Why Does My Jaw Click When I Open My Mouth Wide & How to Stop It?

Jaw click is mostly seen in many people that when they open their mouth wide their jaw clicks. This is a problem which is called as Jaw popping in medical terms. Jaw clicking or popping is mainly caused by overextending of the muscles of the jaws. Due to jaw clicking, you might experience huge pain whenever you open your mouth too wide for eating.

Why Does My Jaw Click When I Open My Mouth Wide?

Why Does My Jaw Click When I Open My Mouth Wide?

The problem of jaw clicking or popping occurs when Temporomandibular Joints (TMJ) cannot function properly. Temporomandibular Joints (TMJ) are the joints which connect the jawbone to the skull. The disorder that occurs due the dysfunction of the TMJ is medically called as temporomandibular disorder (TMD) or temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD). Jaw clicking is not a serious disease and not a big threat to health unless it causes huge jaw pain. It can happen to any person of any age and gender. As per the record of National Institute of Craniofacial Research, it is found that more than 10 million people suffer from this disorder.

Jaw clicking is mostly seen in many people that mainly occur due to some unusual habits of the person. Jaw popping is mainly caused when people do the following things:

  • Grinding their teeth
  • Excessive habit of chewing gums
  • A habit of biting their nails
  • Clench their jaw
  • Bite the inside muscles of their cheeks or lips
  • Suffers from arthritis for a long time
  • Suffers from a jaw injury
  • Tumors in the mouth
  • Infection of the gland in the mouth
  • Suffers from Myofascial pain syndrome.

Symptoms Associated with Jaw Clicking

You can observe the following symptoms when you develop jaw clicking and your jaw clicks when you open your mouth wide:

  • Discomfort and pain in the jaw
  • Feeling of tenderness in the jaw
  • The problem with opening the mouth
  • Difficulty in eating
  • A toothache that may lead to a headache.

How to Stop Jaw Clicking?

Although, jaw clicking is not a serious threat to your body, yet it is a painful condition. You can treat the problem of jaw clicking by the following essential home remedies:

  • Heat and Ice Packs: When you have too much pain on your jaw due to jaw clicking, you can use an ice pack on your jaw area for at least 10 to 15 minutes. After that, you have to put a heat compression in that area of your jaw for the next 10 to 15 minutes. This will help you to remove the pain of the jaw. If the problem is severe, you can repeat the process several times.
  • Avoid Crunchy Foods to Stop Jaw Clicking: While you suffer from jaw popping you should avoid hard and crunchy foods. Instead of hard food, you should prefer to take soft foods that are easy to chew for example yogurts, cooked vegetables, etc.
  • Relax your Jaw to Stop Jaw Clicking: You should also keep in mind that you should not open your mouth too wide for eating and whatever you eat should be taken in small bites. This will help you to keep your jaw relaxed which in return will help you to get relieved form jaw popping quickly.
  • De-stress Can Help Stop Jaw Clicking: One of the main causes of jaw clicking is grinding teeth and jaw clenching. People mainly form this habits due to stress. Thus, for reducing the problem of jaw clicking the first thing that you need to do is lessen your stress level. This can be done through meditation, physical activity, yoga, etc.
  • Facial Massage Therapy: Facial stress and facial massage therapy can also be very beneficial in reducing the jaw clicking. However, before you use the facial massage therapy it is very important that you consult with a specialist doctor or an expert physical therapist.
  • Anti-inflammatory Drugs to Stop Jaw Clicking: In case of severe pain, your doctors can prescribe inflammatory drugs such as Naproxen, ibuprofen, etc.

Generally, it is seen that jaw clicking is a temporary disease which can be cured with home-based treatment and following a good lifestyle. In case the jaw clicking persists and worsen then you should consult with a doctor who can prescribe some medication, mouthpieces, pain-relieving injections, laser therapy, surgery, radio wave therapy and other treatments based on the patient condition. If surgery is advised, you should take second or third opinion from another specialist before going through the surgery or laser therapy as it has many side effects.

Conclusion

It is highly recommended that before you go for any kind of treatment for jaw clicking, it is very essential to understand the seriousness of the disease and the underlying cause of it so that you can prevent the complication of jaw clicking accordingly. Though it is not a serious disease at the time, it can be very painful if the problems of jaw clicking worsen. So, it should be treated as quickly as possible.

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