We’ve all encountered jaw-dropping moments, but have you ever had to deal with a jaw-popping scenario? That is to say, have you ever gone to open your mouth, ready to take a delicious bite of your burger, only to get frozen by a popping sound coming from your jaw? Maybe you’ve asked yourself in fear, ‘why is my jaw popping?’ — But don’t worry!
As scary as it might seem, a clicking or popping sound coming from your jaw is not always serious. Sometimes it happens if you open your mouth too wide. Although other times, it could be a sign of a dislocated disc.
Why Is My Jaw Popping? What Is It a Symptom Of?
Constantly hearing popping and clicking noises coming from your jaw isn’t something you can brush away so easily. Instead, in most cases, jaw popping results from facial trauma or a dislocated jaw.
Since your jaw is joined to your skull with two joints — the Temporomandibular Joints — if even a single one of them slips from its place, it can cause severe repercussions. This leads to a TMJ disorder.
However, that’s not all that it’s limited to. A popping jaw can also be categorized as a symptom of:
- TMJ Dysfunction
- Facial Trauma or Injury
- Sleep Apnea
- Oral Infection
- Myofascial Pain Syndrome
- Dental Malocclusion
- Oral Cancer
Why Does My Jaw Pop When I Chew?
If your jaw only pops when you chew or eat something, it could be a sign you’re abusing it. This means that the things you’re eating are causing further damage to the joints of your mouth.
If you’re prone to eating foods that are hard, chewy, crunchy, or that require you to open your mouth too wide, it’s time to make changes.
Opt for soft and gentle foods. Stay away from things that could trigger your jaw disc from slipping out further. Pay attention to what you eat.
Does Jaw Popping Fix Itself?
Unfortunately, no. You can’t slide back a disc that has slipped out on your own. Nor can you naturally realign your jawbone. What you can do, however, is avoid giving into poor habits.
Although, that is only limited to a severe TMJ disorder. If the jaw-popping sounds only arise from certain actions and are painless, then you have nothing to worry about. But it’s critical to keep your eye out for other symptoms from also arising.
Through lifestyle changes and preventive measures, you can get rid of the clicking sounds altogether. This includes habits like biting nails, chewing on ice, and other harsh activities that require your jaw to work overtime.
If you keep wondering, ‘why is my jaw popping?’ even after taking the preventive steps mentioned above, perhaps you should visit a TMJ specialist.
Moreover, if there are additional symptoms like pain, discomfort, or inability to close your mouth, then an in-depth evaluation is crucial.