Jaw Popping: Nature, Possible Complications, Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

In fact, it is really hard to come up with a better description for this dental condition rather than popping. Even on its early stage, when the disorder causes barely any pain, it can really drive you crazy by the nasty popping and clicking sounds, which come out from your mouth whenever you eat or even speak, and draw not always the empathic attention of other people, who happened to be near you, in a quiet room.

However, despite the popular belief, jaw popping is not just a psychological problem, as it causes a number of complications, the majority of us is not really aware of. So, the answer to the question, if the jaw popping requires treatment seems quite obvious to me.

Where Does Jaw Popping Sound Come from?

The actual nasty jaw popping sound comes from your temporomandibular joint space, when it fails to function properly, or its tendons or muscles spasms and tightness. Most commonly, the tightened muscles pull the patient's jaw out of its anatomically right position, causing the jaw popping disorder. Depending on the problem severity, the dental disease might affect only one TMJ or both of them.

As the disorder keeps progressing, the annoying popping and clicking sounds stop being merely a discomforting problem and thus, the jaw popping is likely to lead to a number of complications, if left without treatment.

Why Is It Not Worth Postponing Jaw Popping Treatment?

The temporomandibular joint is responsible for many oral cavity and facial functions. And these are not just the obvious ability to open and close your mouth, not to mention performing the chewing movements. Apart from that, the TMJ proper functioning assists you in making your facial expressions. So, these are the three functions the jaw popping disorder slowly but surely affects, when you leave it without adequate treatment.

On top of that, whenever the jaw popping disorder affects one TMJ, this leads to the uneven stress of the jaw bones discs. If the popping is observed in the both temporomandibular joints, this is endangered with the unnaturally high tension and stress on the disc.

In its turn, the continuously increased jaw bones disk stress makes it loose its smooth gliding, inherent to the TMJ, which is not affected by the jaw popping. As the disk looses its smooth gliding, it is really likely to get literally stuck on some point, when you open or close your mouth. If the stuck is temporary, it makes you feel and hear the popping or clicking. However, as the disorder keeps progressing, it can get permanent and result into a jaw lock problem.

What Are Jaw Popping Causes?

The jaw popping disorder is likely to result not only from such obvious sources as the teeth, jaw, or facial traumas plus the discs and bones natural wear.

Apart from that, the problem could be linked to the certain orthodontic disorders, including the severe teeth misalignments and certainly, bad bite disorders, which hinder the normal temporomandibular joint functioning. In addition, the improper oral cavity bony growth can also manifest itself in the jaw popping, which occurs only, when you open your mouth.

The most common bad dental habits triggering the jaw popping disorder include teeth grinding or clenching and excessive chewing gum consumption.

Among the underlying jaw popping causing general health conditions it is worth noting the neuralgia disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, whenever it affects the jaw bones, and obviously head or neck cancers.

What Are Jaw Popping Symptoms?

The most obvious sign of this dental condition is certainly the popping or clicking sound, coming out from or moth, when you open or close it, or even chew on your food, talk or simply yawn.

Apart from that, the jaw popping disorder is usually accompanied with the gradually increasing and spreading pain. At first, patient experiences pain and difficulty, when he opens his mouth (also note that the patients with the jaw popping usually cannot open their mouths wide). Later on, he starts experiencing his jaw pain, when being motionless. Gradually, the jaw pain spreads onto the face. The tooth and gum pains, as well as headaches are also commonly observed in the patients with the jaw popping. As the jaw tendons and muscles tension keeps growing, the jaw lock problem becomes a more and more frequent issue.

The ever changing nature of the pain is the main reason why the condition calls for the professional diagnosis, as the non-professionals often fail to tell the jaw popping disorder from even such different dental condition as the tooth decay.

Even if you do not have the pain symptoms, but still experience the popping and clicking sounds, coming out from your mouth, do not hesitate to contact your dental care provider, as sometimes, the jaw popping condition turns to be almost symptomless.

What Are Jaw Popping Treatment Options?

It is essential to go through the professional diagnosis to follow the adequate jaw popping treatment plan. Depending on the disorder severity and its source, dental care provider will develop the best treatment tactics for each case.

The basic jaw popping treatment actions presuppose self care at home practices. They usually include the jaw tendons and muscles relaxation exercises and cold compresses applying. Sometimes, the pain killers are prescribed. The dietary changes commonly include drawing the emphasis to the soft foods.

The conservative jaw popping treatment also calls for the underlying sources management, if there are any revealed. This usually concerns the triggering diseases treatment or at least monitoring. The closest attention is usually drawn to the orthodontic disorders management. If the source of your jaw popping is the teeth grinding habit, special night guards are widely prescribed. It is also worth to stop chewing the gum, if you experience any TMJ disorders.

The advanced jaw popping disorder cases are usually managed by special jaw muscles injections or even major surgical treatment.

And finally, remember to immediately turn to a dental care provider as soon as you start experiencing the jaw popping. Never practice the self-treatment, as it is likely to lead to the numerous highly unpleasant complications. The jaw popping treatment tactics choice is always up to a professional. Be healthy and wealthy!