Why Does My Jaw Click When I Move My Mouth?

Close-up of a man in a suit looking down while wiping a tear from his eye as he cries due to a painful popping jaw

It can be uncomfortable and even painful dealing with a jaw that clicks and pops when you talk, eat, smile, and yawn. But what causes it? Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ). They connect your jawbone to the skull, and create a hinge-like action that allows you to move your jaw up and down and side to side. When the joints aren’t functioning properly, that’s when popping and clicking can occur. There are a variety of factors that can cause temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). Here are some of the most common reasons!

  1. Overbite, Underbite, or Crossbite
  2. One of the main problems that leads to jaw popping is a misaligned bite. Whether it’s an under, over, or crossbite, if your jaw isn’t properly positioned, you can run into problems such as lockjaw, jaw popping, frequent biting of your inner cheeks, discomfort when chewing, and more. Luckily, this issue can be easily treated with braces or another orthodontic option.

  3. Sleep Apnea
  4. Sleep apnea is a sleeping disorder that causes a person to stop breathing periodically throughout the night. This disorder can lead to issues including jaw popping, daytime drowsiness, headaches, snoring, and more. Some forms of sleep apnea can be treated with a custom mouthpiece that repositions your jaw while you sleep to keep your airway from collapsing.

  5. Teeth Grinding & Clenching
  6. Some people clench their teeth when they’re under stress, and others unconsciously clench and grind their teeth while they sleep. Whichever category you fall under, grinding and clenching can wear down the surface of your teeth, tighten the muscles around your temporomandibular joints, and even lead to TMJ damage from long-term strain. If it’s determined that you suffer from grinding and clenching, you may need to look for ways to manage your stress levels, and see Dr. Nguyen to get a custom mouthguard that will protect your teeth.

We Will Help Resolve Your Jaw Discomfort!

If you’re struggling with a painful, clicking jaw, contact our office to schedule an appointment. Dr. Nguyen will examine your jaw, take X-rays, diagnose the problem, and create a personalized treatment plan to help you get back to enjoying life with a healthy, fully functioning jaw.

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Queensboro Plaza Dental Care

Queensboro Plaza Dental Care