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FAQ:  Jaw Clicking

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Dental Abcess  Ask The Dentist Richard Winter Question:
Loud Jaw Cracking: I am 17 years old and when I was about 14 I began having a small cracking jaw problem, but now my jaw cracks constantly.

Anything I eat or chew causes both sides of my jaw to crack during every bite. Also when I flex my jaw I can force it to crack which irritates everyone around me.

I have been to the cleaning dentist, othodontist and physical theropist but none of them know what to do. They say if it doesn't hurt then don't bother spending the money to fix it.

But it is becoming worse and worse as time goes on and it is extremely annoying. I would like to know how I can stop it or at least prevent it from getting worse. ... Visitor from WI

You should find a dentist that specializes in bites, occlusion, TMJ dysfunction, etc.

Usually bite splints can be used to evaluate your problem, but an asymptomatic (pain free) click if operated on can be come a painful TMJ (temperomandibular joint).

So ... most dentists would rather treat you with non-invasive treatment: Physical therapy, tmj therapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories etc. before going through a tmj surgery.

If needed, your joints can be flushed out with arthroscopic surgery to clean them out, remove adhesions and free up your joints. You may have disk problems, arthritis, and surgery may not even be an option. Good luck,

Wisconsin Reconstructive Implant Dentistry
Wisconsin Prosthodontics
Richard Winter, DDS MAGD
Winter Dental Associates
Hampton Dental Associates
5323 W. Hampton Avenue
Milwaukee Wisconsin WI 53218
(414) 464-9021

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