If you hear a popping sound when you move your jaw, dysfunction of your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) might be the cause. TMJ has joints on both sides which connect your jaw to your skull. If you are thinking, “Why is my jaw popping?” TMJ issues might be the reason. We will list down the possible reasons it happens.
Why Is My Jaw Popping?
1. Unconscious Habits
Sometimes, we indulge in unconscious bad habits, due to anxiety or other reasons, that can cause TMJ issues if done over an extended period. Your jaw might be popping if you do these:
- Bite Nails
- Grind Teeth
- Bite Lip or Cheek
- Clench Jaw
- Chew gum a lot
- Thrust Jaw Outwards
2. Medical Reasons
Your TMJ might be dysfunctioning because of a medical condition. These include:
Jaw Injury or Trauma
An injury or trauma to your jaw can break or dislocate it. This unhinges your jaw, which can be a reason for your jaw popping. If you also have pain, swelling, numbness, or bruising— it is better to seek medical care immediately.
Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis both lead to jaw popping. They damage your TMJ cartilage, and as a result, there is a lack of proper absorption in your joint socket. There is also a painful sensation with jaw movements. You may also have lowered range of motion, stiffness, fatigue, loss of appetite, and swelling if you have this condition.
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and Central Sleep Apnea (CSA) often cause a pop in the jaw. In this condition, you stop involuntarily breathing while sleeping, either continually or periodically. Due to this, your jaw clamps down in your sleep so that your airway is not blocked. This adds pressure on your jaw, and other areas, leading to TMJ issues.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Myofascial Pain Syndrome or MPS is a chronic pain disorder with a pain trigger in one area. MPS in your jaw can cause TMJ issues. If your pain does not get better after days, straining makes it worse, along with painful knots in muscles, and a low range of motion— these are all symptoms of MPS.
Malocclusion or misalignment of teeth also cracks your jaw. As a result, there might be pop and TMJ issues. Mouth breathing, speech problems, change in facial appearance, and other symptoms, also occur in this case.
Your infected salivary gland makes opening your mouth difficult. If you also have a dry mouth, face pain, swelling, pus, and a foul taste in the mouth— you may have an infection causing all that popping.
Your jaw popping can be due to many reasons. If you notice any of the symptoms above, you may want to visit your doctor. They may suggest home treatments like applying an ice pack or warm compress, facial exercises, night guard, or medications.
Other than this, you may have to undergo medical treatment or surgery, whatever your doctor deems appropriate for your condition. Want to ask anything about your oral health? Feel free to contact Mission Bend family Dentistry at 832 895 5110.