What Does Popping In The Jaw Mean?

Do you notice a popping or crackling sensation in your jaw? Symptoms like that, along with headaches and jaw pain, could mean you’re suffering from a jaw joint issue known as TMJ disorder. Sometimes referred to as TMD, this disorder could lead to uncomfortable symptoms and for many, problems fully opening and closing the mouth. Fortunately, your Richfield, MN, dentist can offer solutions for TMJ disorder!

TMJ Disorder and Popping/Crackling

The temporomandibular joints connect our jaw and skull, and are responsible for the actions needed to eat and speak. However, should these joints undergo excessive strain, then TMD may develop. Causes of strain could include tooth loss, bite imbalance, misalignment, injuries to the face or jaw, teeth grinding, or stress. Over time, the symptoms and discomfort only grow worse unless the issue is treated. Common symptoms may include popping or crackling in the jaw, as well as headaches, jaw pain, aches in the neck or shoulders, facial pain, or toothaches and tooth sensitivity as a result of teeth grinding. If you begin to experience these warning signs, then please contact our team today. Don’t let TMJ dysfunction lead to damaged, aching smiles.


If you begin to experience these warning signs, then our team will carefully examine your smile, including your jaw joints and oral structures. We will look for indicators of strain, as well as wear and friction on the teeth. We will use the information we gather to choose the right treatment option to return your smile to optimal health and function.

Treatment Options

Treatment could include orthodontics, as correcting misalignment could ease strain and restore balance to the bite. We could also look at replacing missing teeth with bridges or dental implants as well. Often, placing a custom-made restoration, such as a crown, can help improve the health of the smile. But the most common solution is often an oral appliance. After we take detailed impressions and measurements of your smile, we use the information gathered to design and craft an oral appliance. Designed to fit comfortably and reposition the jaw, the appliance eases strain on the jaw joints. The device will fit like a mouthguard and will be worn at night as you sleep. If you also grind your teeth, then device could prevent further damage by placing a barrier between the upper and lower sets of teeth. If you have any questions about identifying and treating TMJ disorder, or if you experience popping in your jaw, then contact our team today.

Do You Have Jaw Pain?

If you have pain in your jaw, you may benefit from TMJ treatment. To find out more about our preventive treatment options, schedule a consultation with Dr. Keller by calling Cedar West Family Dentistry in Richfield, MN, today at (612) 861-7188.