What’s Your Body Trying to Tell You?
A Clicking or Popping Jaw
Most Likely CausesYour temporomandibular joint, which connects your jaw to your skull, isn't opening or closing as smoothly as it should. This can be caused by poor alignment of the teeth or by tooth grinding. Stress can aggravate the problem, especially if you clench your teeth when you're tense or while you sleep.
Less Likely CauseIf the pop also comes with a pang of pain, you could have arthritis in the joint.
What to do:
- If your jaw clicks occasionally and doesn't bother you, don't worry. Try to relax your jaw and mouth muscles when you're not talking or eating.
- Steer clear of gum and foods that are hard to chew, such as bagels and sticky candies.
- If you have pain, tenderness, or a locking in your jaw, see a dentist. She may prescribe special splints to align your jaw joint or a mouth guard to prevent tooth grinding.
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