Jaw Joint Cracking - A Common Symptom
The causes for joint cracking have not been fully identified. Air bubbles in the synovial fluid are identified as the most common explanation (cavitations). These cause a sound during pressure balancing due to bubble formation. Furthermore, bumps in the ankle surface are also considered to be a cause. Joint crackles are much less of a problem than generally assumed.
The most common argument against finger cracking is that it causes arthritis, but this is not true. The jaw joint was, and sometimes still is, treated as a kind of “special joint.” Thus, jaw joint treatment is often carried out immediately, even for phenomena which are considered normal for other joints. This is wrong.
If certain changes occur slowly and/or if certain symptoms such as reduced mouth opening have existed for a lifetime, this simply represents a normal variation and does not have to be treated. If changes occur in a short period of time you should consult a doctor. This is a general rule in medicine and is no different where jaw joint cracking is concerned.
If you have had jaw joint cracking since childhood, it is simply a variation. For example, if you experience a joint ache while chewing a lot or when you leave your mouth open for extended periods of time, this just means your joint is more sensitive. You should adjust your lifestyle accordingly.
Some people run a marathon and never experience knee issues while others run around the block twice experience swelling in the knees. If you happen to be a person with hyper-sensitive joints, you have to adjust your lifestyle accordingly. This means no chewing gum or chewing-intensive food such as gummy bears. Furthermore, make your dentist aware of the fact that you will need more breaks. In this context, it should be mentioned that the absence of pain does not automatically mean that everything is in order. This is another general rule of medicine.
If jaw joint cracking appeared recently and you also experience other problems such as a reduced mouth opening, pain and/or the feeling that your teeth do not fit together correctly, you should immediately contact a doctor. Possible causes may be:
- Disc displacement
- Jaw joint effusion
- Encroachment in the jaw joint
- Middle ear diseases
- Bone diseases
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