General Question

Bretbocook's avatar

Clicking jaw?

Asked by Bretbocook (100 points ) 2 months ago from iPhone

My 40 year old wife jaw is clicking and cracking every time she chews anything and is driving her crazy.
She also just gave birth to a full term baby girl 1 month ago and this started when she was pregnant. Dentist was stumped as to what to do. My theory is a guess but I was foundering if hormones released during pregnancy to loose hip tones to allow the baby out have caused this and will go away soon. Anyone heard is and or experienced if and how f
Long does it last and is there a solution??

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5 Answers

Lightlyseared's avatar

It sounds like temporomandibular joint disorder (or TMJ). Google seems to suggest it’s not that uncommon during pregnancy going by the number of people complaining about it, but you can also get it if your grinding your teeth while you sleep or if the jaw joint has been damaged by an injury etc (I had it from grinding my teeth – the dentist made a mouth guard for me to sleep in and it sorted it out. I can still make my jaw click if I over extend it but it happens infrequently now).

snowberry's avatar

@Bretbocook I think you’re on the right track. The hormones a pregnant woman has makes her ligaments stretch. When I was pregnant I couldn’t open bottles. The ligaments in my hands were just too loose to allow me to open them. And it seems to me that this is the situation with her. Rather than seeing a doctor about this right away, perhaps she should wait until her “baby hormones” have settled down. Maybe her symptoms will go away on their own.

Buttonstc's avatar

TMJ was also the first thing that popped into my head upon reading this Q.

I must admit to quite a bit of
surprise that your dentist had
no idea about this.

I would suggest that you get a
second opinion from a more
experienced dentist.

As LS mentioned, a bite plate
frequently goes a long way to
ameliorate the condition. It’s
not the clicking which is the
problem, per se, even tho it’s the most noticeable.

The problem comes over time in terms of damage to the teeth from all that tooth grinding and jaw clenching (usually during sleep)

If allowed to go unchecked over the years it ends up with cracked teeth and fillings as well as severe headaches in some cases.

Find a competent dentist for a second opinion. For referrals, you can try any local universities with a dental
school as they usually have professors who are very knowledgeable about all aspects of dentistry so they would know which dentists in your local area with expertise in dealing with TMJ. Also, some of them may also have private office hours to see patients.

CWOTUS's avatar

As soon as I saw the term “clicking jaw”, and before even reading the details or the other responses, I was thinking TMJ as well. I’m also amazed that there’s a dentist who doesn’t recognize this, or at least know about it and discount it as the first and most likely issue. My wife first developed TMJ about thirty years ago – and had it diagnosed at that time – so it’s not like a brand new thing that no one has ever heard of before. Are you sure that he’s really a dentist? For humans?

pleiades's avatar

When I expand my jaws I can “click” my jaw into two different directions. (Kind of like if you roll your shoulders you can hear your cartilage grind) This is when I control it and is obviously exaggerated.

When I’m chewing food everything is all good. Is she expanding her jaws top to bottom or is she chewing from side to side?

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