If you’ve noticed jaw popping sounds when you open your mouth, you’re far from alone. Over 10 million people in the United States deal with this symptom at some point. And often, the popping sounds aren’t the only bothersome symptom. Thankfully, appropriate care can go far in alleviating them all.
Our experienced team of dentists at Swinney Dental in Tyler, Texas, diagnoses and treats painful jaw conditions to bring you relief and help you go about tasks like eating and speaking with greater ease.
Take a few moments to learn more about jaw popping, including ways we can help.
Causes of jaw popping
Jaw popping happens when you have a problem in your jaw muscles or temporomandibular joints (TMJs). These issues can stem from a range of conditions, including:
- Broken or dislocated jaw
- Bruxism, or chronic teeth grinding
- Infection in your salivary glands
- Jaw tumors
- Malocclusion, also known as a “cross bite” or crowded teeth
- Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS)
- Other jaw injuries
- Sleep apnea
You can also experience jaw popping from habits, such as biting your nails or inner cheeks and excessive gum chewing.
One of the most common conditions we treat that involves jaw popping is temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. Also known as TMD or simply TMJ, this disorder may result from long-term bruxism.
More TMJ disorder symptoms
TMJ disorder affects people differently, but in addition to jaw popping, you’re likely to experience jaw pain or tenderness. You might also notice that your jaw sometimes locks into place and makes chewing or speaking difficult.
Headaches and earaches, too, can accompany TMJ. And all of these symptoms can impact your moods, energy levels, and ability to attain restful sleep.
TMJ and bruxism treatment
TMJ disorder symptoms may come and go periodically or resolve on their own over time. In some cases, home care practices, like over-the-counter pain relievers, eating soft foods, and managing stress suffice.
If your symptoms keep flaring up or become severe, our team at Swinney Dental can help. Our nonsurgical treatments for TMJ issues fueled by bruxism include nighttime mouthguards and NTI-tss devices. Both treatments prevent teeth grinding. We may also recommend special jaw exercises or prescribe a muscle relaxant for relief.
To learn more about jaw popping or to get the treatment you need, call our dental team at Swinney Dental. You can also schedule an appointment using the convenient online booking feature on our website. Or, if you experience sudden and severe jaw popping sounds or have a traumatic injury, take advantage of our emergency dental care.