Yes, there is reason for concern. The popping comes from the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ), which is made up of the muscles and bone of the fossa and condyle with a disc that cushions and separates them. When the jaw muscles are working overtime there is extra stress pulling on the disc. This continuous tension will cause the disc to stay out of place. When you open your mouth, the disc pops back into place and when you close your mouth, the disc slips back out. Therefore, over a long period of time, the disc will wear down enough that the popping can stop. It does not stop because it is better, but because it is so broken down it will not go back. Eventually, with no cushion, there will be wear on the bone which leads to more breakdown of the joint. As the TMJ breaks down, the bite changes even more causing breakdown of teeth and bone surrounding the teeth. It is important to catch this in the early phase to prevent a more expensive and painful problem.
About our Sponsor
Stacey Sparkman Hall
At Williamsburg Center for Dental Health, we’re dedicated to providing a positive patient experience. Your health and happiness is our goal, and we take time and care to reach it. When our patients leave satisfied, we know we’ve succeeded.