1. Jaw popping has many causes
• Opening too wide when yawning or eating
• Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD)–The National Institute of Craniofacial Research says that TMD affects more than 10 million Americans.
• Car wreck
• Sports injury
• Sleep apnea
2. Signs that it may be TMD
• Pain and discomfort
• Sore face or jaw
• Facial swelling
• Difficulty opening the mouth and/or eating
• Jaws that “lock” open or closed
3. Treatment for popping jaws
• Heat and ice packs
• Avoid hard, crunchy foods
• Relaxation and stress management
4. Talk to your dentist This is especially true if your jaws pop all the time. While lifestyle and dietary changes can relieve popping jaws, painful or locking jaws need to be examined for more serious conditions.
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