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Clackamas Implant & Oral Surgery Center - Brett Sullivan, DMD, MD
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Does a Clicking Jaw Mean You Need Jaw Surgery?

Posted on 4/20/2020 by Clackamas Oral Surgery Office
Does a Clicking Jaw Mean You Need Jaw Surgery? If you hear your jaw clicking, you may wonder what the cause is. You may start to worry when you find out some of the reasons that you hear that clicking sound in your jaw. One thing that many worry about is if the only way to remedy the clicking sound is through surgery. Before letting your anxiety about surgery overtake you, learn more about the clicking sound and when surgery is the best option for treatment.

Reasons for a Clicking Jaw

A clicking sound in your jaw is not always a problem. If there are no other accompanying symptoms, including pain, you may not need to worry or do anything about the clicking except for monitoring it. When there are other symptoms, one of the most common problems causing the clicking sound are TMJ disorders. This is a problem with the temporomandibular joint that connects the jaw to the skull is not functioning properly. When the TMJ does not work right, it can cause the jaw to align improperly and this could end up with clicking sounds from the jaw. There are also some behaviors and habits that can lead to the clicking sound. This includes chewing gum excessively, teeth grinding, clenching of the teeth, nail biting and biting of the lips. These habits can cause the jaw to become misaligned and lead to the clicking sound. Physical conditions such as arthritis, malocclusion of the teeth and trauma can cause the clicking.

Is Surgery the Solution

There are many ways to treat the underlying source of the clicking sound. The use of dental appliances can fix an overbite or underbite. Mouthguards can help with teeth grinding. Exercises can help with TMJ disorders. Some medications may relieve the underlying problem and resolve the clicking. Surgery is usually the last option to turn to when you want to stop the jaw from clicking. Before turning to surgery, you need to try other forms of treatment. These can stop the deterioration that will occur if you do nothing. If you do need surgery, the type of surgery will depend on what the cause of the clicking is. Schedule an appointment if you hear a clicking sound in your jaw or if you have any other oral health issues.
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