Why Does My Jaw Pop?

Did you know that a popping or crackling sensation in your jaw could be a warning sign of a serious problem? You may be experiencing the common warning signs of TMJ disorder, also known as TMD. Fortunately, we can treat this disorder with comfortable and minimally invasive treatment options.

What Causes TMJ Disorder?

Our temporomandibular joints connect the jaw to the skull. Without them, we could not chew or speak. When these joints become strained, patients may develop TMD, which makes opening and closing the mouth difficult. Jaw joint strain could be caused by a number of different issues, such as tooth loss, malocclusion, injury to the jaw or face, or bruxism (persistent teeth grinding/jaw clenching). We will assess the factors behind your TMJ-related issues before recommending treatment.

What Warning Signs Should We Be Aware of?

There are a number of warning signs for TMJ problems, such as:

  • A popping jaw
  • Headaches
  • Earaches
  • Neck/shoulder pain
  • Toothaches/tooth sensitivity (for those who grind their teeth)

If you have unexplained headaches, a jaw that pops, or any of these other symptoms, then talk to your dentist. The doctor can diagnose the cause of your discomfort and if necessary, prescribe treatment for TMJ disorder.

How Do We Treat the Disorder?

For some cases, we may recommend placing a warm compress against the side of the face or performing muscle exercises several times a day. You should also cut back on caffeine and avoid chewing on hard or chewy foods/objects. If these lifestyle changes fail to address your TMD, we can recommend an oral appliance. The appliance is worn while sleeping and feels similar to a nightguard. The device helps reposition the jaw to ease strain on the joints. If you have questions about treating TMJ disorder, then contact our office today.