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It started with a 'clicking' jaw and now it feels like something's 'popped' out of place

(24 Posts)
notnowbernard Thu 17-Sep-09 22:01:46

Around my ear (at the top of my jaw)

It hurts when I bite down

Is aching constantly

Do I see a dentist or a Dr or ignore and wait for it to go away?!

yummyspottyblueberry Thu 17-Sep-09 22:40:27

GP. I had the similar. Had a blow to the side of my face and couldn't open my mouth very wide either. Dentist looked hmm and hadn't a clue despite me telling him what I thought had caused it.

ClaudiaSchiffer Fri 18-Sep-09 00:05:40

I had that too, a very clicky jaw and occasionally it would lock out of place (ewwww). I think I mentioned it to my doc and dentist <thorough>. I cant remember if they did much though, it seemed to go back into place with a bit of wiggling - although it would routinely pop out again. I think one of them said I had over extended my jaw ligaments.

Go and see someone, see what they think.

Sidonie Fri 18-Sep-09 00:57:25

It could be a Temporomandibular Joint and Muscle Disorders TMJ. They are mostly not serious.

My mum has this. Her jaw 'pops' out at times and she has different aches and pains. She manages it with self-care practices. She also has fibromyalgia.

Cakesandale Fri 18-Sep-09 14:49:55

Do you grind your teeth in your sleep? (If you do, you may have a horizontal ridge on this inside of your cheek, caused by catching the soft flesh betwen your jaws - this can be diagnostic).

This can cause the symptoms you describe,and a dentist would be able to give you a gum shield to wear at night.

ThingOne Fri 18-Sep-09 14:58:18

I have TMJ problems. I've had it on and off for years but then it became very bad earlier this year. I was referred to the hospital and the consultant has made me a mouth guard.

I was given a leaflet advising me to rest my jaw. This means things like avoiding wide yawning, and cooking my veg. It's incredibly hard to avoid picking at carrots while I'm cutting them, and fully cooked cabbage is not great. I don't eat the crusts and don't eat a full sandwich. I don't hold anything in my mouth or use my teeth to tear sellotape.

I've not been able to wear my guard and haven't been able to go back for a new one yet and in a month these self care practices have made a huge difference.

If you need pain killers ibuprofen (or stronger NSAIDs) are the ones to take.

You should also be able to get some relief from a physiotherapist or an osteopath.

nightcat Fri 18-Sep-09 14:59:07

osteopath can fix it
best not to leave it as the long-term misalignment would affect ear canal (speaking from experience here)

preciouslillywhite Fri 18-Sep-09 15:12:06

It definitely sounds like TMJ- off to school but marking this thread for later as I get it as well [oooouch]

preciouslillywhite Sat 19-Sep-09 11:08:58

To save you from shuttling between GP and dentist for two years like I did angry concentrate on dentist for treatment (eg splints etc) and GP for pain relief.

notnowbernard Sat 19-Sep-09 20:26:56

Thanks for all these helpful replies smile

Having read a bit more about TMJ (I even found an old thread I started complaining about my clicking jaw! blush) I do think it's that

It's been a bit better today because I've managed not to 'click' it out of place and make the pain flare up again

I have got toothache though and wonder if it's related. Ibuprofen helps. Am due a check-up at dentist next week so will mention it to him

Thanks again!

Elk Sat 19-Sep-09 20:49:00

I had problems for years which got worse and mentioned them to my dentist and he arranged a hospital referral to the oral surgery dept. A clicky jaw is not seen as a problem unless it has pain associated with it. I have been wearing a night guard for 10 years.

I ended up with the same advice as ThingOne which really helps. I also have a couple of exercises I'm supposed to do. It may be worth getting it checked out as it turns out I have deveopled arthritis in my jaw as a result of all the grinding I do at night (although I don't think disloacting it 2 years ago helped either).

preciouslillywhite Sat 19-Sep-09 20:54:02

bernard your dentist might need a bit of a shove in the right direction- when I first got it (through night time teeth grinding/misaligned jaw) I was in and out of a big dental teaching hospital and my GPs for aaaages before a clued up student realised what it was!

I found loads of American stuff on the web at the time- the Americans invented TMJ wink- but IME a lot of Brit dentists/GPs didn't know anything about it...

They might be a bit more on it now, though- that was a few years ago.

Good luck with's not a walk in the park, is it!!

Ripeberry Sat 19-Sep-09 20:54:30

I go through phases of teeth grinding. Usually when I'm stressed about something.
I went to a new Dentist a few years back and he could not believe how 'flat' my molars were.
Totally ground down. If i've had a bad night then in the morning I just want to bite down hard all the time and of course this makes my jaw ache.
Once I woke up in bed and my mouth was locked open, it was very scary, but i just lifted myself off the pillow and it clicked back into place and then ached for a few days.
I will be asking for a mouthguard in the future if I find myself grinding again.
It's not been too bad the last couple of years.

preciouslillywhite Sat 19-Sep-09 20:58:51

The problem with mouthguards is that they can encourage grinding if you have naturally gnashy teeth...

I'm trying to find a hypnotist to stop me doing it [desperate emoticon]- apparently I do it cos my jaw is misaligned and my teeth are naturally trying to "right" themselves hmm

notnowbernard Sat 19-Sep-09 21:00:07

Lilly, thanks

I will go armed with TMJ knowledge grin

notnowbernard Sat 19-Sep-09 21:01:14

I don't think I grind my teeth

I clench my jaw when I'm stressed though

stickylittlefingers Sat 19-Sep-09 21:13:05

My jaw locked completely when I was 16 - my parents were delighted grin

The dentist gave me a mouth guard to wear when I slept, but without fail I would take it out and put it on the bedside table! Since then I just massage it back into place and avoid anything big to eat grin ...

Do try and notice when you're clenching. Do you find it gave you a headache too? I do, so definitely try and not do it!

notnowbernard Sat 19-Sep-09 21:15:22

I am going to try and be mindful of clenching

missingthemountains Sat 19-Sep-09 21:17:18

I too suffer from this - please excuse if this is about too be TMI but....

DH obviously finds it a bit disappointing as I can't open my mouth wide enough for long enough for oral sex. blush

anyone else same problem?

preciouslillywhite Sat 19-Sep-09 21:18:42


...good excuse though wink

notnowbernard Sat 19-Sep-09 21:21:45

Hasn't been an issue. Yet... wink

bunnygirl1980 Sat 19-Sep-09 23:04:25

I'm a dentist and it sounds to me like you've got TMJ. I see loads of it in my patients and it generally settles after a while. I also suffer myself so I know from experience how bad it can be.

The advice I usually give is to rest the jaw - so soft food and avoid yawning too wide. Ibuprofen also helps as does putting a hot water bottle on the area. It's usally worsened by stress/anxiety - don't know if this applies to you at the moment??

That said - I had exams a couple of months back and something in my jaw "popped" and I couldn't move it properly. Did a massive yawn and it popped back in so maybe the limiting opening advice is not always that great!

If you grind your teeth definitely get a bite guard - it doesn't always help symptoms but it protects your teeth from damage.

Hope this helps.................sorry for long post

chachalepew Sat 19-Sep-09 23:06:40

My jaw poopped out once, an oestopath fixed it.

ForestFloor Sat 19-Sep-09 23:11:10

Chiropractic fixed mine. Also found I was wonky from my bottom upwards, with one shoulder about 2 inches higher than the other. After a few maniuplation sessions, I looked symmetrical again, my aches and pains in my back were gone, and my jaw no longer clicked and popped out. I would recommend chiropractic.

As for MSM - had the same problem, plus a lot of clikcing noise when kissing - most off putting!

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