Dr. Raj Upadya of Metropolitan Center for Complete Dentistry in East Hanover, New Jersey, specializes in the treatment of complex dental problems including temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD). Most patients refer to temporomandibular joint pain and related issues as TMJ.
Diagnosing TMD requires careful examination and training. There are a variety of TMJ treatments for TMJ disorders ranging from the use of a simple mouthguard to bite correction procedures.
Treatment for Jaw Popping
There are several treatment options to fix a popping or clicking jaw. Simple treatment may include TMJ exercises with stretching out the muscles and tendons. Eating soft foods and cutting foods into smaller pieces to decrease the amount of chewing is another conservative treatment for TMJ pain.
The first step is a thorough and comprehensive evaluation of all aspects of your occlusal system. This includes the teeth, gums, and jaw joints. Pinpointing the underlying cause of your jaw popping and bite dysfunction is the key to treatment that will go beyond the symptoms and improve your overall oral health for the long term.
Oral Appliance Therapy
Dr. Upadya commonly uses oral appliance therapy to treat jaw popping and TMJ pain. Here, your dentist creates a custom mouthguard or splint from impressions of your mouth and teeth. This removable oral appliance places teeth in their proper position.
Usually, the patient wears a mouthguard or splint while they sleep. This also prevents teeth grinding and jaw clenching, which can lead to tooth wear and contribute to tooth decay and gum disease.
Bite Correction Procedure
In some cases, bite correction procedures may be necessary to reposition teeth to make proper contact with one another. Also known as occlusal equilibration, bite correction brings the teeth into proper contact with restorative dental treatments.
This allows the jaw to open and close properly and eliminates stress on the jaw joints (TMJ). This could include the use of dental implants, dental crowns, or braces. Learn more about TMJ Therapy here.
Why Does My Jaw Pop?
Jaw popping is a common sign of TMJ disorder. However, it should be noted that jaw popping does not indicate TMJ dysfunction. There can be other reasons for jaw popping, so be sure to seek a thorough diagnosis from a trained dentist in TMJ disorders before proceeding with treatment.
Jaw popping can be caused by multiple things, including:
- Stress – emotional or physical, including overuse of the jaw joints
- Improper alignment of the jaw joints or teeth
- Trauma to the face or jaw
- Teeth grinding or jaw clenching
- Bad habits such as chewing on fingernails, biting lip or cheek, or chewing too much gum
Jaw Popping FAQs
Should I be worried if my jaw pops and clicks?
Many people experience jaw popping that does not cause them pain or discomfort. However, if your jaw pops or clicks often and causes discomfort or issues speaking or chewing, getting an evaluation from your dentist is a good idea.
How can I fix my lock jaw fast?
Patients with lockjaw should massage their jaw to loosen the muscles. They may also want to apply a hot or cold pack to the side of their face to help temporarily alleviate pain before they can see a dentist.
What causes a clicking jaw?
The overuse of jaw muscles typically causes jaw clicking. It may be onset by a patient grinding or clenching their teeth. Arthritis may also cause teeth grinding and jaw clicking.
How long does it take for jaw-popping to go away?
We recommend that patients wait at least a week before scheduling an appointment regarding jaw popping. Jaw popping is not uncommon and typically resolves itself after a week or two.
How do you know if your jaw is out of alignment?
There are multiple signs that your jaw may be out of alignment. The first signs are difficulty speaking, chewing, and biting. You may also experience tender pain and teeth grinding if your jaw is out of place.
Is jaw-popping normal?
There are a variety of causes for popping or clicking in your jaw. If you are concerned about your jaw popping, schedule an appointment today! We can assess whether the popping is an issue and discuss whether you would benefit from treatment.
Schedule a Dental Exam & Jaw Popping Consultation
If you have TMJ pain or notice your jaw popping, contact the Metropolitan Center for Complete Dentistry to schedule a consultation with Dr. Raj Upadya. Our office is conveniently located in East Hanover, New Jersey.
We gladly welcome new patients and out-of-town patients. Call us at (973) 287-3153 or request an appointment online.