What could be the cause of a clicking sound at my jaw?
I’m 26 years old. I noticed I have a clicking sound on my right jaw, but it’s not painful. Will this go away by itself, or how can I get it treated?
Dear Janet Chua,
I have written a very extensive answer to a similar query HERE.
The clicking noise may go away without treatment. I would avoid aggravating it by clicking your jaw on purpose (some patients are able to trigger the sound by moving their jaw in a certain way).
Other good practices include sticking to a soft diet for awhile, avoiding chewing gum and avoiding wide mouth opening regularly.
It may take a long time for the clicking to go away on its own but it generally does not cause harm. If the clicking is more severe in the mornings upon waking up, you may want to try moving your lower jaw side to side before opening wide.
This simple exercise increases lubrication inside the jaw joint, allowing movement to happen more smoothly and reducing clicking.
Clicking in the jaw is a sign of Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMJD). Though the name sounds complex and scary, it is a common phenomena especially more so in young females such as yourself!
TMJD is a complex subject in the dental world but cam be easily managed by looking out for certain habits such as
1. Eating hard foods such as tough meats or chewing ice. This can put a strain on the jaw joint and exacerbate the clicking sound, furthermore causing pain if the frequency is increased
2. Unprotected night time grinding / clenching of teeth. If you tend to grind your teeth while sleeping or wake up with teeth clenched, it is time to wear a night guard , custom made by your dentist! Failure to protect your teeth can cause the clicking to get worse over time.
There are no absolutes with how jaw clicking should be treated because at times treatment can be as simple as changing your diet, as moderate as a short dose of muscle relaxants / botox to the jaw msucles, or as complex as surgery.
My best advice would be to consult with a dentist you feel comfortable with if the clicking does really bother you especially if you have had a history of orthodontic / braces treatment /any significant dental work done like a crown or bridge in the past.