ZocdocAnswersWhy is there a clicking sound in my jaw?

Question

Why is there a clicking sound in my jaw?

For the past few days when I chew things I hear a clicking sound in my jaw. Is something wrong with my bones? Do I have to have surgery? I don't know what this noise is but it is really weird.

Answer

Jaw clicking is a very common symptom of temporomandibular joint syndrome. This joint is what connects the mandible and the skull. It is generally affected by various conditions that can affect any other joint in the body including arthritis, or trauma or dislocation. There are many symptoms of temporomandibular joint dysfunction. These symptoms may include, as in your case, a clicking or popping sound in the jaw during biting, opening or closing the mouth. There may even be a headache, migraines, neck pain, shoulder pain or even ear pain. There are many causes for why this maybe happening to you. A very common cause is teeth grinding, that can happen at night, known as bruxism. In addition, habits such as excess jaw opening or closing (i.e. chewing gum, large foot bites) may be responsible as well. You should make an appointment to see a dentist to discuss this with your dentist. Your dentist will be able to perform a detailed history of your symptoms, do a thorough physical examination, and explain the causes for your symptoms. Based on your history, your doctor will be able to provide treatment, and suggest strategies to prevent this from happening to you again.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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