What should you do if your jaw makes cracking, popping, or clicking sounds?
That depends on what’s causing the noise.
Normal Jaw Popping
There is a circumstance where jaw-popping is normal. This is called “subluxation.” It’s when your lower jaw bone passes too far over a ridge on the opposite upper part of the joint.
You may occasionally hyperextend your jaw this way and hear a “pop” when you yawn really big. This is normal and not something you need to worry about, just yet.
Jaw Clicking That Signifies Trouble
A clicking noise is not always a sign of TMJ trouble, especially if it isn’t painful.
Some people have a jaw joint that’s clicked for years but never given them any issues. Jaw noises may even come and go in unexpected episodes.
You should be a bit concerned if your jaw starts clicking or popping all of a sudden for the first time. There may be a serious underlying cause such as arthritis, trauma, or a teeth-grinding habit.
Jaw pain is almost always a sign of trouble. If you have a jaw that clicks or pops painfully, you need to have it looked at right away by our TMJ specialist in Malibu. The sooner you find out what’s causing the discomfort, the less damage your TMJ will have.
Stop TMJ Clicking
Give your noisy jaw a break from chewy foods to see if the clicking goes away on its own. Apply a warm moist washcloth to your jaw to soothe tense ligaments. Gently stretch or massage your jaw to relax muscles.
If you have a noisy jaw that hurts or worries you, schedule an exam with Bob Perkins, DDS.
Posted on behalf of Bob Perkins, DDS