Why does my jaw click?
Jaw clicking or jaw popping can be caused by many different things. People who grind their teeth, habitually bite the inside of their cheek, bite their nails or chew gum excessively can develop a condition called TMD or TMJD. TMJD stands for temporomandibular joint disorder. Sometimes you may hear people refer to it as TMJ.
TMJD affects the jaw joint where the jaw meets the skull. When this joint isn’t working properly and /or when there are issues with the muscles around the joint TMJ can develop. According to the National Institute of Craniofacial Research, over 10 million people, the majority of whom are women develop jaw popping.
If you do not experience pain when your jaw clicks, it may not be a cause for concern. However, if you experience any of the following symptoms you should seek a consultation with a dentist or orthodontist.
Signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders may include:
- Pain or tenderness of your jaw
- Pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints
- Aching pain in and around your ear
- Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing
- Aching facial pain
- Locking of the joint, making it difficult to open or close your mouth
In addition to the behaviors above, jaw clicking may be a sign of a medical condition such as arthritis, sleep apnea, an injury to the jaw or even a condition called Myofascial pain syndrome. However, it can also be caused by Malocclusion of the teeth, or in other words, misalignment of the teeth causing an overbite or underbite. In more severe cases of Malocclusion TMJ can develop because the misalignment of the teeth is causing a misalignment of the jaw and mouth. In cases like this, orthodontic treatment may be required to correct the issue.
If you are experiencing jaw popping or jaw clicking call our office to schedule a consultation.