My Jaw Pops. Is That Normal?

Is it normal to hear a noise in my jaw when I chew?

I have had patients who have walked in, and they can make their jaw pop louder than I can snap my fingers and others who complain of popping every time they chew that is loud to them but takes a stethoscope for me to hear. Often with both of the extremes, the patient will say something like “this is normal for me.” That statement may be true in the sense that it is a frequent occurrence, but it is false in the sense that it represents a “normal” jaw joint. A healthy jaw joint is silent and often a popping or clicking in front of the ear is the first sign of a TMJ problem.

If your jaw has begun to make noise, it is important to have it evaluated. Early signs of TMJ are often easy to manage and prevent from becoming larger problems in the future if and when we detect and treat them early. Every treatment deserves a diagnosis. The popping jaw is not a diagnosis; it is a sign or a symptom. Various techniques exist to obtain a diagnosis of your TMJ issues. These methods range from cone beam (3D images) of the bone to MRI’s of the ligament to Joint Vibration Analysis and Doppler Auscultation. Along with a history, some combination of these diagnostic tools is necessary to find out what damage has already occurred in your jaw joint, and after treatment are required to evaluate the effect of therapy.

This office is dedicating to helping patients with TMJ issues and Obstructive Sleep Apnea. If you are experiencing jaw joint noise, please understand that it is not normal and over time could lead to significant and potentially painful problems.

If you are interested in scheduling a free eConsult with Dr. Cairns to discover if you might be a candidate for care please schedule on the following link: Schedule an eConsult

If you are interested in learning more about Colorado Springs Sleep Apnea & TMJ Solutions please visit our website at: