If you’ve noticed your jaw is clicking or popping, it can be annoying, but it most likely isn’t dangerous. It’s known as a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, and is caused by the joint slipping out of place slightly.
TMJ Disorders: An Overview
When a TMJ disorder occurs, a cartilaginous disc that should move in harmony with it presses against it. When both are “out of place”, it can produce a click, or a pop. While it’s a good idea to check if it gets worse, most of the time it won’t. TMJ disorder can actually often be alleviated by simple home remedies, so before worrying about extreme measures, try some of the following.
How to help with a TMJ Disorder: Ease It
One way that is actually very common in relieving and reducing stress associated with a TMJ disorder is the use of ice packs and cold compresses. Often the joint can be knocked out of place very gently, and like any slight jaw injury, just using cold therapy can be very helpful in allowing the joint to naturally realign.
Another way to consider is used often after most oral therapies: eat soft foods, limit your chewing, and don’t overexert the joint. The muscles of the jaw will naturally help to realign the TMJ and reduce or eliminate the sound. Stay with foods that are easy to chew and drink a lot of liquids. By using these two techniques, you’ll find that any internal swelling that might be associated with the TMJ disorder will likely reduce and your jaw will be back to normal in no time.
One thing that should not seriously be entertained is the use of oral surgery to fix a TMJ disorder unless a doctor determines there are other conditions that require it. TMJ disorders are injuries, and will usually go away on their own with care to the jaw.