Five Reasons That Your Jaw Clicks or Pops When You Chew
Some people have a jaw that clicks or pops when they chew. Sometimes, it can be challenging to pin down exactly where this problem stems from. Some people with this condition may first suspect that something's wrong with their mandible, but it isn't always that straightforward. It actually turns out that there is not just one, single reason for why your jaw could click or pop when you chew. Here are five reasons why your jaw could be clicking or popping when you chew.
It Could Be Joint Disk Issues
If you hear your jaw either clicking or popping when you are chewing, then it could be that your joint disk is unstable. The noise you hear stems from this disk popping in and out of place as it moves forward and then backward. Sometimes, the noise this can produce is quite low, but other times, it can be loud and you may be heard from clear across the lunch table.
It Could Be Your TMJ
TMJ is an acronym that stands for “temporomandibular joint.” If there's something wrong with your TMJ, then you could have temporomandibular joint disorder, or just TMJ syndrome. In turn, this jaw condition can be created by a lot of different issues, such as bad posture, stress problems, trauma, and unusually shaped jaw muscles or spastic jaw muscles. In any case, TMJ problems are serious and you should visit your dentist quickly.
It Could Be From Teeth Grinding or Clenching
Sometimes, if people are under a lot of stress, they begin to either grind or clench their teeth. Usually people who grind are unaware that they are doing it! If a dentist thinks that this is the cause of your clicking or popping problems, then he could provide you with something as simple as a mouth guard to help alleviate this condition.
It Could Be Jaw Joint Inflammation
It could also be that your jaw joint became inflamed, which is what causes the clicking and popping noises each time you chew. The disk in the jaw joint is comprised of cartilage, which is what allows the jaw to move effortlessly. However, as the mouth opens, this disk may sometimes get out of its proper position. Inflammation of this disk can be the reason for the disk sliding out of place in the first place.
It Could Be Childhood Issues
The final reason for your jaw making either clicking or popping noises when you eat is a childhood trauma. This is not a psychological trauma, but rather, a physical trauma from childhood that did not heal properly. For instance, if you were very rambunctious as a child, you may have fallen in such a way that hurt your jaw. While it failed to cause problems then, it may have caught up with you as an adult.
These are the five reasons your jaw can either click or pop when you chew. If you are experiencing pain in your jaw that fails to go away, it's best to see a dentist or a doctor for it. Delaying treatment will likely only make the situation worse.