I know you might be wondering why your jaw keeps on popping or clicking when you open your mouth wide or yawn. You might also be wondering whether this is normal or not. Well, in this article we shall explain what causes this irritating or sometimes painful jaw popping and how some home remedies you can try.
Crepitus is the medical term that for any grinding or popping sound that is produced when a joint moves. It may occur due to bursting of synovial fluid or release of nitrogen gas. These symptoms may happen at one time or regularly when your joints move. However, in most cases, these symptoms can be a red flag of an underlying problem. When you experience jaw popping, it can be a symptom of a disorder known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) that affects your temporomandibular joint.
Jaw Popping – A TMD symptom
Your jaw is a complex joint that needs correct alignment of muscles, ligaments, and bones in order to perform correctly. These parts work together to allow you to open your mouth and chew food. When any of the parts gets injured, irritated or inflamed, it may result to TMD.
Many people tend to overlook jaw popping and in most cases, ignore it when it happens. They will live with it for a long period of time before they decide to seek treatment. They may be prompted to seek medical attention when the sounds are accompanied by other symptoms of TMD such as;
1. Pain or headache when talking or chewing food.
2. Headaches, especially in the temporal area.
3. Difficulty, pain, or stiffness when opening the jaw.
4. Vertigo or ringing sound in the ears.
5. Morning headaches.
TMD won’t resolve itself and its symptoms can significantly impact your life. Constant headaches or pain may interfere with your daily activities, especially at your workplace. They can also make you avoid social activities and cause difficulty in sleeping leading to stress and other health problems. When the condition remains untreated, it can damage your teeth and jaw joint making chewing food difficult.
What Should I do?
If you are suffering from this condition, you might be wondering what to do about it. First and foremost, you should not ignore the problem. You need to understand that your jaw popping may be a symptom of TMD and needs to be treated. Before you seek medical attention, you can try some home remedies mentioned below.
1. Diet- You need to modify your diet to include foods that are easy to chew such as cooked or steamed vegetables, soup, stews, and smoothies. Also, include Magnesium rich foods as they help release tension in the tight muscles. However, you should avoid sugar and caffeine that increase inflammation and increase muscle tension respectively.
2. Antiinflammatory and Pain-relieving medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen can help you relieve the pain.
3. Applying warm compresses on the area of pain and exercises- You should do jaw exercises by closing your lower jaw side to side for 5 minutes, 3 to 5times a day. These jaw exercises should be done after applying a warm compress on your jaw for 20 minutes.
4. Dental mouth guards- You can wear a dental mouth guard at night to reduce teeth wear caused by jaw popping. Make sure to consult your dentist first to help you choose the right mouth guard. If you’re living in Australia, we recommend that you visit our trusted dentists in Burwood to save some time and effort.