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Health blog

Two common questions about jaw popping

July 2nd, 2019
Jaw Popping

The jaw is connected to the skull by a hinge joint, and this joint is called the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). In addition to allowing your jaws to open and close, the TMJ also permits the jaw to move forward and backward. The movement of your TMJ is vital for common activities like chewing, and it’s also typically the area where jaw popping comes from. If you’re experiencing such sounds in your jaw, check out the answers to two common questions about it. 

1.   Should I be worried about jaw popping?

The answer to this question can be both yes and no. In some cases, jaw popping is related to opening your mouth too wide. For example, these sounds can be common during yawns where your jaws open more than normal, or popping sounds may be related to old jaw injuries from sports collisions or car accidents. They can also be caused by actions like grinding your teeth or arthritis in the TMJ. 

However, there are some cases where jaw popping can be a sign of a more serious problem. The popping noises may be related to TMJ disorder. 

2.   How do I know if my jaw popping is a symptom of TMJ disorder?

TMJ disorder is a condition that can be caused by problems with the jaw joint or the muscles that move the jaw. It can be a serious issue if left untreated, and popping sounds in the jaw joints may be a symptom of TMJ disorder. 

The most common indication that you have a TMJ disorder is that there are typically other symptoms. For example, this condition commonly causes pain in the TMJ, face or neck. Many people also have increased difficulty chewing, and you may also experience pain while chewing. Headaches are also common when patients have TMJ disorder. In extreme cases, the jaw may even lock, which can make it hard to close or open your mouth. If you aren’t experiencing any pain or trouble moving your jaw, then the popping sounds are less likely to be related to TMJ disorder. 

Find help with jaw popping and TMJ disorder at Rehab Access

If you have a TMJ disorder or other jaw issues causing popping sounds, Rehab Access is here to help you. Our team operates out of two clinics located in Gretna and Belle Chasse, Louisiana. We have experience using a variety of physical therapy techniques to help patients with jaw issues. Building you a personalized physical therapy plan is one step we’ll take to help you, and this plan will be designed to provide benefits for your jaw that may include: 

  • Reducing pain
  • Increasing mobility
  • Improving range of motion
  • Decreasing muscle tension
  • Restoring the ability to do normal jaw-related tasks

Take the next step to get relief from jaw problems. Contact our team today for more information or to schedule an appointment.