Eating can be a very noisy process – crunching of carrots, slurping of the soup, etc. – but should your jaw be adding to the sound by popping?
Now, this answer could be a yes or a no. If your feel a weird locking, popping, or shifting, you got yourself an issue, but if you do not feel anything weird, it is perfectly fine.
You know how most people are proud to show off their double-jointed fingers and arms, or even tongue? Well, most people do not find jaw popping a neat thing every time you take a bite of food.
The real question behind all of this is: What will happen to your jaw joint when it does pop? Does it damage anything? Is it safe or not?
Jaw Joint Malfunctions
You probably heard the term “TMJ.” Well, you probably heard it more than often when people have many problems with their jaw, jaw joint, or the facial muscles controlling the jaw movement. However, the correct term for this is not “TMJ,” but Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD). TMD refers to the actual condition, where Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is just the name of the certain part of the jawbone mechanism.
This is a big word no doubt. It basically talks about the hinge joints that connect your lower part of your jaw to your skull. These joints are supposed to be flexible and should allow your jaw to move up and down effortlessly an also side to side. Moreover, there are even muscles attached to and encircling your jaw joint that helps control its movement and position.
There are many injuries that can happen to the joints of the jaw, the jaw itself, and even the muscles that are located in the head and neck. This can easily cause TMD. The common symptoms of TMD are the following:
- Popping, grinding, or clicking sounds coming from the jaw joint when you open and close your mouth.
- Your jaw locks at a position or you are unable to reach the full range of motion.
- If you feel tenderness around or in your ear when you speak, chew, or even open your mouth wide.
- If you are feeling facial pain or just have a plain old tired feeling just in the facial area. The pain is described as a toothache. Sometimes even neck and shoulder pain, and even headaches can also occur.
What do I do?
If you believe you have any temporomandibular dysfunction it is best to contact your doctor. They will go over your history and conduct a physical examination on you. After you make that appointment you will leave happier with a smile on your face.