When your jaw pops or cracks, it can be a symptom of a temporomandibular joint dysfunction or TMD. In the short-term, it’s not considered as a serious problem. However, in the long-term, it can be an annoyance and may lead to pain.
If it bothers you when you eat or yawn, you should see your dentist and have it checked.
There are two types of popping. One is when you widely open your jaw, like when you’re yawning. It’s a regular occurrence as a hyper-extended lower jaw causes it. The other type of popping is more concerning as it involves displacement of the cartilage inside the joint. It pops when you’re moving jaw while you talk, chew or open your mouth.
For some people, the jaw popping sound can be heard by other people, and it can be bothersome. When they hear it, they’ll wonder what’s going on. The sound is the result of the disc that’s dislocated on closure. If it causes pain, then it’s the outcome of the ligament that controls the disc. It’s also caused by the muscles controlling your jaw movement.
If the jaw popping becomes painful, your dentist will address the issue. One of the things you could try is to reduce your jaw function. That is, you should go to a softer diet. Relax your jaw when you catch yourself clenching or grinding.
When you’re diagnosed with a TMD, it’s ideal that you learn what your jaw can tolerate. If there’s food that you eat that causes pain to your jaw, you just avoid that food until your jaw begins to feel more relaxed.
Any injury to the jaw would create popping episodes. Dentists would usually recommend their patients to give their condition, at least, three weeks to allow the issue to resolve on its own. By following a softer diet, they find that things are going back to normal again.
Now, if that won’t happen, go back to your dentist to see if other things can be done to your condition.
When there’s pain accompanied with jaw popping, your dentist will recommend specific solutions to avoid further straining to your muscles. Muscle strain can lead to arthritic degeneration in the joint. This condition can cause changes in your bite as it limits your mouth’s function.
Thus, when you start developing a popping sound in your jaw, and it’s painful, it’s best to go on a softer diet for a couple of weeks. If it continues, you should see your dentist. That is if the episode has never happened before.
Now, if the popping sound returns after a month, then it’s a sign that there’s something wrong going on in your body. One of the solutions is to use an inter-oral appliance. Your dentist will adjust it appropriately to maintain maximum stability. It can help in relieving muscle strain and decompressing joint tissues allowing the inflammation to resolve.
The key to solving jaw popping is to get an evaluation from a dentist who’s trained to manage TMJ issues, you may visit http://www.southwestimplants.com/.