6 Ways to Stop Jaw Popping and Locking – Jaw Doctor Explains

6 Ways to Stop Jaw Popping and Locking – Jaw Doctor Explains

Pain and discomfort in your jaw can really ruin your day. At our Mount Prospect dentist office, we have seen it become chronic and truly debilitating. So, why do these issues come up? What causes your jaw to pop and lock up? What can you do to avoid it in the future?

Before discussing how to stop jaw popping and locking, let’s look at why you’re experiencing this issue.

Why is your jaw popping or locked up?

When your jaw pops or makes a clicking sound, possibly followed by pain, this could be temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD) or temporomandibular disorder (TMD) at play. If you are experiencing popping in your jaw without accompanying pain, it is typically not a cause for concern, however, it’s a good idea to know what is causing the problem nonetheless. 

Many different factors  can contribute to the issue, including:

  • Biting the inside of your lips or cheeks
  • Clenching your jaw
  • Excessively (or even regularly) chewing gum
  • Grinding your teeth

In addition, jaw injuries, arthritis, sleep apnea, infection, an over or underbite, tumors, overextension, problems with the temporomandibular joint, and myofascial pain syndrome can also cause your jaw to pop and lock up. 

Symptoms of Jaw Popping and Locking

Symptoms of jaw popping and locking can include a variety of issues, but some more common than others. 

The most typical side effects are:

  • Discomfort and pain
  • Inability to open your mouth wide
  • Toothache, earache, and/or neck ache
  • Swelling in the face
  • Tenderness in your face, jaw, and neck
  • Locking, either in the closed or open positions

The 6 Best Ways to Stop Jaw Popping and Locking

Now that you have an idea of what is causing the issues with your jaw, as well as the symptoms you may experience, here are the 6 best ways to deal with it. 

1. Watch Your Movements

If you start to notice your jaw popping and locking up, it’s vital that you don’t make any drastic movements with this part of your face. Meaning that you shouldn’t attempt to open your mouth wide or snap it shut. Doing this could cause further pain and damage

2. Relieve Jaw Pressure

When you are able to, keep your teeth slightly apart. If you are someone who regularly clenches or grinds your teeth, it’s important to relax this area as much as possible to avoid further issues with your jaw. 

3. Talk to a Professional

It can be intimidating to figure out which relaxation movements and techniques would be best for your personal situation. Consider speaking to a health professional, ideally a neuromuscular dentist like myself to discuss the best solutions for your jaw. 

4. Work on Your Posture

Good posture can make a big difference for your entire body, even your jaw. Incorporating some basic exercises and testing your posture daily will help eliminate the pain in your jaw, teeth, face, and neck. 

5. Watch What You Eat

Sticking to softer foods while avoiding extremely chewy or crunchy ones will make a big difference as well. Things like raw vegetables, caramel, chips, etc. can actually make the jaw popping and locking worse. 

Consider eating foods like beans, cooked vegetables, yogurts, and smoothies over the harder options. 

6. Consider a Professional, Long Lasting Treatment

Last but certainly not least, you should consider seeking treatment from a TMJ doctor like myself who can examine your jaw and help you decide the best solution for your jaw.

Solve Your Jaw Problems Today

If you are ready to stop jaw popping and locking issues, contact our TMJ dental office as soon as possible.

For those of you in the Chicago/Mt. Prospect area, TMJ dentist Dr. Tom Meyer can help to determine if your jaw popping is a cause of concern. Book a complimentary or a complete TMJ consult today.

Suspecting TMJ Disorder?

Book a TMJ consult for proper diagnosis
How TMJ treatment can be a natural migraine relief

How TMJ treatment can be a natural migraine relief

Our Mt Prospect/Chicago dental office treats patients with a variety of oral issues. These are not just those commonly having to do with fillings, cleanings, or even root canals. 

You would be surprised by how many illnesses can be linked back to the care of your mouth. For example, some patients come in with complaints of having migraines over a prolonged period. At times, these are linked to a condition known as TMJ disorder. 

Treating TMJ disorder could offer a natural migraine relief for sufferers.

Understanding Temporomandibular Joint Disorder 

The Temporomandibular Joint essentially links your skull to the lower jawbone.

Without it, you would not be able to open your mouth to consume food, drink, or be able to sing and speak. These joints are further linked to muscles, which provide support. However, they connect to your shoulders, chest, cheeks, throat, and your head, at the sides of your temple.

How TMJ Disorders Develop

Patients with a TMJ disorder, generally have misaligned teeth. When your teeth are not properly positioned in your mouth, these joints are improperly positioned also. The muscles supporting the joints then try to accommodate for the disposition.

This can lead to migraines if it is the muscles leading to your face or head.

With TMJ, the muscle pain is occurring in your head, mimicking that of a migraine. Misdiagnosis of this condition often occurs because doctors tend to treat the symptom, which is the migraine, and not investigate the cause of the pain. 

Thankfully, you can get a more in-depth analysis and stop the pain with migraine treatment in Chicago, at our practice.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

There are many ways you can tell if you have TMJ, rather than another condition.

These include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Teeth grinding
  • Shoulder or neck pain
  • Jaw popping or locking
  • Spasms
  • Pain in your face
  • Ear pain

Neuromuscular Dentists Treat TMJ in Chicago

For years, I have been able to adequately assess patients’ symptoms and make a diagnosis based on years of experience and expertise in neuromuscular dentistry.

This allows for better insight, than general dentists have, into whether the jaw is functioning capably. If not, then there are any number of health problems that can occur.

There is also another connection to be made in working towards providing natural migraine relief.

Relationship between the Trigeminal Nerve and Migraines

The trigeminal nerve can relay signals, which triggers a domino effect of pain in the brain. 

If you grind your teeth, this often causes the nerve to become stimulated, and then there is a release of chemicals. These chemicals cause sinus pressure and swelling. Then, as a result, you can feel a throbbing pain in their head.

Frequent migraines mean the trigeminal nerve is being stimulated very often by the teeth, and jaw muscles.

Seek Natural Migraine Relief and Migraine Treatment in Chicago 

There are several treatment options available at the Meyer Dental Group offices in Chicago. One of which is the TENS treatment.

Patients are typically treated to a gentle massage of the related muscles linked to the condition. It is a great way for patients to relax and indulge less in stress-related teeth grinding.

Depending on the severity of the case, custom-made orthotics or surgery is also used.

Visit our website or call us to set up an appointment at our Mt Prospect/TMJ clinic and begin your migraine treatment today. For some patients, the road towards natural migraine relief requires a series of appointments and treatment sessions.

Take back control of your life and your oral health today!

Suspecting TMJ Disorder?

Book a TMJ consult for proper diagnosis

Is it possible to straighten your teeth without braces? Mt Prospect Dentist explains

Is it possible to straighten your teeth without braces? Mt Prospect Dentist explains

They say that when you smile at the world, it smiles back at you. But the reality is that having missing or misaligned teeth can cause many people to lack confidence in their smiles. 

Malocclusion can be caused by a variety of factors including genetics, history of oral care, and a person’s jaw and teeth size. A number of further issues can result from misaligned teeth, mainly their tendency to grow in abnormal directions and change the overall shape and look of the face and jaw. 

When the teeth crowd together, it can become a lot harder to take care of them by brushing and flossing properly. Bacteria and plaque buildup can quickly cause discoloration. Speech problems, jaw pain, and tongue biting can also occur. 

Straightening your teeth can help to fix this, making you feel less self-conscious or insecure and limiting the risks of such problems. There are ways to do it without using traditional braces that involve wires or metals, or that can bring on social anxiety. What are they? 

Straighten your teeth without braces

Technological advancements allow for new and better ways to treat orthodontic issues. Limiting yourself to using traditional braces as a means to correct dental problems, doesn’t have to be the case.  

Despite correctible braces still being best suited for a number of conditions, the ones listed below can be fixed without them.  

Narrow Upper Jaw

Expanders are a great option for widening your palate. Having an underdeveloped palate can be corrected over time with the gentle guidance of expanders. It causes your teeth to move into the proper positions, subtly guiding your palate.

Malocclusion

This is also known as a bad bite. Malocclusion is more pronounced when you close your jaw and can further cause TMJ Disorder. As such, malocclusion needs the requisite dental appliances to re-adjust your jaw. Dr. Tom Meyer offers this to his patients experiencing jaw pain and bite disorders.

Slightly Crooked Teeth

Even just a little bit of overcrowding can cause your teeth to become crooked due to lack of space and pressure. Retainers are able to readjust this alignment and bring back your straight smile.

We believe…. Invisalign clear aligners can help you achieve your dream smile

There is no age limit when it comes to using devices like clear aligners to help restructure your teeth and jaw. At Meyer Dental Group, Invisalign dentist Dr. Tom Meyer can help you.

If you are seeking a treatment that is virtually invisible and fairly low maintenance, then Invisalign is a great choice.

We believe… Invisalign can change lives!

There is quite a diverse spectrum of issues, which can be addressed by Invisalign. These include:

  • Crowded teeth
  • Gaps in teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Open bite 
  • Crossbite
  • Underbite
  • Overbite

Braces can cause a lot of jaw pain, irritation, and lack of confidence. Invisalign is a great alternative and an attractive option for children and teens as it is nearly invisible. It is made to fit well inside the mouth, with minimal discomfort. The aligner is easily removed when you are eating and/or cleaning your teeth, making it easier to brush and floss. The length of the treatment itself may be minimal compared to that of traditional braces, depending on an individual’s specific case. 

Set up an appointment and explore your treatment options

When you visit Meyer Dental Group our team can help to determine what treatment is best for you. We first examine your orthodontic issue, learn about your oral health history, and then make a recommendation based on our findings.

We believe orthodontic care from a professional is the safest and most effective option. Your health, safety, and comfort are our priority. Once you are assessed, we will work with you to choose a treatment plan that best suits you.

If you’d like to learn more about how to straighten your teeth without traditional braces, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Give us a call today at 847-827-6290 and set up a consultation with our Invisalign Chicago dentist, Dr. Tom Meyer.

A small change can make a big difference.

Ready to invest in yourself?
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New Protocol at our Mt Prospect dental office: Panoramic Digital X-Rays being recommended for patients at the ages of 6, 12 and 18

New Protocol at our Mt Prospect dental office: Panoramic Digital X-Rays being recommended for patients at the ages of 6, 12 and 18

We believe… being proactive and preventative is best in all oral health care situations! We want to be aggressive in the early detection of dental concerns, jaw disorders, and airway issues. This is why we’re taking this approach to how family dentistry is done! 

We are recommending digital panoramic dental x-ray on children at three important stages of their developmental lives. This will allow me to identify any potential concerns and needs for your child and be able to make informed and educated decisions to help them before any issues become potentially serious.

At the early stage of your child’s life, around age 6, we will be able to learn whether there are any complications with their new emerging teeth, those still yet to erupt, or possibly any teeth that may be missing altogether.

When done again at age 12, we will be able to evaluate and determine any potential orthodontic and/or airway issues, like crowding of teeth, missing teeth, bad/misaligned bite, over/underbites, and narrow jaw causing restricted airways.

By age 18, we can then advise what is happening with their wisdom teeth, and identify any potential concerns.

The panoramic digital x-ray is done in conjunction with the recommended yearly bitewing films we take on all patients to detect cavities in between the teeth.

Panoramic and bitewing digital x-rays are proven to be safe, and we take extra precautions to ensure safety to all our patients with any exposure. 

By introducing this protocol of taking panoramic dental x-rays for kids, teens, and adolescents at these three important stages of their growing lives, it’s our hope that we can quickly address and best correct any oral health issues that may develop.



Questions? Send them our way! info@meyerdentalgroup.net or call us.

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Eating with Traditional Dentures – Common Problems We Hear At Our Mount Prospect Dental Office

Eating with Traditional Dentures – Common Problems We Hear At Our Mount Prospect Dental Office

Are you struggling with eating while wearing dentures? You’re not alone. Many people have problems eating with traditional dentures.

It’s my goal to help you find a denture solution that can help you chew, drink, talk, and look better.

We believe… that dentures should enhance life.

Denture technology has changed a lot in the last few decades. There are options outside of traditional dentures.

In fact, you can get the smile you never had with Fountain of Youth® dentures – a denture option that can give you a non-surgical facelift and can help you eat better.

 

eating with dentures

3 common problems when eating with traditional dentures

Adjusting to eating with dentures may take some time. While they are a good replacement to your natural teeth, they may not feel the same as natural teeth would.

1. Foods may not taste the same

When you first start wearing your dentures, you may notice that some foods don’t taste the same as you remember. Apart from the fact that your sense of taste changes as you age, your denture can affect the overall taste of food too.

Dentures cover your upper palate, which is essential for proper taste and smell. You may find yourself reaching for the salt if foods don’t seem as flavorful as they once did.

Also, not cleaning dentures thoroughly can cause a bad taste to linger in your mouth. Dirty dentures may make food taste odd or different than what you are used to.

It’s useful being aware of this change of taste because it can contribute to a change in appetite. Alternatively, you could end up indulging in overly sweet or salty foods to satisfy your cravings.

Overeating sweet or salty foods may cause sickness and can lead to various other health issues, like heart problems or diabetes.

Keeping your dentures clean and minimizing the use of denture cream may help to reduce taste changes. You could also look into implant supported dentures.

2. Having a hard time chewing

Having a hard time chewing when you’re new to dentures is not surprising. You can’t feel them as well as your natural teeth.

To get used to them quicker, it may be beneficial to:

  • Avoid sticky food
  • Chew slower
  • Take smaller bites of food
  • Chew with both sides of your mouth.

3. Food stuck in your dentures

Food can get stuck in your dentures, causing pain and irritation. If food gets stuck in your palate, it will uncomfortably rub against the roof of your mouth and gums.

Using a soft-bristled toothbrush instead of toothpicks may be useful in getting rid of food particles. Toothpicks can cause damage to your denture, so it’s best to avoid them.

An overnight denture-cleaning liquid treatment may be helpful to further eliminate bacteria. It’s important to continue flossing and to take proper care of your oral health in order to keep food particles and dirt at bay.

 

eating with dentures

Fountain of Youth® dentures – a new denture solution

Investing in Fountain of Youth® dentures may be a great solution to these problems as they are more comfortable than traditional dentures and easier to use daily. They fit better, making it easier to smile, chew, and talk.

FOY® Dentures can even make you look younger by reducing:

  1. Jowls (drooping cheeks)
  2. Turkey neck (wrinkled, sagging skin on the neck)
  3. Signs of aging. 

You can’t ignore these problems

While these problems may seem like minor nuisances, they can lead to severe consequences and reduced self-confidence. Being unable to comfortably eat or drink may make you more vulnerable to illnesses. Proper nutrition is the key to feeling healthy. Not worrying about dentures all the time can help lead to a better quality of life.  

eating with dentures

FOY® Dentures


Questions about dentures? Contact our office at (847) 827-6290 or set up a free informational appointment. We’re here to help!

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