Did you recently hear a loud pop echo from your jaw while you were mid-yawn? Perhaps you were getting ready to dig into your favorite meal when your mouth cracked, emitting a sudden sound. If so, don’t worry. Despite being disorienting, a popping jaw is quite common.
Sometimes the clicking sound is accompanied by pain, and other times, it’s painless. However, this difference can be quite confusing. You might find yourself asking, “Why does my jaw pop but doesn’t hurt?” Although the prime culprit and answer to this question is temporomandibular joint disorder, more commonly known as TMJ or TMD.
Why Does My Jaw Pop But Doesn’t Hurt?
A popping jaw is a result of a jaw disorder that affects the temporomandibular joint. This is the joint that anchors the jaw to your skull, keeping it attached. However, if the tendons or joint muscles get damaged, it can give way to loud clicking noises and trigger jaw pain.
In contrast, if your jaw pops but does not cause any pain, it is a sign that you have nothing to worry about. But just to be safe and ensure your jaw health is in order, consult a dentist by scheduling a physical evaluation.
Additionally, the popping sound could be due to other causes as well, some severe and others unrelated. Mentioned below are a few instances that could make your jaw pop and lock:
- Sleep apnea
- Jaw related injuries
- Regularly grinding or clenching your jaw
- Oral infection
- Excessively chewing gum
- Misaligned bite
- Dislocated jaw
- Inflamed temporomandibular joint
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Biting the inside of your lips or cheeks
Not to mention, temporomandibular joint disorder is such a common condition that it affects around 12% of the adult population in the United States. This means that despite the
Is Jaw Popping Without Pain Normal?
Surprisingly, yes. If you use your jaw a lot, it can tire out the joint muscles, causing them to creak every time they’re put to use. This can lead to your jaw locking up and freezing at random times or causing a loud popping sound.
Different Ways to Stop Your Jaw From Popping
Even though jaw popping is not a cause of concern, especially if there is no pain, you can still take steps to avoid the clicking sounds, as mentioned below.
- Avoid opening your mouth too wide.
- Consult a dental professional.
- Invest in a mouthguard.
- Apply an ice compress to soothe the ache.
- Massage the area at regular intervals.
- Work on your posture, and try sitting up straighter.
- Pay attention to what you eat, and avoid hard foods.
- If the problem persists, look into getting a jaw surgery.
All in all, a jaw that pops but does not hurt is a sign that your jaw muscles are overworked. This is nothing to worry about, as the clicking sounds go away on their own. Nevertheless, for more queries and concerns, contact Rock Creek Oral Surgery at (832) 930-7801 or visit 14119 Grant Road, Suite 140, Cypress, TX 77429, located near Jeremiah’s Italian Ice.