Several conditions can cause your jaw to pop or click when you chew. For example, like any joint, your jaw can develop arthritis, disc displacement, and overuse injuries and strain.
Suppose you’re experiencing jaw popping or pain when you chew. In that case, treatment options depend on the underlying causes of your symptoms.
At the Center for Implant & Esthetic Dentistry in Beverly Hills, California, our prosthodontist, Dr. Ramin Mahallati, and our team offer treatment for TMJ disorder and general and cosmetic dentistry services.
What causes your jaw to pop when you chew
A common cause of jaw pain and symptoms like popping when you chew is bruxism. The condition causes you to grind and clench your teeth when you sleep, but some people also have “awake” bruxism.
In addition to jaw pain and popping, bruxism can wear down and damage your teeth over time.
Other factors causing jaw popping include:
- Wear-and-tear on your TMJ (temporomandibular joint) due to stress and anxiety
- Arthritis in one or both joints
- Jaw trauma or injury
- Stress on the TMJ from chewing gum
- Family history of TMJ disorder
- Bite problems
While it’s normal for your jaw to pop occasionally, schedule an appointment for a dental exam if it happens regularly.
How to lower your risk of developing TMJ disorders
Damage to your TMJ and the muscles and tissue that support it can cause pain in your jaw, face, and neck. Other symptoms of TMJ include popping and clicking when you chew and open and close your mouth. In extreme cases, the jaw can lock and make it difficult to move.
While you may not be able to prevent TMJ, you can take steps to protect your jaw from injuries and wear-and-tear that can damage the joints over time:
- If you grind and clench your teeth, use a night guard to protect your teeth and your joints
- Refrain from chewing gum and eating hard candies
- Don’t use your teeth to open packages or bottles
- Manage your stress and anxiety
- Schedule regular dental exams
Depending on the underlying causes of your symptoms, treatment for jaw pain and popping while you chew may include physical therapy, medication, and dental appliances.
If you are experiencing jaw popping, Dr. Mahallati and our team recommend scheduling an exam as soon as possible.
For more information about the causes and treatment options for TMJ disorder and other jaw injuries, contact the Center for Implant & Esthetic Dentistry today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mahallati at our office in Beverly Hills.