Many people experience jaw popping when they eat or do any other actions involving this part of their body. Sometimes, the popping may even be painful and uncomfortable, appearing once a person opens or closes his/her jaw. According to numerous dentists, this occurrence is common and takes place once our jaw muscles are not working in harmony, like when we are trying to chew through something hard. Then, the exhausted muscles do not pull in unison, producing the popping sound. Normally, jaw popping is not considered to be a serious health problem. Nevertheless, sometimes it can be.
Signs of Jaw Popping
Logically, this action manifests through a production of a popping sound, appearing in the temporomandibular joint. Usually, this action is accompanied with pain in the area, possibly expanding to the rest of the jaw or the neck, sometimes even triggering headaches. Finally, this problem may manifest through stiffness in the mouth and damage done on the inside of the cheeks.
The temporomandibular joint is located between the jaw and a single side of the skull, being about half an inch in front of the ears. Once this joint gets under stress, a popping sound is produced due to the fact that the joint has either slipped out of the socket or has endured excessive pressure.
Other Causes of Jaw Popping
Your jaw might pop once its supporting muscles have been overstressed. Also, the wear and tear effect may be triggering this condition and the popping sound may appear due to excessive use. Misalignment and slipping are yet another possible triggers of jaw popping. Finally, teeth grinding, medically known as bruxism, is a condition which can manifest in jaw popping as well.
Commonly, people mistake the pain in their jaw for earache or headache and often do not seek medical assistance for this problem. Either way, doctors cannot fix the damage that has been done to the jaw bone or the jaw joint. Rather, they can merely re-align the jaw and prescribe medications for pain control.
Treatment for Jaw Popping
Before you even experience this uncomfortable popping sound, you might make sure that your jaw is healthy and your tempromandibular joint not overused. Place your little fingers inside your ears and press them forward. If you feel pain, your jaw joint is overused and you should take some of the following steps.
Do not consume chewing gums and avoid eating hard food. Also, do not bite through food which has many layers, such as big sandwiches or hamburgers. Allow your jaw to rest by not using it during leisure time. Moreover, switch onto a softer diet for several days, until the jaw muscles, joint and bones do not recuperate. Massages and warmth application may be helpful and anti-inflammatory medications as well as painkillers may help you deal with the pain and discomfort. Finally, do not clench or grind your teeth and seek medical attention if the problem does not go away after several days.