There is no evidence that clicking sounds without pain in the jaw joint lead to serious problems. In fact, jaw clicking is common in the general population. Most clinicians believe that jaw noises alone, without other symptoms such as pain or limited jaw movement, do not indicate a TMJ disorder and do not warrant treatment. It is important, though, to note if the click is changing in timing or intensity or if it’s associated with any discomfort or difficulty in opening. If so you should see your dentist.
How are the majority of TMD patients treated?
The majority of patients with TMD do not require surgery. They can be treated conservatively with one or a combination of the following:
- Soft diet
- Hot/cold pack applications
- Mouth splints or appliances
- Physical therapy
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Muscle Relaxants
- Analgesics (pain medications)
- Dental treatment including:
- Bite adjustments including equilibration
Generally surgery is avoided but patients who have a problem with the joint itself, such as a displaced disc, or a deficiency with the head of the jawbone that does not respond to conservative care, may be candidates for surgery.