Have you noticed a cracking sound that comes from your jaw? If so, it might occur with jaw and pain and discomfort. It may also lead to difficulty with moving your jaw or chewing, depending on the underlying condition. For that reason, it is important that you receive a proper diagnosis and treatment because your jaw pain and discomfort might be a sign of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder (TMD). 

What is TMD?

Well, your TMJ attaches your jawbone to your skill. If there is something wrong with the joint, that is TMD, which can make your jaw crack or pop. Some other symptoms of TMD are:

  • Jaw stiffness.
  • Locking of your jaw.
  • Limited jaw movement.
  • Pain in your jaw, face or neck.

TMD often develops without a specific cause, but, occasionally, clenching your teeth due to emotional stress can play a role.

Some other causes of your jaw discomfort or pain can be arthritis, facial injury, myofascial pain syndrome, obstructive sleep apnea and a misaligned bite.

Treating the underlying cause of your jaw pain

There are a variety of treatment options available, depending on the cause and diagnosis of your jaw pain or discomfort. The following home remedies can often be used alone or with other medical treatment:

  • Over-the-counter pain medication.
  • Jaw stretches or massages. 
  • Avoiding overextension. 
  • Skip eating the hard foods.
  • Alternate heat and ice compressions. 
  • Stress management. 

Another option available from your dentist is oral appliance therapy. Your dentist may recommend an oral appliance that can reposition your jaw and reduce TMD. Mouth guards can also help reduce teeth grinding and related discomfort. 

If you are experiencing jaw cracking or other pain in the jaw, make note of your symptoms and contact us at AZ Sleep & TMJ Solutions for more information. We can help you find relief from your pain.