Do we need to treat non-symptomatic joint clicking?
Posted by: Dr. Andrew Cobb
Do we have to treat every noise or click that we observe in our patients? And the answer is not necessarily. What I am going to say is we always have to go back to the complete examination.
It is the power of the examination that really drives everything we are going to do
The Complete Exam is so important for our process. So if we have a patient that we are thinking, "Does this patient have some type of potential joint issue? An intracapsular issue? Is there a disc that is off. And if it is off, is it partially off or completely off? Do we have degenerative bone disease going on?"
It is not one thing that is going to point you in the direction of that potential diagnosis. It is the entirety of the examination. We are looking at joints, muscles, and teeth.
If we were to do an examination and the only thing we had was an occasional click, it might not be every time, or we thought that we have a click just on the lateral pull, and the muscles are okay, the teeth are not wearing out, there is no other symptoms, do we necessarily have to treat that? And the answer is probably no.
Account for all the factors and communicate to the patient
But you have to factor in everything else from your examination, as well:
- The age of the patient.
- What else is going on with the patient?
- Are there restorative needs for the patient?
Learn more about treating TMJ disorders at TMD Patient: Diagnosis and Treatment.