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Should You Be Worried about Popping or Clicking in Your Jaw?

September 25, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — drkics @ 1:30 am
Woman with hands on her TMJ, wearing concerned expression

Have you noticed lately that your jaw seems to pop and click when you open and close your mouth? Perhaps you have tried to ignore the issue, but you may wonder if something is wrong with your jaw joint (also called the TMJ). Should you be worried about popping or clicking in your jaw? Well, maybe. This blog post explains what the sound might mean and what you should do.

What Causes Popping and Clicking?

In some cases, popping in the jaw is normal and not a major cause for concern. It can happen if you open your mouth too wide. When you close it, you may experience a popping sensation.

In other instances, though, jaw popping and clicking is the direct result of TMJ disorder, which is also known simply as TMD. TMD occurs when the jaw joint is stressed or injured. It can lead to displacement of the cartilage-like disk inside the joint, which in turn leads to a popping and clicking sensation that can be quite annoying. Often, it is also uncomfortable or even downright painful.

Rarely, popping and clicking is due to something even more serious, such as a broken or dislocated jaw. (If you were recently in an accident, you should seek a doctor’s care right away. Serious jaw injuries heal best when they are treated promptly.)

Do You Have TMD?

If you are bothered by persistent popping and clicking in your jaw, it is worth taking some time to visit your dentist, especially if you also have other symptoms of the condition, which can include:

  • Difficulty chewing
  • Frequent headaches
  • Facial soreness
  • Neck aches and back aches
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Ringing in your ears

You may be especially at risk of TMD if you are a woman of childbearing age, you have arthritis, you are prone to teeth grinding, or your teeth are misaligned.

How to Find Relief

Your dentist can examine your mouth, take some X-rays, and provide an expert perspective on the problem. Often, noninvasive professional treatment, combined with home remedies like stretches and massage, can provide effective relief.

Some people find that the popping and clicking goes away on its own after a while. However, without treating the underlying cause of the problem, you cannot be confident that it will not return later on.

Jaw popping and clicking are annoying, and in some cases, they can point to a medical condition that requires professional attention. Instead of ignoring the problem, take action so your jaw and mouth can go back to functioning smoothly.

Meet the Practice

Westgate Dental Care features a team of compassionate and skilled oral health experts. TMJ treatment is among the many services we offer. If you are concerned about unusual sounds or sensations in your jaw, we can assess the situation and recommend your next steps. To book a consultation or learn more about our services, contact our office at 847-577-7171.