graphic illustration of woman with jaw clicking, TMJ, TMD, jaw pain

Why Does My Jaw Make Clicking Noises When I Eat?

January 10, 2024 9:00 am

If you have ever heard your jaw click, it can be an unnerving experience. Whether biting into a delicious meal or trying a treat, this can be a sign that something is wrong. Fortunately, you’re not alone! Jaw clicking when eating isn’t uncommon. Keep reading to uncover the reasons behind this common annoyance.

The Marvels of the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ)

Your jaw is a marvel of intricate movements, thanks to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This joint connects your jawbone to your skull, allowing for smooth and controlled jaw movements. However, clicking or popping sounds can occur when there’s a disruption in the normal function of this joint.

Common Reasons for Jaw Clicking:

  • Cartilage and Discs in the TMJ
  • Within the TMJ, there are cartilage and discs that act as cushions, facilitating smooth jaw movements. If these structures become misaligned or damaged, the jaw can make clicking or popping noises during activities like eating or talking.

  • Bruxism: The Grind and Click
  • Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a common culprit behind jaw clicking. The constant grinding puts stress on the TMJ, leading to wear and tear on the joint. This wear and tear can manifest as clicking or popping sounds when you open and close your mouth.

  • Dislocated Discs
  • Sometimes, the discs within the TMJ can become dislocated, particularly during wide jaw movements. This displacement can result in audible clicks or pops. It’s essential to address this issue promptly to prevent further complications.

  • Muscle Strain and Tension
  • Muscle strain and tension in the jaw area can contribute to clicking sounds. This tension may arise from stress, anxiety, or habits like clenching your jaw or excessive gum chewing. Finding ways to relax and manage stress can help alleviate these symptoms.

When to Seek Professional Help

While occasional jaw clicking may not be a cause for concern, persistent or painful clicking should prompt a visit to a healthcare professional. They can assess the underlying cause, recommend appropriate interventions, and provide guidance on managing jaw health.

TMJ Therapy in Beaufort, SC

The occasional click or pop in your jaw might be a harmless quirk, but it’s essential to pay attention to persistent or painful symptoms. If you suspect you’re experiencing jaw clicking due to a common reason on this list, we encourage you to reach out to our dentist in Beaufort! Our team can work with you closely to provide immediate relief and a lasting solution!


Image from Authority Dental under CC 2.0

Categorised in: