Is it normal for my jaw to pop?
A popping or locked jaw can be painful!
A popping jaw indicates that something is not functioning properly. People often refer to this as TMJ or TMJD, which stands for temporomandibular joint dysfunction.
Your jaw, muscles, teeth, and occlusion (bite) all contribute to the health of your jaw function. Inflammation or degeneration can cause a host of symptoms that include:
- Popping, locking, or clicking of your jaw joints
- Headaches, facial pain, or migraines
- Ringing in your ears or feeling like your ears are clogged
- Shoulder, neck, or back pain
- Inability to open your mouth completely
- Teeth that do not come together properly
If Dr. Dhoon has the opportunity to diagnose your jaw condition early, he can provide treatment and potentially help you avoid surgery. A TMJ splint or an oral appliance called an NTI can guide your jaw into its proper location, allowing your muscles to relax. For many patients, this means dramatically reduced symptoms including fewer headaches.
Bruxism, or clenching and grinding your teeth, is now classified as a disease and can contribute to TMJ dysfunction. An oral appliance addresses this problem as well, reducing wear and damage to your teeth caused by your teeth coming together in your sleep. An NTI device separates your teeth, prohibiting your teeth from damaging each other.