chevron_left
hide chevron_right
Blog

Top 4 Reasons Why Your Jaw is Sore or Makes Clicking Noises

A teen with bracers rubs her aching jaw. If you’re suffering with a sore jaw, then you’re probably wondering what it could be. It could be because of something relatively simple, like toothache, or a symptom of something much more serious, like a heart attack. 

Here are some of the top reasons your jaw is sore or making clicking noises and what to do about them. 

1. TMJ disorders

TMJ stands for temporomandibular joints, and these joints sit just at the front of your ears, allowing you to open and close your mouth. Around 1 in 8 people have a TMJ disorder, and it’s more common in women than men.  A TMJ disorder can be caused by a jaw injury, arthritis, grinding or clenching your teeth, a misaligned jaw, or even inflammation in the muscles surrounding your jaw. 

Research actually suggests that smoking and sleep dysfunction can also be risk factors, as they disturb the normal cycle of sleep. So, what are the signs of a TMJ disorder? They include:

  • Clicking when you open your mouth
  • Headaches
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Vision problems
  • Dizzy spells 
  • Locking your jaw 

Visiting a dentist is key, as they may be able to take x-rays to find the problem, and will want to examine your jaw. While this can go away without treatment, persistent symptoms should be treated. Pain relievers, muscle relaxants, therapy, and counseling may be worth a try, depending on the cause of the disorder. 

2. Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)

Bruxism is the name for tooth grinding. If this is something you do, teeth may look flat on top and maybe shorter than they used to be. This tends to occur mostly during sleep, and you may wake up with a dull headache and sore jaw. A mouthguard can help to protect your teeth, but stress relief techniques and anti-anxiety medication are options. Teeth grinding can cause more issues over time, and jaw pain may be the least of your worries if you don’t find a solution. 

3. Jaw Cancer

If cancerous cells begin in the upper or lower jaw and go unnoticed, they can spread through the whole body. Symptoms include pain and numbness in the jaw, as well as lumps, sores, and abnormal growths outside or within the mouth. Risk factors include smoking, chewing tobacco, and your family history. 

Even tumors or cysts may be a problem. They can grow in the soft tissues of the mouth and face, although they are usually not cancerous. That being said, they can grow quickly and will affect your teeth if not dealt with. 

4. Heart Attack 

If severe jaw pain starts suddenly, especially in the lower-left section, it could be a sign of an oncoming heart attack. The heart itself doesn’t have pain receptors, so pain is sent to other places to signal that something is wrong. Go to the emergency room immediately if you think you could be suffering from a heart attack. 

Contact Signature Smiles Today 

Whether you’re looking for general dentistry or want to find out the cause of your sore jaw/clicking noises, get in touch with Signature Smiles to book your appointment today! 

Eating Habits During COVID-19 and Your Oral Health

The world was brought to an abrupt halt when the Covid-19 pandemic made its appearance back in 2020. Everything changed as most of the world was placed under hard lockdowns to prevent the spread of Covid-19, and people had to make drastic...

The 4 Worst Things to Eat for Your Teeth

Staying healthy is a full-time job. Keeping your mouth clean and clear of bacteria is simple if you take the right steps. When you brush and floss your teeth daily and visit your dentist regularly, most oral health issues will stop before they...

Can You Overbrush Your Teeth?

Life is all about balance. Just about everything seems to work best when you don’t go to extremes. Too much or too little of even a good thing like water can end up being bad for your body. Similarly, there is such a thing as brushing your...

Everything You Want to Know About Sedation Dentistry

Medical issues can be scary.  Even if you are just going in for a routine cleaning, visiting the dentist might make you uncomfortable. Many people have fear or anxiety connected with the dentist based on what they’ve seen in movies or...

How Often Should Kids be Getting Flourid Treatments?

A nice, bright smile is a happy thing to see. It can be tough to get to that shiny goal, though. It seems like there are many solutions out there for getting rid of stains, plaque, and any discoloration from your teeth. It can be tough as an...

We are Open for Emergency Procedures During COVID-19

Businesses look different today than they did three months ago. Many have had to shut their doors or at least change their approach. These changes are fine for movie theaters and sporting events. But what about services that you don’t want,...

How Regularly Should You Be Visiting Your Dentist?

Parents help us keep up with all the things most kids don’t think about, from packing lunch to making it to dentist appointments. As we get older, we claim responsibility for these tasks. No matter how often you went to see a dentist as a kid,...

Why Do My Gums Bleed When I Floss?

There is a lot that can happen with your mouth, but if you see blood while flossing, you may have a problem. The daily habit of brushing and flossing helps to get rid of food that can lead to Gingivitis and gum disease. So, this chore is usually not...

Payment Plan Options to Cover Your Dental Treatments

Many people have problems with their oral health. Up to one in every four adult U.S. citizens have untreated tooth decay, and almost half of U.S. adults over 30 have gum disease, according to the Center for Disease Control. Many people stay away...

Do You Accept my Michigan Dental Insurance?

Insurance can be extremely useful and necessary for you to get the care you need. Whether health, dental, or vision, trying to figure out how your insurance works can be tough. Each of these areas is different.  Before we get any further,...

What are My Options to Whiten My Smile?

A bright smile can light up a room, improve your interactions with others, and improve your self-esteem. If you want to have a whiter smile, there are steps you can take to get there. Continue reading to learn what you can do to improve your...
Page: 12 - All
248-306-9547