ZocdocAnswersMy jaw is popping more frequent and recently getting more severe. Why?

Question

My jaw is popping more frequent and recently getting more severe. Why?

I am a 19 year old female, and the right side of my jaw pops each time I am chewing. Its not the biting down but the opening part that causes it to pop. My jaw gets stuck midway and I either slowly force it open or move side to side to dislodge it, a pop follows on either choice. It doesn't hurt and this has been going on for a while but on some occasions when its lodge midway and I don't feel it a quick move to the side or suddenly biting down causes it to feel twisted and painful. There was an incident once where this happened and the right side felt completely out of place. Having my jaw closed made it feel uncomfortable and trying to open just caused pain and felt as if my entire jaw was being pulled apart from its socket. Is this somehow getting worse? Should I be concerned?

Answer

I would definitely seek medical help for this problem! It sounds like you are probably suffering from temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Talking your dentist or your primary care doctor is the best place to start seeking help for this problem. Temporomandibular joint disorder is caused generally be inflammation and wear-and-tear to the joint that acts as a hinge between your jaw and your skull. This joint is located right behind your ear, which is probably where you are feeling most of the pain and discomfort. There are several different causes of temporomandibular joint disorder, but most of them are related to trouble with the teeth. For example, habitual grinding of the teeth (a common night time disorder) can lead to the problem. Severe overbite or misalignment of the teeth can also cause this problem. For these, reasons temporamandibular joint disorder is often managed or picked up initially by a dentist. Treatments for temporomandibular joint disorder can be as simple as anti-inflammatory medications in more simple cases. However, more complex cases may require splinting of the teeth or other dental procedures (to improve misalignment) or joint injections (to directly reduce inflammation). Start by contacting your primary care doctor or dentist for an appointment today!

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

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