Dentistry/Jaw Issues

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Question
Hello I am 24 years old Male and for about a year now I have been experiencing a clicking or popping noise when I yawn. This is how it all started. About a year ago I had yawned and my mouth stuck open for a few seconds and wouldn't close. Then finally after a few seconds I was able to close my mouth. Since that has happened I noticed that when I yawn I hear a clicking or popping noise. I am deeply concerned if somehow I may have dislocated my jaw or misaligned my face from this experience. I would like to know what doctor, dentist or specialist I should see to find out if my jaw or face has been dislocated or misaligned in anyway and the best expert to correct those problems if any. Thank you for your time.

Answer
Dear Randy,

You probably did dislocate your jaw when it locked open.  This usually happens when the lower jaw subluxates, or passes beyond its physiologic range of motion, but remains inside its joint capsule.  When this happens, the ligaments that keep the lower jaw from moving beyond its range of motion are over-stretched, and can become painful and strained.  Sometimes the meniscus inside the jaw joint can become deranged, or moved into a different location than it was meant to be in.

Your first visit should be to your dentist for a thorough examination.  Tell him/her what you told me.  If your dentist is not equipped to respond to your issues, he/she will guide you to the appropriate specialist, should you need one.  Generally, this would be an Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon.  

Let me know what you find out.

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Howard Finnk, D.D.S., P.A., CEO

Expertise

I am a Family, Implant and Cosmetic dentist. I will answer questions on any aspect of dentistry and matters relating to the smile, gums, jaws and lower face. Member American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, and Atlantic Coast District Dental Association. I have served as District Council Member of Alpha Omega, as well as serving for one term as its President. I am also a member of The Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, and Mount Sinai Hospital Guild. I have served as a Volunteer for Project Dental Health and The Tri-County Dental Health Council.

Experience

Having attained over 30 years of clinical experience in private practice in Michigan, in 2001 I was re-certified by taking and passing the Florida State Dental Board Examination. After moving to Florida, I spent nearly 10 years re-honing my skills while working as an Associate Dentist for several large dental groups. In September, 2004, I was appointed Adjunct Clinical Professor at Nova University's College of Dental Medicine. I am certified in placement of Mini Dental Implants, and I am Director of The Florida Implant Center (floridaimplantcenter.com). On March 1, 2010, at the age of 62, I began all over again by buying a dental practice near my home in the Fort Lauderdale area. As sole owner and Chief Dental Officer of the new Nob Hill Dental Center (nobhilldentalcenter.com), I can now carefully provide dental care to patients who care, all within a caring, joyful environment. Over my career lifetime, I have provided thousands of diagnoses, fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, periodontal treatments, TMJ therapies, partials, dentures and extractions, and dozens of implants for my patients. The only aspect of dentistry with which I have very little experience is orthodontics.

Organizations
American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, Broward County Dental Association, Atlantic Coast District Dental Society, Vedder Honors Society, Broward Dental Research Clinic, Alpha Omega Alumni Association, and American Association of Dental Implantologists. Formerly, American Academy of General Dentistry, Michigan Dental Association, Macomb Dental Society, Detroit District Dental Society, Tri-County Dental Health Council (a charitable dental care organization)

Publications
"How To Save Money At The Dentist" Going to press soon.

Education/Credentials
Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Psychology from Wayne State University Doctor of Dental Surgery from University of Detroit College of Dentistry Adjunct Clinical Professor, Special Needs Department, Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Awards and Honors
Membership in The Vedder Honors Society

Past/Present Clients
HIPAA rules do not allow me to post this information.

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