Why Does My Jaw Pop When I Chew? 7 Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

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There could be several answers to the sensational question of why does my jaw pop when I chew. Each answer is specific to a cause that can create a jaw popping sensation either when you chew, speak or yawn.


In such light, this article contain a detailed information that answers why does my jaw pop when I chew and also considers the causes for such sensational feeling. As well as, the recommended treatment that are available to stop your jaw from popping.


What Is Jaw Popping?


Jaw Popping is a the clicking sound from the jaw whenever the the jaw is engaged. This can however be followed by a painful sensation that might be caused by the dysfunction of temporomandibular joints (TMJ).


This is because the these joints are the ones that connect the jawbone to the skull, with each joint on each side. This also is responsible for the chewing, talking, yawning and other mouth activities. Thus, when there’s a disorder in the joint, jaw popping is more likely to occur.

Should I be worried if my jaw pops?


Jaw popping may be as result of some minor effect on the jaw. However, if there is pain when it pops and the pain persists, it might be a sign of TMJ and should be evaluated by a pain specialist.

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7 Causes To Why Does My Jaw Pop When I Chew


There are some causes aside TMJ or attributed to TMJ that can serve as the cause to why your jaw pop when you chew. Below are some of the common causes of Jaw Popping.

1. Broken or Dislocated jaw


Broken or Dislocated jaw is one of the causes of jaw popping. Hence, if you have sustained an injury which could have resulted to a broken jaw, then you are more likely or experience jaw popping when you chew or on a normal day.


Due to the dislocation, the joint becomes unhinged and may cause you to experience swelling, bleeding, numbness, bruising near the jaw.

2. Arthritis


Anthritis cause to why does my jaw pop when I chew is Arthritis. This should be considered when there is a persistent jaw pain or discomfort.


Anthritis can cause damage to the cartilage of the temporomandibular joint which can affect the proper movement of the jaw. Both rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis (OA) can also affect the jaw.


There are symptoms that you can use to identify these conditions. Thus, you can feel joint pain and stiffness in the jaw as well other areas of the body. It could also include a lowered range of motion. Other notable symptoms of anthritis are anemia, tiredness and loss of appetite.


It requires immediate attention and treatment from a medical profession due to its long term treatment requirement.

3. Malocclusion of the teeth


This results in misalignment ans can cause the jaw to pop. Malocclusion can also be known as a cross-bite, over-bite, under-bite, open bite, or crowded teeth. Notable symptoms of malocclusion of teeth are changed facial appearance, biting the inner cheeks or tongue frequently, discomfort when chewing or biting, breathing through the mouth and speech problems.

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You should visit your dentist for proper treatment.

4. Sleep apnea


Sleep apnea is another cause to consider while pondering on why does my jaw pop when I chew. Technically, the popping of the jaw can be caused by both obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA).


The former causes a person to stop breathing involuntarily throughout their sleep cycle. This loss of breath is due to narrowness in the throat. This then causes the individual to wake up so they can catch their breath.


Some symptoms of Obstructive sleep apnea are snoring, daytime sleepiness, headaches, depression and leg swelling.


As for central sleep apnea, the loss of breath is periodical during sleep. This occurs because the brain doesn’t accurately signal the muscles. Some of the symptoms of central sleep apnea are difficulty swallowing, changes in speech patterns and voice and generalized weakness.


You should seek medical attention if you experience any of the aforementioned symptoms.

5. Infection


Infection of the salivary gland is another causes to consider. Infection can lead to TMJ and jaw popping, among other symptoms.

6. Myofascial pain syndrome


People with this syndrome have trigger or sensitive spot that causes pain whenever pressure is applied on the spot. This can cause chronic pain in the musculoskeletal system and it is usually localized to one area.

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Just like other aforementioned causes as to why does my jaw pop when I chew, MPS in the jaw can cause the jaw to pop.


Some of the symptoms of the syndrome are pains from muscle stretch or straining, long-term pain, painful knots in muscles, a smaller range of motion in the affected area, mood and sleep disturbances.

7. Tumor


A tumor can impacts jaw popping when it interferes with the movement of the jaw. This could also lead to oral cancer.


If the jaw popping persists, some of the symptoms of oral cancer to take notice of are a sore on the lip or mouth, loose teeth, trouble wearing dentures, earache that won’t subside, a mass or growth in the mouth, a lump in the neck and dramatic weight loss.


Either way, it is recommended to visit your dentist whenever you notice that your jaw keeps popping.


Other Causes As To Why Does My Jaw Pop When I Chew


You may also experience jaw popping if you chew gum a lot, bite your fingernails, grind your teeth, clench your jaw, thrust your jaw out, bite your lip or cheek

How Do I Get My Jaw To Stop Popping?


There are some home remedies that are recommended to stop jaw popping. Although some conditions requires surgery and medical treatment.


Some of the home remedies to consider in order to stop your jaw from popping when you chew are:

  1. Applying an ice pack or moist heat to the jaw
  2. Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  3. Eating soft foods
  4. Wearing a night dental guard or splint
  5. Performing TMJ-specific exercises
  6. Exercises
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