It can be alarming to hear a clicking sound when you’re trying to enjoy your meal. Your jaw might make a popping sound when you’re chewing, talking, or yawning due to several conditions. Usually, they’re a sign of problems in your temporomandibular joint. Moreover, some individuals experience pain in their jaw or ear as well. But what are the causes of your jaw clicking when you’re chewing? Carry on reading to find out.
Why is My Jaw Clicking When Chewing?
If your jaw is clicking when you move your mouth, it could be associated with a serious cause. Hence, it’s advised to get it checked by your oral healthcare provider to confirm the cause. Many things can be why your jaw clicks when you chew:
- Broken or Dislocated Jaw
Accidents, sports injuries, and more factors can break your jaw. If you recently had an injury with impact to your jaw, it can get dislocated. Thus, your jaw clicking when chewing could indicate that it is dislocated or broken.
When something comes out of balance in one or both of your temporomandibular joints, you can get TMD. Many factors can cause this disorder, making your jaw pop. Hence, if your jaw is clicking on one side when chewing, it could be TMJ. You’ll need to see a TMJ specialist to treat this condition and ensure it doesn’t worsen.
- Teeth Grinding
Do you have a habit of grinding your teeth? You may do it consciously or unconsciously. Either way, it could be harmful to your dental health. Excessive teeth grinding is termed bruxism, and it can be why your jaw is clicking when chewing. Therefore, you’ll need to visit a dentist to manage this issue.
- Bite Misalignment
Jaw popping could be due to misaligned teeth. Dental problems like crossbite, overbite, underbite, etc., could result from malocclusion of teeth. Thus, if you’re hearing clicking sounds when you chew, don’t hesitate to visit an oral doctor.
- Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea occurs when a person discontinues breathing in sleep due to obstructed airways. Your jaw tries to prevent the throat from relaxing and blocking your airway before a sleep apnea episode. This can lead to TMJ issues and, ultimately, a clicking sound when you move your mouth.
How to Stop Jaw Clicking?
Is your jaw clicking when chewing? You’ll need to visit a dentist. Coupled with jaw pain on one side, this can be a symptom of a severe condition. If it is not, a dental specialist can still help you manage the condition.
The dentist might suggest a dental x-ray to examine your mouth. This way, they can spot jaw injuries or teeth malocclusions. You may need reconstructive surgery if your jaw is severely dislocated or broken. Apart from this, reduction of the mandible is also used to move the dislocated jaw back into its usual position. Your healthcare provider will use the most suitable treatment for your issue.
In case of teeth grinding, your dentist might recommend a mouthguard. Moreover, soft foods and NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) might be prescribed for inflammation.
Bite misalignment treatment would depend on the specific issue. It could include braces, veneers, treatment for jaw alignment, and even jaw surgery. The treatment will vary according to your individual case.
There are multiple ways to treat sleep apnea, including using CPAP devices. Sometimes, lifestyle changes like weight loss and not smoking might help. Oral appliances also help reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea.
For TMJ, the treatment also depends on the severity of the condition. Talk to your dentist, as they can suggest the best way to treat this condition.
What to Do?
If your jaw is clicking when chewing, consult your oral surgeon or dentist. They can spot the problem and suggest the most suitable treatment. Our team at Pasadena Oral Surgery is adept at what they do. You can give us a ring at (281) 299 0053.