Does your jaw pop or click when you open and close your mouth? If it does, you probably find the noise distracting as the opening and closing of the mouth is a frequent occurrence throughout the day. In addition, a popping jaw may also be accompanied by soreness or outright pain in the jaw area. But what causes a popping jaw? Your Erlanger KY dentist explains below as she takes a closer look at the jaw joints.

The Jaw Joints and Stress

There are two identical joints on either side of the head that control the opening and closing of the mouth. These joints are called the temporomandibular joints, or TMJs for short. The TMJs are very important joints used frequently in chewing, drinking, and speech. However, despite their frequent use, they can be rather delicate, and they do not tend to react well to strain. Unfortunately, the TMJs can be subjected to strain in a variety of ways including bruxism (teeth grinding), malocclusion (a misaligned bite), and jaw misalignment. One indicator that the TMJs are experiencing strain is the development or a popping or clicking noise that occurs when the mouth opens and closes.

TMJ Disorders

TMJ disorders are much more than a manifestation of strain on the TMJs. They can be very debilitating and lower a person’s quality of life significantly. The long list of symptoms connected to TMJ disorders includes jaw pain, a locked jaw, facial pain, frequent headaches, migraines, and earaches. You may have noticed that some of these symptoms occur in parts of the body that are quite distant from the TMJs themselves. The reason behind this phenomenon is the trigeminal nerve, a major nerve which innervates most of the head and neck and allows the strain from the jaw to travel to many various parts of the head and face.

Schedule a Visit with Your Erlanger KY Dentist

Do you have a popping jaw? Your Erlanger KY dentist, Dr. Henry, can help. Contact our 41018 dentist office today at 859-344-8500 to schedule an appointment or a consultation. We serve patients from Erlanger, Cincinnati, Crestview Hills, Fort Mitchell, Florence, Union, Independence, and Taylor Mill.