Why Does My Jaw Make A Popping Sound


Do you often hear a popping sound when you open your mouth wide, chew or yawn? This popping or clicking sound from the jaw joint is a common problem that many people experience. While it may not be painful, it can be annoying and cause concern. In this article, we’ll discuss the reasons why your jaw may be making a popping sound.

The Anatomy of the Jaw

The jaw joint, also known as the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), connects the jawbone to the skull. It’s a complex joint that has a disc-like structure that acts as a cushion between the jawbone and the skull. When we open our mouth, the lower jawbone moves forward and the disc moves with it to keep it in place. The muscles and ligaments that surround the joint also play a crucial role in the movement of the jaw.

Causes of Jaw Popping

1. Arthritis: Arthritis is a common cause of jaw popping. It can cause the cartilage in the TMJ to wear down, leading to bone-on-bone contact and a popping sound.

2. Trauma: A blow to the jaw or face can cause damage to the joint, resulting in a popping sound.

3. Teeth grinding: Clenching or grinding your teeth can put pressure on the TMJ, causing it to pop.

4. Malocclusion: Misaligned teeth or a misaligned bite can put stress on the jaw and lead to popping.

5. Stress: Stress can cause tension in the jaw muscles, leading to popping or clicking.

Symptoms of Jaw Popping

In addition to the popping sound, other symptoms of jaw popping include:

– Pain or tenderness in the jaw

– Difficulty opening or closing the mouth

– Headaches

– Earaches

– Dizziness

Treatment for Jaw Popping

1. Over-the-counter pain relievers: Pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help relieve pain and inflammation in the jaw.

2. Hot or cold compresses: Applying a hot or cold compress to the jaw can help reduce pain and inflammation.

3. Relaxation techniques: Practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and meditation can help reduce stress and tension in the jaw muscles.

4. Dental treatments: If malocclusion is causing the jaw popping, dental treatments such as braces or bite adjustment may be recommended.

5. Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be required to repair or replace damaged joint structures.

Prevention of Jaw Popping

1. Avoid chewy or hard foods that can put stress on the jaw.

2. Practice good posture to reduce tension in the jaw muscles.

3. Avoid clenching or grinding your teeth.

4. Take frequent breaks if you work in a job that requires you to talk or chew for long periods of time.


Jaw popping is a common problem that can be caused by a variety of factors. While it may not be painful, it can be annoying and cause concern. If you’re experiencing jaw popping, it’s important to speak to your dentist or doctor to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

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