Jaw popping or clicking is a condition that occurs when the jaw makes a popping sound during movement or without movement. It is caused by hyper-extension of the jaw bone during chewing biting or yawning.
Jaw clicking may occur singly or in association with a disorder known as the Temporomandibular Joint Disease, which is when there is damage to the joint that holds the jaw to the skull. There are many different causes of jaw clicking.
Trauma to The Jaw
Any significant blow to the jaw is likely to cause such a dislocation as to dismantle the jaw joint. In such a case the client is likely to report previous trauma which will lead the surgeon in that direction. Unexpected blows to the skull may also cause jaw clicking. If after impact with your jaw you experience pain, swelling, and bleeding, always call us.
Arthritis is a degenerative disease that affects the joints. Most cases of arthritis affect the long bones of the hand and the feet. However, in some rare cases, arthritis may affect the temporomandibular joint causing pain, swelling, stiffness and jaw clicking.
This is a condition characterized by difficulty breathing during sleep. People with sleep apnea experience daytime somnolence, irritability and early morning headaches. If you are suffering from either obstructive or central sleep apnea and develop jaw clicking, make sure to call us immediately.
In certain cases, jaw clicking may be preceded by tumors that occur primarily in the jaw or as metastases. If you notice sudden onset jaw clicking associated with pain or painless and significant weight loss, make haste to call and book an appointment with us.
In certain cases, the problem may simply be an infection. In which case when the glands in the mouth are infected, they tend to cause jaw clicking. In this instance as well, come in for a full blood work up to ensure that nothing else is amiss.
Jaw clicking occurring singly or in tandem with pain, swelling and redness should always be a cause for concern. You should by all means always call us when you experience any of these symptoms.