ZocdocAnswersDid I crack something in my jaw?

Question

Did I crack something in my jaw?

I took a big bite of this hamburger the other day and heard my jaw sort of click or pop and now it hurts really bad when I open it and it feels like it is out of line. did I crack a bone in my jaw? Was that the sound I heard maybe???

Answer

The popping or cracking noise that you felt probably involved popping of the temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull, right in front of your ear. This joint can be strained, typically from chewing too hard. Most of the time, the pain that you experiencing will settle down if you rest the jaw (avoid chewing hard foods). However, it would be best to see your primary care doctor or your dentist as soon as possible for an evaluation, especially if the pain persists. This is because sometimes the inflammation in the joint can be severe enough that it requires more aggressive therapy, which might include anti inflammatory medications or physical therapy. If you have any pain that is located directly in your teeth, rather than in the joint where your jaw connects to your skull, another possibility would be that you might have cracked or otherwise damaged a tooth when chewing. This is obviously a problem that would require a different type of treatment. Your dentist could evaluate your teeth for you, if you think this might be a possibility, and help you decide whether any additional treatment is needed. See your doctor at your earliest convenience!

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

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.