ask: What causes a jaw to pop while eating?

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I've noticed that when I wake up to eat I have this popping noise back on my jaw towards my ear but just underneath it. It's not all the time but, it has been more noticeable lately.

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EmpowHER Guest

i was eating and had this problem - my jaw popped and didnt want to fully open after. i simply tried to re-pop it back into place by making a similar motion with my jaw that had originally popped it, and with a after a few min popped it back into place.. :)

January 16, 2014 - 2:18pm
EmpowHER Guest

I'm 15 and I've been having this jaw problem. Since I was atleast 11. I have been having small pops in my jaw everytime I open my mouth. Only once had I had an experience of undescribable. Pain. And all the syptoms happen in my right jaw only.

August 14, 2012 - 8:31pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

that is exactly what's happening with me! I am also 15 and it is only on the right side. It get so annoying!

August 15, 2012 - 3:13pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

i know. but luckily for me i got a dentist appointment tommarow so ill ask them whats up :p

August 15, 2012 - 7:12pm
EmpowHER Guest

It is your temperomandibular joint.

December 17, 2009 - 5:15pm

It souds like I may have TMJ
Thanks again :)

December 14, 2009 - 7:34pm

I do have 1/2 the syndrome's...I will follow up w/ a dentist soon. Do you know how it is treated?
Thanks for the info!

December 13, 2009 - 8:24pm
Alison Beaver (reply to kraebel)

I'm glad I could help! If you click on the orange hyperlink text in the previous post (or here: Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome/Disorder (TMD), it will take you to the Condition information page, and you can read more details about this condition, how it is diagnosed and treated, as well as any preventative measures.

Here are the Treatment Options from this page:

Lifestyle Measures
Resting the jaw with a soft diet, restricting its movement through smaller bites, and applying warm packs may offer considerable relief. Cognitive behavior therapy can help some patients learn to avoid clenching and grinding their teeth.

The most commonly used medicines include:
* Acetaminophen
* Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
* Muscle relaxants
* Low-dose antidepressants

In some cases, the jaw joint may be injected with pain relieving medicine such as cortisone or lidocaine. When pain or clicking are major symptoms, injections of botulinum toxin (Botox) may offer temporary relief that responds to retreatment.

Physical Therapy
Gentle massage or stretching exercises, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) may reduce pain and help muscles relax in some patients.

Stress Reduction
Counseling to learn stress management and relaxation techniques, including biofeedback and cognitive behavioral therapy , * may help some patients with TMD.

Dental Procedures
A splint or mouth guard, usually worn at night, can be made to relax your jaw muscles and prevent clenching and grinding of your teeth. Correction of bite abnormalities by a dentist or orthodontist is sometimes recommended.

Surgical Procedures
Surgical correction is a last resort if other treatments have not succeeded and the pain persists. Many of the available procedures have not been well-studied for their effectiveness.

As you can see, there are a wide array of treatment options, and we are happy to provide more information about each. Please keep us updated once you follow-up with your dentist, and let us know how you are doing!

December 13, 2009 - 9:26pm
Alison Beaver

Along with your jaw popping, do you experience:
- jaw pain
- locking of the jaw
- headaches

There is a disorder of the jaw called "TMJ" (Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome), that includes jaw popping, but there is usually an associated jaw pain. The symptoms include:
* Pain in the temporomandibular joint, jaw, or face
* Pain may be worse with chewing, yawning, or opening the mouth
* Clicking, popping, or grating sounds with movement of the jaw
* A sensation of the jaw “catching” or “locking” briefly, while attempting to open or close the mouth, or while chewing
* Difficulty opening the mouth completely
* A bite that feels "off," uncomfortable, or as though it is frequently changing
* Swelling in the affected side of the face or mouth
* Painful muscle spasm in the area of the temporomandibular joint
* Headache
* Earache
* Neck, back, and/or shoulder pain

Do you experience any of these other symptoms above? If yes, you can have this medically evaluated by your dentist. If you do not, let us know and we can do some more research into what causes jaw popping.

December 13, 2009 - 9:00am
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