Jaw Popping Questions and Answers
If your jaw pops and you believe you may need treatment, come to Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders. For more information on jaw popping, read our below Q and A page. Request an appointment online today! We serve patients from all over the USA. Locations in Bloomington IL, Peoria – Dunlap IL, Lafayette IN, Mishawaka IN, Columbia MO, Kansas City MO, Albuquerque NM, Brewster NY, El Paso TX, and Wausau WI.
Jaw popping refers to an audible sound made when moving the jaw, which often sounds like a pop or snap. This sound can occur for many reasons, typically when opening the mouth too wide or while chewing something hard. Many people experience jaw popping occasionally, however, if it happens on a regular basis, it should be evaluated by a dental professional who specializes in treating jaw disorders.
How do professionals treat TMD?
Professionals treat TMD with a variety of treatments and therapies. Physiotherapy exercises and stretches can help to reduce pain and strengthen the joint. One of the most common treatments for TMD are oral appliances, which are custom-fitted devices that hold the jaw in place to promote proper airflow. They also help reduce grinding and clenching. If there are abnormalities in the structure of the joint, other treatment options may be recommended.
For most people, surgery is not used to treat TMJ disorders and is typically only used as a last resort. While surgery has its benefits, there is a risk of causing more serious problems. Any surgical procedure should be carefully considered and discussed beforehand with a TMJ specialist.
What causes jaw popping?
Jaw popping can occur to anyone at any age and is often associated with:
- Grinding the teeth
- Chewing gum regularly or excessively
- Clenching the jaw
- Biting the inside of the cheek or lip
Several medical conditions can cause jaw popping, including:
Arthritis — The two most common forms of arthritis, rheumatoid and osteoarthritis, can both lead to cartilage damage in the temporomandibular joint.
Injury to the jaw — Physical trauma, such as a sports injury, can cause jaw popping, which may be exacerbated by future injuries.
Myofascial pain syndrome — Myofascial pain syndrome can occur in any part of the body, including the temporomandibular joint. When this happens, jaw popping may occur.
Sleep apnea — Sleep apnea is often linked to TMD, which may cause symptoms of jaw popping.
Malocclusion of the teeth — When the teeth are misaligned, known as malocclusion, popping may occur when closing the jaw.
Infection — Infections can cause all kinds of problems, including complications with the temporomandibular joint.
What kind of doctor treats jaw issues?
The most qualified professional to treat jaw issues is a dentist, or a dental surgeon. They possess a wealth of knowledge of the jaw and how it works and have a great amount of experience working with and treating the jaw. Professionals that treat jaw issues may also be known as oral or maxillofacial surgeons.
How do you fix a popping jaw?
There are many treatments for a popping jaw, including both home remedies and medical therapies. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) can help reduce inflammation, but persistent pain should be evaluated by a dentist. Applying an ice pack to the affected area followed by a warm compress can help to relieve pain, with each hot or cold application lasting no longer than 10 to 15 minutes. If needed, this method can be repeated several times throughout the day. Oral appliances can reduce jaw popping and are a common treatment for many other issues affecting the TMJ. Dental solutions can help fix any oral issue, such as an underbite, overbite, missing and misaligned teeth, that may be causing jaw popping.
If you or someone you love is experiencing a popping in the jaw, don’t let it disrupt your life, get treatment today at Koala® Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders! Our kind and compassionate professionals are experienced in treating jaw popping and can help treat the root cause of the issue. Call us today to book an appointment. We look forward to serving you!