Clicking or popping of the jaw joint when opening or closing
Your jaw being locked in a certain position
Muscle pain in the face, neck, and/or shoulders
All of these signs and symptoms may be related to an imbalance with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which connects your jaw to your skull. TMJ disorder (TMD) commonly occurs when there are imbalances with how your teeth fit together. Those imbalances can cause misalignment of the TMJ and straining of the face and neck muscles from the jaw being in an awkward position – ultimately resulting in any or all of the above symptoms.
If you suspect you may have TMD, the first steps are to perform a functional analysis of how your teeth fit together in order to identify any imbalances with your bite and identify any other areas of concern. Once the source of the symptoms is determined, treatment options may include a bite guard, medications, bite adjustments or restorations to properly balance the bite and bring the joint back into its proper alignment.