at the back of the molars, now there is about 1/2"-3/4" gap between my last molar and the back of my mouth. I'm worried that it's going to cause major facial damage and teeth problems. I'm currently quitting using "snuff" and I can see that my teeth have been grinding together.

Do you think If I get a night mouthgaurd it will help stop any further damage? The pain sometimes gets so bad that I can't sleep at night because my jaw wants to tense up. I would really prefer if I could fix it by myself at home and not have to go see a specialist. What should I do? ... Visitor from CA

It sounds as if your TMJ disk has popped forward. Since it has been than 30 days there is a good chance the condition can be reversed. However, it would be helpful to see a TMJ dentist that knows how and when to use a pivot appliance.

The pivot appliance relieves just enough pressure on the TMJ to allow most patients to heal. It usually takes up to a year or more and your bite may have to be adjusted but relief is possible.

Editorial Staff

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