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Clicky Jaw Advice

(33 Posts)
2016Hopeful Fri 08-Jan-16 11:34:25

My jaw on the right has probably clicked for as long as I remember but only when I yawn or open my mouth really wide so hasn't been an issue at all.

However, over the last couple of months (with a 2 week break in the middle) my jaw has been popping a lot on both sides and not just when I open it wide. I can't seem to get it in a comfortable position. It is freaking me out.

I have been to the doctor who has referred me to a max facial (sp?) consultant but the appointment won't be for ages. Also went to the dentist who said she couldn't do anything and the consultant would look at it and advise.

Both doctor and dentist thought it might be a touch of arthritis and to take ibuprofen. Have been using heat packs on it and trying to eat soft food and relax my mouth. It's not hurting too much but aching a bit.

After googling I am really worried it will never go away. I am getting a bit panicky now. Also, if the doctor thought it was arthritis why didn't she give me something stronger to nip it in the bud?? Surely you need to treat anything arthritic straight away to avoid damage to the bone? Really finding it hard to sleep as I can't get comfortable.

2016Hopeful Mon 11-Jan-16 10:03:57

Anyone at all? Feeling anxious. Feel a bit silly too as it's not painful but can't seem to get my jaw comfortable.

fruitscone Mon 11-Jan-16 15:15:45

i have this. Recently it was picked up by the dentist who was more concerned about it than I ever have been. He said when my mouth is shut, my jaws are locked tight together and the ligaments that join the jaws are overstretched. I now have a retainer to wear on my lower jaw at night to prevent this 'locked-ness' and it should improve.

Incidentally I am in Germany and told a UK GP friend about it and he pooh-poohed it completely as being typical of German bonkers medicine. So I don't really know what to make of it!

I do feel my jaws are in a slightly different place in the morning when I take the retainer out. I also had massive headaches for the first three days of wearing it but that has passed now.

LivingInMidnight Mon 11-Jan-16 22:07:08

If it's not too painful I wouldn't worry too much! The consultant will poke about and take some X-rays and maybe other scans and then tell you what the problem is. There's simple exercises they might give you to do for a bit. They'll probably give you a splint a some point (looks like a retainer). Ibuprofen or a similar drug is usually the first thing they'll try. There's other treatment too.

Get a memory foam pillow, it really helps with the pain at night.

Try not to get anxious about it - it will make it worse!

ScottishDiblet Mon 11-Jan-16 22:09:44

I have this! I see an amazing osteopath who helps me - I am a very tense anxious person and I grind my teeth. I have a mouth guard at night and the Osteo helps to relieve the tension. I really recommend an Osteo - but check first that they do faces as it might be a bit niche.

specialsubject Mon 11-Jan-16 22:48:51

seen this...can't be certain of course, but there is a disc of cartilidge in your jaw joints which can slip out of place. There are procedures to deal with it; a washout of the joint is day surgery (with GA) and can help.

you need an MRI of the joints from the maxillofacial ('max fax') specialist. Keep chasing the appointment and make it clear you are available at short notice.

if this is it, exercises could actually make it worse.

does your dentist detect teeth grinding/clenching BTW?

2016Hopeful Tue 12-Jan-16 11:44:00

Thanks for all the messages! I thought no one would reply!

Sorry to hear that there are others with this horrible thing. I do think I am probably a bit over anxious so could be making the problem worse!!! I definitely don't grind my teeth (they don't look ground down at all) as I can't sleep with my mouth shut as I can hardly ever breath through my nose. I may be clenching my jaw though as I am a bit of a worrier.

I have got my appointment through now for 2 weeks today. I am hoping they will do an xray so at least I know whether the jaw is oK or not and don't just sent me off telling me to eat soft food! The dentist recommended writing a diary! After this if the problem isn't going away I may look into an osteo and maybe some yoga classes to relax me.

I will come back and let you know what they say at the appointment.

Any ideas for natural sleep remedies in the meantime? Will get hold of a memory foam pillow soon.

This may be good for the January diet anyway as I really don't have much appetite!!

specialsubject Tue 12-Jan-16 12:13:53

natural sleep remedies are; wear yourself out with exercise, stay off the caffeine after about 3pm, no screens for at least an hour before bedtime and all screens out of bedroom. If you are one of those who likes slight noise to sleep, you can get pillows with speakers in. 'history of the world in 100 objects' is a surefire winner.

clenching is indeed a possibility; there are mouthguards for this which may or may not work.

yoga will do no harm and may help.

general posture/personal care stuff (if you are male don't worry...) - no stupid shoes (no ballet flats, fugly heels, shoes need to fit and have a small heel), no carrying weights asymmetrically - if you need to carry laptop etc get a REAL rucksack with a hip belt. Don't type on a touch screen, get a proper keyboard. Stuff like that.

AyeAmarok Tue 12-Jan-16 12:53:21

Had this.

It started as a click in one side, eventually became more of a pop-in-and out, then develoed into a "crunch" of bones on both sides (which was fucking horrible, it's so loud, a dreadful sound and obviously right by my ear!).

Jaw movement got less and less and I couldn't eat anything that required opening my mouth wide or lots of chewing. It was also worse in the cold; if my teeth had been chattering from shivering then the next day was hell.

I got an x-ray and I have apparently got a 'narrow' jaw joint that had slipped out of place, probably stress-related (I don't think I grind either). They said I'd probably need surgery on both sides to put it back in place, but as a courtesy they'd try physio, ie a splint, first.

Thankfully, the splint worked really well and really quickly! No surgery needed. Phew!

I can now open my mouth normally, and it no longer clicks. I occasionally get the "crunch" spontaneously, maybe a few times a year, seems random but maybe I've just moved my jaw the wrong way.

winterinmadeira Tue 12-Jan-16 13:00:16

I suffered with this dreadfully and still do to a certain extent.

I second some of the things that previous posters have said re ibuprofen, relaxing and trying not to 'over think' it (I did and my anxiety just made it ten times worse because I clenched my jaw more and harder). It is treatable and will eventually ease and clear up.

I have a great Physio and she releases the tension in my neck, jaw and shoulders and I feel much better after it.

2016Hopeful Tue 12-Jan-16 14:20:51

Wow, it is amazing how many people have had this. I am really really hoping it just goes away, the thought of it getting worse is terrifying! Glad that you have all managed to sort yours out for the most part.

2016Hopeful Tue 12-Jan-16 14:21:22

Working from home really doesn't help as I spend far too long on google!!

LivingInMidnight Tue 12-Jan-16 18:01:45

Don't jump straight to cartilage! There are loads of other things it could be!

I have had TMJ disorder for 13 years and seen many excellent specialists.

The best thing to do is try and stay as calm as possible. Try valerian root for sleep. Also you could try cocodamol when the pain is at its worst.

2016Hopeful Wed 13-Jan-16 10:05:30

Thanks trying to stay calm but feeling depressed and anxious. Just want to cry.

Don't really understand why it's bothering me so much but it is the feeling of just not being comfortable. Worse in the morning as it feels like my jaw has been moving and has to click back in to place but then it just carries on clicking. At the moment my jaw feels a bit like when I had restless legs when I was pregnant.

Trying to keep my mouth as still as possible during the day which I can do as most of my work in on the computer and it seems to recover a bit but when I pick kids up and have to talk it goes crazy again. Spend the whole evening after they're in bed trying to get it comfy again with heatpacks. My husband is getting a bit fed up of me too though he is sympathetic.

Have a weekend away this weekend that I was really looking forward to and now I just want to stay at home.

This went away completely for a couple of weeks leading up to Xmas so I thought that was it. So I am gutted it has returned.

Sorry for being such a misery but I can't really say this all in real life without my family and friends thinking I am going crazy. It's not like I am in massive pain like a lot of you have been but I am worried it will develop further.

Do you think max facial will xray my jaw? I am so worried they will just send me off and tell me to come back in 6 months.

specialsubject Wed 13-Jan-16 10:30:20

an x-ray is no good, you need a soft tissue scan. Write down these symptoms and keep pestering to see if your appointment can be brought forward.

this is life-disrupting, but as it isn't life threatening unfortunately you have to wait. Too many people, not enough money. Been there and entirely sympathise.

dodobookends Wed 13-Jan-16 10:42:34

I used to have a clicky jaw too, but never thought to mention it to the dentist. As I grind my teeth in my sleep, the dentist gave me a soft plastic guard thingy to wear on my bottom teeth at night, to stop the grinding and wear and tear. It must have changed the angle of how my jaw fitted together somehow, because after a few months I noticed that the clicking had stopped altogether, and it's never come back since.

MrsMarigold Wed 13-Jan-16 10:47:26

I had this for years and was a teeth grinder but my wonderful dentist in Zimbabwe gave me some exercises that sorted it out

2016Hopeful Wed 13-Jan-16 11:28:35

Thank you to everyone replying to this post. It is good to hear that there is usually a solution to this problem.

winterinmadeira Wed 13-Jan-16 14:17:00

Yes there is usually a way forward that is quite practical. Do ask your dentist for a mouth guard- it helps to keep the jaw stable and protect your teeth.

You need to keep talking and continuing as normal (or as much as you can). Can you think what was different before Xmas? That may be a good starting point too. Hope you feel better soon!

LivingInMidnight Wed 13-Jan-16 20:13:04

They tend to do X-rays first and CT or MRI when needed. They know what they're doing and, at least in my experience, are pretty quick to try and solve it, but it might take some trial and error. Unfortunately mine will never be 'fixed' entirely but they've got it to a manageable level (usually a 2 instead of a 6/7) and must have spent an absolute fortune in the process. I can't fault them. I'm much more the exception than the rule though, most people get relief pretty quickly.

This will sound odd if you've never had pain problems, but you will at some point find you're better able to deal with it than you are now. You'll filter it out a bit. Just carry on with your life as best you can for now and try not to worry about it. More likely than not they'll give you a jaw splint and some exercises and it will solve it. To be honest, I'm surprised your dentist didn't try one already, but a lot of dentists don't know as much as you would think about it. Same with many GPs.

2016Hopeful Thu 14-Jan-16 11:31:16

Thank you for all the advice, I think this thread will be a useful reference for others having the same problem!

My dentist was no use whatsoever, she asked if I grinded my teeth and that was it. She basically just said that she would refer me but the doctor already had.

Am feeling a bit better today, still clicky but not in the manic way it has been recently and I can seem to move my jaw more easily without getting stuck all the time. Slightly achy though. Feel calmer now. Hope this continues!!! Will keep the appointment regardless of how I feel on the day as this is third time it has returned.

2016Hopeful Thu 14-Jan-16 11:42:01

Thinking about what I did differently before this all started - well the only thing I can think of is that I started jogging in at the end of October and did it for half an hour every other day regardless of the weather. I am wondering if I clenched my jaw, jarred it or it was affected by the cold and damp. That is the only thing I can think of and to think I was so proud of myself for doing it. I stopped in December when my jaw got bad and haven't been since!

hanahsaunt Thu 14-Jan-16 12:06:36

I have this mainly due to grinding of teeth when sleeping during stressful times. My dentist referred me to MaxFax who were great but whilst waiting for the appointment I ended up with a headache like no other (and I get migraine - this was on a different scale) and saw the emergency GP. I was given very low dose diazepam as a part of the pain relief treatment and after a week my jaw had stopped clicking. MaxFax gave me exercises which help 99% of the time and I have back up diazepam for acute episodes. It's a wonder drug in small doses smile

winterinmadeira Thu 14-Jan-16 19:47:20

That's a good call Hana. I have just returned to thread because I forgot to mention that the doctor gave me amiltryptaline - in very low doses it acts as a muscle relaxant...as does diazepam.

Try that before you go to sleep because it helped me immensely.

poocatcherchampion Thu 14-Jan-16 20:02:28

This is a very interesting thread. I clench my teeth and I also have a clicky jaw but never put 2 and 2 together before. It is particularly bad at the moment with a small baby - I had shelved the mouth guard but it is back out the last few nights

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