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Why Is My Jaw Clicking?

 

If you’ve ever taken a bite of food only to hear - and feel - a strange clicking or popping sound when you chew, you may have wondered what was happening, and if you should be concerned. The good news is that, believe it or not, occasional clicking or popping during jaw movement is pretty common, and when experienced only occasionally is not usually cause for concern. But there are times when this sensation could be a red flag that something is wrong. Here’s why your jaw may be clicking, and how to tell if you should see your dentist.

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The TMJD-Mood Disorder Connection

 

You may have heard the term "mind-body connection" and wondered what it meant. The truth is, it has different meanings for different people. For some, it is the connection between spirituality (the mind) and health (the body). For others, it is the power that having a positive attitude can have over keeping the body strong and fighting illness. But when it comes to temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ disorder or simply TMJD, the mind-body connection can have a much different meaning, especially if you happen to have both a TMJD and a mood disorder.

That’s because, believe it or not, your TMJ disorder can heavily influence your mood disorder - and vice versa. Here’s how your brain can wreak havoc on your jaw, and how taking care of one problem - your TMJD or your mental health - can help you improve both.

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Why Proper Jaw Spacing Is So Important

The benefits of a beautiful, evenly aligned smile are easy to see. But did you know that when it comes to a perfect smile, there’s more than meets the eye? It’s true! A beautiful smile goes far beyond just looks - having a beautifully aligned smile has health benefits, too. It can help eliminate the pain associated with crowding, bruxism (also known as tooth grinding) and even temporomandibular joint disorders (aka TMJ disorders, or simply TMD). That’s one of the main reasons that, when it comes to aligning your bite, early intervention is best.

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Know the Warning Signs of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)


Do you experience a weird clicking sound when you open and close your mouth? Does your jaw ache, or do you have trouble opening your mouth wide? Do you suffer from a sore neck or headaches that occur behind your ears? You could be suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. Often erroneously referred to as TMJ, TMD is a condition of the temporomandibular joint (the actual TMJ). So, how do you know if you have TMD? Check out this list of common TMD symptoms and see if you might be at risk.

 

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Why Cosmetic Dentistry Isn’t Just Cosmetic


If you’ve ever considered getting veneers to improve the color and shape of your front teeth, you may be surprised to learn that not everyone is a good candidate for them. That’s because veneers are simply a covering for your teeth. If your teeth need more than just aesthetic work, or if there are conditions present in the mouth that would lower the success rate of your veneers, Dr. Simpson may advise you to put your aesthetic dentistry procedure on hold until corrections can be made.

 

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TMJ and Halloween Candy


With overflowing buckets of Halloween candy hanging around the house for weeks, and the winter holidays on the way, there’s plenty of potential for aggravating your TMJ disorder by eating the wrong treats. It can be difficult to know what’s safe to eat and what has the potential to worsen your TMJ symptoms.  If you’re swimming in snacks but don’t know which ones are safe, check out this guide to TMJ-friendly (and not-so-friendly!) treats.

 

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Michele Simpson DDS

Wilmington Dental Office

3317 Masonboro Loop Rd • Suite 140 • Wilmington, NC 28409

(910) 550-3959

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3317 Masonboro Loop Rd
Suite 140
Wilmington, NC 28409