Clicking and cracking and popping, oh my.
Aches, pains and discomforts can be a normal part of life or they may signal a more serious problem. Jaw pain and popping is one of those annoying discomforts.

Temporoalmandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ), is a common condition suffered by over 10 million Americans. It’s caused by improper alignment of the jaw which can result in jaw pain and other discomforts.

There are specialized joints in the jaw which are responsible for ease of movement and strength. These joints are needed to eat, talk, yawn and open and close your mouth.
Although TMJ is common, it can make simple jaw movements painful and annoying.

  • For some, TMJ is temporary and its symptoms resolve on their own or with some DIY care.
  • For others, TMJ can cause chronic pain and needs to be addressed professionally.

What are the symptoms?

Neuromuscular DentistryIn addition to jaw pain and stiffness, you may be dizzy, have headaches, neck and shoulder pain, eye discomfort, ringing in your ears, jaw locking and other types of pain and numbness.
Sometimes TMJ manifests in the hands and the back. In the most extreme cases, people with TJM can barely move their jaw.

However, even in combination, these symptoms may not mean you have TMJ.
Dr. Peck specializes in Neuromuscular Dentistry, which seeks to cure TMJ by retraining tissues, muscles and nerves into proper alignment. Dr. Peck can evaluate your symptoms to suggest the best treatment options for you.

Whether you have a lot of pain to a little cracking, you can start with some home care:

• Stretch your jaw, neck and shoulders often
• Perform relaxation exercises to help eliminate jaw clenching
• Avoid hard-to-chew or crunchy foods
• Apply heat or cold packs
• Dr. Peck may also recommend that you:
• Wear a mouth guard at night to stop teeth grinding
• Take anti-inflammatory painkillers or stronger, prescription medication if needed

When simple measures don’t make a difference in your symptoms, Taylor Street Dental can help you with a more involved treatment plan. To learn more about neuromuscular dentistry, contact our offices at 413.241.3264.

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