Monday, June 24, 2024
HomeAnatomyA Popping Click When You Open Your Jaw Is Pretty Common

A Popping Click When You Open Your Jaw Is Pretty Common

If you experience a popping sound, a grating sound, or a click when you open your mouth, you’re not alone.

The Temporomandibular JointMany people have slight problems with their jaw joint, which is formally known as the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ for short. Whenever we want to open our mouth, our jaw glides down and forward to allow our mouth to open.

The rounded end of the jaw bone that glides down is called the condyle.  Between the condyle and our skull, there is a small, soft, lubricated disk that allows our jaw to open smoothly.  This is called the articular disk.

Sometimes, that disk may not be big enough, or it may not be the right shape to allow the jaw bone to smoothly glide forward and down when you open your mouth.   When this happens, it is a condition known as crepitus.

Crepitus is a word that is used to describe the grating, crackling, and/or popping sounds that are heard around people’s joints.

Unfortunately, not everyone has jaw joints.  When I open my mouth, my jaw slides down and out nicely on the right side, but on my left side, there is a loud popping noise.  Luckily this only happens when I open my mouth really wide, so it doesn’t affect me when I chew gum or eat (unless it’s a really big hamburger!)

How Common Is Crepitus?

Crepitus, or a popping/clicking noise in the jaw joint is fairly common.  Dr. Woelfel, in his book Woelfel’s Dental Anatomy analyzed the jaws of 1099 dental and dental hygiene students between 1970 and 1986 to determine how common crepitus was among them.  He had each student open their mouth as far as they could. Here is what he found:

  • 61.2% of the students had no popping or clicking sounds upon opening their mouths all the way.
  • 38.9% of the students did have popping or clicking sounds when they opened their mouths all the way. Of those Students:
    • 17.1% had crepitus on the right side of their jaw when opening.
    • 12.7% had crepitus on the left side of their jaw when opening. (That’s what I have!)
    • and 9.1% had crepitus on both sides of their jaw when opening.

As you can see, over 1/3 of the people that Dr. Woelfel screened had crepitus!  It sounds like a common occurrence.

How Crepitus Is Treated

Crepitus is usually treated in the most conservative way possible.  Many dental experts recommend the most conservative, reversible treatment. Some conservative suggestions that may help you are:

  • Eating Soft Foods
  • Applying ice packs if you experience pain or swelling in the TMJ area
  • Avoiding behaviors that cause pain, such as opening your mouth wide (when yawning, eating, yelling, singing, etc.) or chewing gum.

How I Deal With My TMJ Pain

Usually I only have to deal with the occasional popping/clicking of my jaw when I eat.  Sometimes, when I chew gum for a whole day, I do get some pain in my TMJ area.  I usually just try to relax my jaw and not chew gum or any other hard foods.  When my gets really tense and I can’t open it all the way, I back off.  It needs a break.  Usually after a few hours of relaxation, my jaw will be back to normal.

Usually, a popping noise in your temporomandibular joint isn’t anything to worry about if it’s not causing you any problems.  If it does start to cause problems, there are many invasive treatments that you can try.  An oral surgeon (one of the nine dental specialties) may be the most knowledgable person to handle these types of problems.

Do you have crepitus?  Has it bothered you in your life?  Let us know in the comments!



  1. I was just browsing through some of your older articles, and I saw this one. I have crepitus on both sides of my jaw. It started on the right side, but the left side pops now also, though not as severely. I used to be a gum chewing addict but I rarely, if ever, chew now because I worry about exacerbating the crepitus. I’m glad to know it’s fairly common and not something to be overly concerned with.

    • Thanks for looking through the archives, Rachel! We usually don’t worry about clicking unless it hurts to open/close your mouth. It sounds like you’re already taking good care of your TMJ.

      • I had to get a crown on the lower left side less than a week ago and a lot of pressure was placed on my jaw during the procedure. I am 60 and, although I have always had tmj, have never had any problems until now. There is no pain but the clicking is something I have never had until now. Is this temporary or is this something I will always deal with? Is there something I can do to encourage healing?

  2. Hi, I’m 13 year old girl and I have bad habit of popping my knuckles. I can practically pop every part in my body; my wrist, my fingers, my elbow, my back, my neck, my knee, my toes, my ankles, even my jaw! I know that popping is not good, but I can’t help it. It feels good popping my jaw but I’m worried that some day my jaw will get loose and fall off. What happens to the bone in my jaw when I crack it?
    Is this related to TMJ?

    • Hi Aria – Your jaw probably won’t fall off – I wouldn’t worry about that! By popping it, you may be irritating your temporomandibular joint, which may cause joint pain when you get older. We usually recommend not popping your jaw as it can aggravate the delicate anatomy inside of the joint.

      Every time you pop your jaw, you are putting stress on the “articular disc” that insulates the jaw joint. You may eventually wear out this disc, which would cause a lot of pain in the future – which is related to TMJ.

      I hope that helps – Let me know if you have any other questions. Thanks for your comment, Aria!

      • So does that mean that when my jaw gets locked up every once in a while, that I should NOT try and pop it open? I mean, I’m not dumb so I stopped trying to open it forcefully. My jaw is actually locked right now, but it hasn’t happened before since about a two months ago. And that was either the first or second time it happened. I’m pretty sure it’s not serious, but I just want to make sure that it’s not really bad. Ugh, why did this happen to ME?

        • im 15 and that happens to me to sometimes, i don’t think its serious either sometimes when i wake up from sleep in the morning my jaw is locked(i hope thats the right word) and it does make cracking noises when i open and close it sometimes, not all the times.

        • I started cracking my jaw when I was 14 because one side would get stuck. Now I’m 40 and it’s now giving me problems. It would sometimes get stuck in the morning and I would crack my jaw a few times, like you would pop your knuckles to get it un stuck. One morning, it never opened and I had to go to the dentist. He said all the years of cracking my jaw has caused damage and now I’m wearing a splint to try to correct it.

      • Thanks Tom! I’m a 14 year old girl and I used to do the EXACT same thing! I used to pop my jaw a lot. Now, I can’t open my mouth all the way and when I do, I put pressure on the right side of my jaw, which is the messed up one. It has been causing me pain, especially when I try to eat. It has been this way for about 6 or 7 months now! Looking this up helps a lot! Seriously, had I known this was gonna happen I would have been much more careful! I’m glad to know this is pretty common! 🙂

  3. I have a 10 year old that recently told me his jaw is popping and grinding when he opens his mouth, it doesnt have to be wide just opening it happens. Should i take him to the dentist or doctor?

    • Hi Michelle – I can’t answer that for you, but it may be a good idea to get it checked out, especially if it is causing him pain. Good luck!

  4. Hi! When I open my mouth, my lower jaw shifts to the right and there is a popping from the left side. I am really bothered by this, even though it doesnt pain much. Is there any way to correct this problem, how long should it take to go away? Please help!

  5. Hey Tom, my mouth started making a clicking noise when I open it really wide.It just started happening today.I previously had braces and now am wearing a retainer.I don’t experience any pain but I am worried.

  6. hi this zach
    ever time i eat food
    my jaw get pain
    under tooth
    it wont let me eat
    i will take asprain
    help out
    i can take my fringer where the pain at
    it hurts bad
    idk why
    i cant firquire this
    never done this before

  7. five days ago,pain starts in my right jaw with pop sound bt nw pain has gone bt pop sound still comes.what to do to correct it?

    • My problem was I would clench my jaw all the time when i realised it was a problem i stopped doing it and 5 days latter the popping has stopped. Maybe you are doing this? I had no idea that I did until my jaw started popping

  8. My daughter is 5 yrs old. Whenever she yawns, her jaw joint tends to click and move in wobbly sort of way in order to shut. Her paed told us not to worry (three years ago) that this will correct itself.

    Please advise, should we seek a specialist’s opinion?

  9. Hi. About six months ago, I started noticing that when I speak, there is a clicking, crackling noise. It seems to get worse as the day progresses. Other people cannot hear it. Also, during this time, my teeth started to ache and my face hurts. Some days are better than others. When I experience this discomfort, I notice that I can’t talk as well or clearly. Both my dentist and an oral surgeon say I have TMJ. I used to grind my teeth at night, but haven’t done that for years, but I do find myself clenching. I really don’t think I do it in my sleep since, when I wake up, I usually don’t have the pain or the noise when I speak. I was told to wear a night guard and have been given a muscle relaxer and an anti-inflammatory, none of which have helped much.

    I also have had, for quite some time, crepitus noises in my neck. I’m wondering if the crepitus has worked its way up into my jaw, and if this could be an arthritis issue rather than the TMJ. Is there anything I can do about this? I’m not sure what type of doctor to go to or where to go from here. It’s driving me nuts. Any suggestions, thanks.

  10. Hi Folks,
    My problems started when I was 24 years old.. when my wisdom teeth grew and prevented me from closing my mouth I did not seem to understand what was happening at the time and tried to eat and close my mouth as I thought that I had to adjust to my new teeth. It is only years later that I realise that I have damaged the left jaw joint by tying to eat by making my jaw close when it was in pain. After 2-3 weeks after the teeth came through I had the 4 wisdom teeth reomoved as I had a locked jaw.
    I am now 50 years and the past 2 years I ave suffered terrible pain in my left ear area and was wrongly diagnosed with just an inflammed ear. I kept asking my specialist why my ear was inflammed and there we just comments like .. “just allergies”… which I believed was rubbish as the pain was too severe for an allergy. After various visits to chiropractors and doctors, with no definite diagnosis.. I eventually visited my dentist and he told me my jaw was dislocated. After virtually a 25yr existence with the condition I am now in agony and await NHS Orthondist unit in UK for help.
    My symptons are severe pain at back of ear, a feeling like sciatica down my face, neck and shoulders, scalp pain and a pain so severe that it feels like it is in the bones of my skull. I have always had a slight click in my jaw and because I managed to deal with slight pain in my head, ignored it for years as I was able to carry on without too much trouble. Quite often I just thought I suffered bad headaches, but I have now read that I may have a disc displacement, but await to see if UK NHS health services can help me. One problem is that NHS has long waiting lists for even urgent cases.. so I have to wait now to receive help. Meanwhile I am trying to eat and go to work and feel like I am death’s door with increased pain and no brief interludes of relief from pain. All the pain killers just seem like water on a duck’s back. Anyway painkillers only mask the real problem and I feel that the problem is definitely mechanical and that inflammation is the result of a malfunctioning joint. TMJ is similar to the pain of a slipped disc in your back as I have endured that too. However it is worse as the pain is in the head area, which makes it difficult to think and concentrate, thus affecting your whole life immensely.
    TMJ is not a yuppy’s disease .. It is real and has a devasting effect on an individual, when years of increased pain without much relief is endured. It is good that the medical profession now recognise this as a real issue for some people and that many new research projects are occuring around the world in order to discover a proper cure. I never believed in my wildest dreams that I would be suffering such a strange condition that affects you 24/7. We use our jaw and related muscles and tendons for eating, talking, swallowing, smiling and I am sure for other things that I am not aware of. It is a difficult joint to rest as we use it so regularly and unlike a bad tooth or appendix it is not something we can remove to rid ourselves of its torturing pain.
    So if you hear of anyone trying to eat with a painful jaw soon after their wisdom teeth arrive.. please help the person , by telling them to go straight away to their dentist for immediate help as they may avoid the terrible dehibilating condition of tmj, which is a devil to get rid of.
    I await my treatment in hope for a cure.
    I empathise with all who are going through severe tmj.
    Regards, Susan

    • It hasn’t for me. Been almost a year now, on the right side. It clicks even if I don’t open my mouth very wide. I could live with that, but what scares me is when my jaw occasionally locks. Fortunately, it hasn’t been for more than several scary minutes. No pain, but panic did ensue! I did mention it to my dentist but he thinks it’s just because I’m no longer a youngster. Says not to open my mouth too wide. Hah, as if.

  11. Hi,

    Since 2-3 months, my left jaw clicks when i open the mouth widely, i dont have any other problem but sometime its irritating & sometime i dont feel to open my mouth widely…

    please suggest, should i see dentist for this or do we have any other solution without seeing doc?

  12. Hi,
    My 7 year old son keeps clicking his jaw on purpose as he says he likes doing it and after reading the above I’m seriously worried if he continues he will have problems in the future. He also clicks his fingers, ankles and anything else he can find to click, will this cause problems?
    Many thanks

    • Hi,

      I have an 8 year old son who starte doing this a few months ago as well. It started with the neck cracking then jaw cracking and his leg etc. It has been 3 months and he says he can’t stop. I was wondering how your son is doing. My son also got ezcema (dry skin) the same time he started doing this cracking stuff.

  13. A couple months ago I started to have a LOT of pain in my left jaw. It seems to be mostly concentrated in my TMJ area. But the pain often spreads through my upper and lower teeth on the left half of my mouth, and the left half of my jawbone feels like I got hit with a sledgehammer. Sometimes my jaw pain is accompanied by a deep earache in my left ear (Like someone is stabbing my ear drum) and/or a pain in my left temple like I’m being stabbed with an ice pick. Also, when whatever this is starts acting up, my teeth on the left side start to feel like they’re crowding (And I do already have minor crowding. My dentist said something along the lines of my jaw is too small for my mouth so my teeth have crowded and I have a seriously bad overbite. When I bite down all the way, you can barely see 10% of my bottom teeth). I’ve noticed it’s aggravated by chewing on the left side of my mouth or sucking really hard on a straw (like a milkshake). It’s uncomfortable to open my mouth wide because my jaw starts to get stiff, but I can still force it open all the way (I try to avoid that though), but there’s not really a pop or click or any of that. It’s only popped two or three times when I yawned really big, but that’s it. I have read that malocclusions (like my overbite) can contribute to TMJ as well as my other jaw issues my dentist described. Do you think this could be a Temporomandibular Disorder? I can’t really get to a dentist (my usual dentist at my dad’s isn’t open when I’m at his house, and my mom just can’t be bothered to make it a priority because she doesn’t feel it’s worth the money for an exam), but I get this pain at least three times a day, usually more, and I’m constantly wolfing down Ibuprofen and hogging the ice packs in the house. How serious do you think this is?

  14. hello i am 17 and started noticing when i open my mouth all most all the way they are a small pop on the left side of my jaw is this tmj? it dose not hurt and i don’t have any other symptoms what else could it be?

  15. In the morning after waking up, opening my mouth I will experience a popping/cracking sound. Once it happens it goes away.

    When I was a child I must have had a mild form of OCD with regards to this, because I just *had* to crack my jaw. Once I did it it went away for a while. If I wasn’t able to crack it at first, I kept at it until I “found the spot”. Same thing with my ears, strangely enough. Yeah, I can pop something in my ears by pulling the bottom of my ear back and up in just the right way. Ugh.

    Anyways, I don’t get it during the day anymore. It’s only when I wake up, or after a period of being tense, that I get this thing, on both jaws.

    • Hi JK – Thanks for your comment. It’s likely that you are grinding your teeth. Whenever you grind your teeth, subconsciously or consciously, it can put a lot of stress on your TMJ. You may want to discuss this with your dentist to see if you are grinding, and find out what they recommend (usually some sort of mouthguard that is worn at night) to keep it from causing further problems.

      • Not sure, but I’m pretty sure I don’t *grind* it like some people do (e.g. making a movement). I might have some stress there for sure. It might be due to the fact that I try to keep my mouth closed when sleeping to help breathing through the nose, which in turn helps keep the sinus clear. Thanks!

        • Hey jk that is called clenching. I wake up in the morning my mouth is sore and stiff. I clench my mouth shut tight at night and also grind my teeth. Then sometimes I wake up yawn and my jaw pops or locks. It hurts for a little while. My dentist said that my popping jaw is from clenching and grinding my teeth. I bought me a mouth guard from my dentist. Best thing ever. They special fitted mine to my teeth.

    • Interesting you note the possibility of OCD as a child. My son stopped cracking his jaw. He now kicks/twitches his foot every once and awhile. He is a pretty normal kid except for this occasional odd habit.

      • Diane your child’s ocd and jerky movements are due to a bad streph infection that went untreated. The jerky movements are called St. Vitus Dance. The ocd is from the bacteria damaging the brain stem. this is not as bad as it sounds and he will be fine. Turn his ocd into school work ocd and he may even end up with a Dr. in the front of his name. God bless.

  16. Wow, I’ve had this all my life (as far back as I can remember) and didn’t think anything of it, ie never realised it was a recognised condition until now. The right hand side of my jaw clicks/pops twice when both opening and closing (once when partially opened/closed and once when fully opened and closed.) It causes some pain and discomfort once in a while when my jaw can lock up and for a while can’t get passed the second click when opening. This corrects itself after some time, usually no longer than a half hour to an hour.

    Thanks for the information.

    • Thanks for your comment, Katherine! The locking can occur because of the way the piece of cartilage moves around that insulates your temporomandibular joint. If it gets too problematic, you could always have an MRI done on the joint to find out if there are any specific problems that need to be addressed.

  17. I’ve always wondered why my jaw popped, and if there was a name for the condition.

    My jaw pops when i open my jaw wide and quickly, -for example when yawning- either on one side or sometimes both sides. When it pops it seems like a pressure has been lifted under my ear(s) that i didn’t realize was there, and when i close my jaw again there’s a sort of squelching sound.

    Sometimes, although rarely, i can feel the irritating numbing pressure under my ear and the only way to eliminate it is to deliberately pop my jaw.

    This has been going on for years and hasn’t effected my daily life other than be a nuisance.

  18. Hey-a, I never had TMJ up until 3 and a half years ago. After highschool graduation I broke my jaw-hinge area while biking. Ever since I’ve had to deal with pretty much excruciating pain every night. My family-doctor claims I must go through Massage-treatment, expensive medication, or risky surgery if I am to ever treat and live with this pain properly..

    What other things can I do to ensure relief for this pain that isn’t any of these or simply “take a break from using your jaw”??

  19. Thanks for the article. I have wondered what that sound is for 40+ years. My pop is something that I can “force” to happen and can make it very loud, audible to the outside world. Its always been more of a “party trick” sort of thing. It’s never hurt and sqidges my daughter out bad… Which is about the only reason I do it. I’ve never found anyone that could tell me what it was. Thank you.

  20. Hi, i dnt know if i have tmj, there’s an accident happen to me and they have to forcely open my mouth after that i hear clicking sound when i widely open my mouth. Before i dnt hear that sound. I consulted a dentist and she said braces can fix this, is it right?

  21. I am 13 years old and every time I open and/or close my mouth, there is a clicking sound. I know thats what you talked about in the article above, but it is really irritating me. I can’t avoid clicking it, ever time I eat it clicks, when i yawn and do anything which involves me opening my mouth. To me it seems loud, and other people said they can hear it to, and they said it was very loud. But I can’t not click it. I’m worried that it will affect me in the future. (It is every time that I open and close my mouth.) Help me please. 🙁

    • Hi Jennie – It is pretty common and some people’s “clicks” are louder than others. Do you feel like you clench/grind your teeth at night? Aside from that, you could try consulting with an oral surgeon or someone who says they work with TMJ to see if they have any recommendations. I hope that helps!

  22. Hi, I just had a filling done yesterday (top right). This morning I tried eating cereal but my jaw kept popping everytime I chewed and it hurt. I’m paranoid now thinking it might be dislocated but read on other sites that it’s normal. Is this normal? If so, how long will it last? (My jaw broke once in 2007 btw)

  23. Hi, I’m a 14 year old girl (pardon my English, I’m Dutch), and I have overbite, so my lower jaw is too small in proportion to my upper jaw. (I’m having suurgery for this, still don’t know when) And about 2 days ago, I noticed a grating sound in the left side of my jaw, and (rarely) a popping sound in the right side. This happens whenever I open my jaw for about 1-2 cm. I don’t experience any pain though, and I can open my jaw completely. What can I do? Is it bad?

    • I do have braces for about a year now, and when I open my mouth it cracks but when I keep moving my jaw ( like talking or biting) it won’t make a grating sound. but when I close my mouth for too long, it does start making that sound again.

  24. Hello I’m 20/f , medical student.
    Sir, last year I got my right lower 1st premolarextracted as a part of my orthodontic treatment due to frostbite and excess overcrowding.
    Last month I had my exams. I have a habit of revising by whispering things to myself. I noticed a clicking sound on right side of my jaw during this time.
    I forgot all about it after my exams.
    Some 7-9 days back, I experienced pain and tenderness on Below left started as mild one in the morning and aggravated by night. N completely relieved the next morning.
    The pain has reappeared today as a mild one again.

    What do you think I’m having? I’m really worried.

  25. Just read this article. I’m 22 years old and started having this popping in the left side of my jaw earlier today. It happens when my mouth opens wide or when my lower jaw goes slightly forward. It doesn’t hurt very much but my main problem with it is that I get severe anxiety with any kind of bone-related trauma. Blood’s fine, bruises are fine, but when it’s the bones I just kind of melt down. I know, not very brave of me, but everybody’s got something. I hope clenching my teeth doesn’t exacerbate it because I’m having a tough time not doing that.

  26. I am 38 years old. I had bilateral intracapsular fractures when I was 4-treated conservatively and did well. In 2002 I had a bicycle accident and fractured a couple teeth from landing on my jaw, and my discs were dislocated and close locked for 7 months of conservative treatment including splint, PT, meds, massage therapy, etc. Arthrocentesis was not successful but arthroscopy with laser was-lateral pterygoidotomy and tissues shrunk behind disc to pull it in place is what I was told. Much improved ROM and decrease in pain. Intermittent flares of pain and crepitus, locked a few times after dental procedures but that would only last few days, since that surgery. 2 mo ago I had increased pain and new noises in the right joint. Jaw locked and remained locked. PT, acupuncture, m. relaxor, splint, OTC pain meds, and infrared light all only offered temporary decrease in symptoms of pain and close lock (difficulty opening). MRI showed degenerated, dislocated partially maserated disc on the right, CT showed significant degeneration of the right condyle and some degeneration of the left. One oral surgeon suggested total joints, a second opinion suggested disc replacement. I saw a TMJ dental specialist this week that mobilized/manipulated/stretched my jaw (extremely painful procedure and lots of crepitus!), but it is opening now (with crepitus and still hurts-did start a dose pack again-had one first week it locked also). He recommends day and night splinting followed by braces (I had braces from 11-16 years old before). So many opinions, it is hard to tell what to do! Any thoughts?

  27. I’ve heard that these TMJ disorders can cause hearing problems. Well I have some TMJ problems(painless popping of the jaw, jaw muscles sometimes feel fatigued and my bite is slightly open on the left side) and I’ve also noticed some high frequency hearing loss. How can this be treated?

  28. My jaw has been popping on the left side for years with some discomfort, but no pain. However, recently my jaw has either popped then won’t go back into place, or just won’t pop so I can’t open it all the way. It hurts incredibly badly when this happens. I am no doctor so I don’t know if it is actually dislocating or not, but that’s the only way I know to describe it. Could this be related to TMJ?

  29. Hi this is Ellie my left side of my face especially by the jaw it keeps cracking and clicking everytime I open my mouth and talk and eat and is causing me pain and acheing of the jaw and weird little hard bits keep appearing In my mouth when it cracks what is wrong with it and what do you sugest to do btw I am 12 years old

  30. I’m a 19 year old student from the UK. Sometimes I just *have* to click my jaw, mainly the left side. Once I start, I find it hard to stop. I often get stressed, and have wondered if this is a result of subconciously grinding my teeth? Sometimes I get headaches, and the pain is mostly concentrated on the left-hand side. I should also stress that my wisdom teeth are still coming through, and I experience pain on the left side of my jaw, and around my upper tooth and gums. A friend advised me to consider getting a retainer, as she also used to grind her teeth. Could a retainer possibly help relieve the stress I am putting on my jaw?

  31. i also do experience some popping clicking sounds but it felt like it comes from the alveolar mucosa
    onl if i got my head backwards the clicking sounds dissapears only if i eat i get a pressure
    on my side of my nose

  32. hi, I’m 14 and this past summer I went on a lot of plane rides… on one of the planes I fell asleep in my right side on my mom’s shoulder, so it was kinda picking into my jaw…. and I think I did something to my jaw. now whenever is sleep on my right side my I can’t open my mouth for like 2 hours, in about an hour I can open it but it pops really hard, then the pop gets smaller and smaller till I’m back to no pop. is this crepitus???

  33. I got an accident back 5 month,my right jaw got fracture also as per mri both left and right disc are getting thin,the main problem i m facing that my jaw is lots of paining and also lots of clicking on left side whn moving mouth to left.please give me solution

  34. Hi am suffering ! Am freaking out I got all my wisdom teeth my jaw as no pain but pressure under the ear with the jaw .. When I open it feels like my jaw is going to fall or pop . . I have a bad wisdom tooth under the gun laying on top the jaw bone .. What is going on with me .. I can’t take this it doesn’t hurt if feels creepy .. Some time stiff .. Am scared to move my jaw . I just want to cry .and am 26 year old .. Don’t know what to do

  35. Hi i am rocktim
    why i am not fully open my mouth ? and i have a little pain in my mouth right side. And lst thing. I also us tobacco like rajani gondha.
    This problem start 2 years ago.

  36. My jaw pops occasionally while chewing food. is it something that can be treated, because at times it becomes irritating.

  37. Every once in a while, I’ll wake up in the morning and my jaw will lock on one side and I can’t open my mouth entirely. I mean, I can open it almost all the way, so it’s not a problem unless I want a big hamburger or if I eat something in a big bite. It never lasts more than about eleven hours, and only happens like once a month or less, but it’s just really annoying. It doesn’t really hurt unless I try to open my jaw really wide when it happens, which I now know not to do, but can anyone tell me why this happens? I really hope I don’t have some mouth problem that needs surgery, but I want answers.

  38. I’ve been looking everywhere for information on this topic, I was a heavy drug user which caused me to bite a massive chunk out of my cheek and the tare goes right up to the top of my mouth, that side of my face is fatter and has been for a year now and it feels deep and crackles and I’m so worried about it because I’ve also had from a young age and still have jaw locking and dislocating occasionally it always clicks (the left side) and I’m paranoid when I feel my jaw that this side of the bone feels thinner and not in the same place as the other but could just be me. And I’ve not brushed mu teeth properly since I was a child

  39. My right jaw joint has popped for as long as I can remember. However, recently it has become much worse to the point that moving my jaw at all elicits a pop or two and some grinding. It has become increasingly uncomfortable especially when I eat harder to chew foods. I wish it would go away. Thanks for letting me know what is (probably) wrong with me! Great article!

  40. Hi I am 11 and when I was on the trampoline I hit my jaw on my brothers knee and after that it has started clicking. I can’t stop clicking it though. What should I do

  41. Well I’ve had braces for two years and just go them off last May. Well now my right side jaw clicks when I open my mouth. It doesn’t hurt but should I be worried??

  42. I’ve always had this but not to the extent that I do now. As a kid, I thought it was a pretty cool trick to open my mouth off to the right side and hear a pop. That was the only time that I could do it. I’m 28 now and I slept at a buddies house last night on the couch. I woke up this morning and noticed that every time I open my mouth, even slightly, it pops. The popping sound is still on the right side but it’s doing it every time now. It doesn’t hurt but, I’m wondering if this continues will it wear a bone down or something and I may need surgery. I don’t know if it’s the way I slept on it or what. Any advice or knowledge on this would be appreciated.

  43. Hi, i have recently been noticing a pain in my left jaw when i open my mouth all the way. I have alwayshad the jaw on both sides pop when i open my mouth all the way and make it harder to close my mouth, but it doesnt make a sound. It just started hurting though i got braces and this was notcorrected, should i worry, or get a corrective surgery?

  44. I actually have this problem on my right side. It doesn’t hurt at all, but it can get really annoying at times. Sometimes my jaw locks up and i can’t open my mouth for a while. This has happened before when i fell asleep facing up with my mouth open. Well I’ve had this popping sound for as long as I could remember. I remember my pediatric dentist telling me not to chew gum or it big foods that would require me to open too wide. Sometimes i feel like my jaw is slanted and out of place. I was considering having it looked at but if it’s mostly common. . .then I’ll probably get turned down for surgery. I really just want my jaw fixed!!!

  45. Comment:i have a problem in my cheek bones of right side frm last 5years.. Earlier i was not notice it.. But now it pain too much .. Even I m not able to eat nd talk frequently..
    and now this problem also occur in left part. It sound pop whenevr i am open my mouth suddenly.. The real tension is it reduce my chubbyness of my face.. Tmj point is paining too much now.

  46. My jaw is locked. I’m not sure if it’s because my wisdom tooth no longer has space to fully come out or if it’s something else. I can open and close it, but I can’t fully open it. It hurts if I eat something big or try to open up wider. it just feels stuck, and it’s not usually like this. I can’t move my jaw to the left, but I can move it to the right. I’ve tried exercising to putting heat and nothing works. It’s been three days now and I do not know what to do or who to call. My jaw has locked before but has never lasted this long. Please help.

  47. Every time i eat my jaw pops right side only then one day i was eating a chilie dog nd i opened way to bigg and it popped hurt really bad then told my right right side of my jaw locoked on me i couldnt open my mouth its really annoying what do i do to fix it and is it painful the dentist is my worst fear

  48. Hi Tom,

    I think i am suffering from Crepitus(left side).. Since past 6~8years, I have a jaw locking problem (rarely occur) when i try to open my mouth widely or yawn. It would take min of 2~10min for it to close again. So, I tried to control my mouth movement. Popping sound was very rare. Recently, i have observed that the popping sound has become common with a little pain at left jaw while i’m chewing.

    I would like to know your opinion and suggestions for me if any treatment is required..


  49. My jaw make a very loud noise any time I open my month and the noise is so loud that the person standing next to me can hear it,is actually a boarding me.

  50. Hi, i’m 28 y/o, and i’ve had the clicking sound continuously for about 4-5 years now. Everytime i want to open wide, i have to move my jaw to the left, then theres the click sound, then i can open my mouth wider. When i chew too long, my mouth / jaw gets “tired” and I would have to stop. I havent gone to a dentist about it though. Is my condition serious, should I be worried? Thanks!

  51. hello sir , when i open my mouth clicking or poping like sound effect is produced on the right side of jaw without pain so is that ok or it needs treatment , i realised i have a litle bit swelling on right side of face .

  52. I’m a 13 year old girl and my right jaw pops mostly every time I open my mouth . Should I be worried about it ? Sometimes it feels good to open my mouth , so my jaw can pop . But if I open it too much after awhile it starts hurting . Is there any why I can make it stop hurting when I open my mouth ?

  53. Hi I’m 15 years old and my jaw has been popping for a couple days now and I’m kinda worried and this morning I woke up and my jaw was locked! But then it came back to normal. It’s making the popping noise on the right side when I yawn, or open my mouth wide… I am getting kinda worried about it.

  54. Hi everyone!
    I have jaw locking problem in my left jaw only. The time when it get locked, I have to apply force to close my mouth, only at that time I feel pain there and after that everything becomes normal. But I need some solution for problem. Can anybody suggest my any solution regarding my problem?

  55. Hello, I have had braces for a year and 3 months and  now I’ve got retainers.Every time I take my retainers out and try and eat something my jaw clicks and it feels like it moves to the left side.This happens every time I eat after I take my retainers out. It does not hurt at all, but it is extremely annoying .Please help, Do u think I should go and see a doctor?

  56. Hello, I have a question. So I’ve gotten my braces about 2 1/2 years ago and I just started wearing rubber bands a year ago. It never affected anything until now. My orthodontics arranged a thicker rubber band in a different place a couple months ago and just now, my jaw started to pop on my right side (kinda sounds like it’s in the ear almost) it pops when I open my jaw after I’ve bitten down on my back teeth. I’ve been eating soft foods and I’m too scared to chew because I feel like it will lock or get worse. Do you think it’s because of my braces or rubber bands moving my jaw teeth? Will the popping go away ever? Thank you

    • Hey, i can tell you my dentist said if there is NO pain, then no problem, there are exercises you can do to help your jaw close more normally but you cannot fix completely this problem. It is natural dont worry!

  57. Good Evening from Qatar,
    My name is Karen I am 27 years old.
    I have had this clicking sound not for long, but it annoys me a lot especially when I am eating no matter what I am eating whether soft or hard food my jaw will be clicking.
    Sometimes I am having jaw or head ache. In addition to that sometimes it gets stuck as I won’t be able to open it properly as if it is locked.(Usually this happens on one side).
    Kindly advice what should I do as the clicking is getting louder and the locking is occurring often.
    Thank you,

  58. Hi I’m 13 years old and ever since I got braces,(about a month ago) my jaw has been popping whenever I chew. It’s really annoying, but when I went to go get my braces on, he told me that I had a popping sound. He says that it was the result of an overbite. So he told me to wear headgear for 14 hours a day for 1 and a half years. Could that help, or maybe even stop it? Then I read this article and saw just how many people have this problem. Like I said before, it’s really annoying, but I feel much better knowing that other people are going trough this too! Thanks

  59. Hi tom when I open my mouth sometimes my jaw pops once or twice on my left side & it sometimes hurts when I close my mouth & pops once or twice it when I go to dentist & I open my mouth it pops twice it hurts afterwards when you’ve had your mouth open for so long can you he ave surgery to stop your jaw from popping

  60. After reading your article, I think I have ‘crepitus’. When I open my jaw really wide I hear a popping sound, but only on my left. There is no pain involved, I am really concern with the fact that there is a defect with my body. Is surgery advisable? Will braces help? (I am 21 years old)

  61. Hi, I have had a clicky jaw for the past 5 years without having to much of a problem until 6 weeks ago I got a really bad ear infection with tinnitus. Got antibiotics and that all cleared up. But during this time every time my jaw clicked I could really feel and hear it so much more. Always been my left side too. But for the past 2 weeks it’s become really bad to the point where I am scared to force open my mouth wide which is the only way I can eat. So I have not been eating properly as so worried when I open mouth fully I may do serious damage. I’m aware that alot may be in my head, I have a mouth guard but I have difficulty opening mouth to put it in. Please help me. I’m petrified of the dentist.

  62. I am 25 years old. I had no problem whatsoever until 3 months ago when I told my dentist I am grinding my teeth.He gave me a nightguard to wear.After 4 nights of wearing it I got a terrible pain in my right TMJ. After 2 weeks on painkillers and soft food it went away.No more pain.BUUUT I noticed when I open my mouth wide I hear this crackling noise.The dentist couldnt possibly understand what happend told me not to wear the nightguard anymore.So even now I can hear the same noise on the right side when opening my mouth wide.But no pain.

  63. Hi I’m 18 and My left jaw cracks a lot and it’s hurting me. I went to a doctor and he said I had to take calcium medicine for my calcium level was low. I took the prescribed medicines and it help a bit but not fully and it’s affecting my daily life for I cannot eat or talk properly without my jaw cracking. I love to sing but i can’t anymore because of this. Can you please help me. I want to get better and be fine again.

  64. I noticed both sides of my jaw started to make grinding/popping sounds and when I pay attention to it, it bothers me a lot. Especially when i eat and it also happens easily just by opening my mouth a little. I feel like it tires both sides of my jaw when it constantly pops whether consciously or unconsciously and am tired of it. Will it ever go away? I makes me think it is a fracture because when I massage or press the area it hurts. What can you tell me about it.

  65. I have had this condition for a while, particularly in my right jaw bone. Recently (within the last two or three days) I have noticed that the right side of my mouth is very stiff. Usually when I would pop the jaw it would feel better and not stiff, but recently it consistently feels stiff and painful. I have been taking some ibuprofen and trying to relax my jaw, but I worry something more is wrong, since it usually doesn’t feel this way. Any advice?

  66. One of my adult teeth never came in (tooth #4 or #5 on my top row of teeth on the right side). I didn’t realize I only had 13 teeth on my top row until a couple years ago. When I was 19, the left side my jaw started cracking/popping/grating. I’m now 29. My jaw has never locked on me and prevented me from closing my mouth. I don’t have any pain, and I never have. Just overall tightness everywhere. I’ve noticed when I deliberately make myself have an under bite, my jaw does not crack/pop/grate. I’m fairly certain my jaw line/bite has realigned in these last 10 years. The muscles on the left side of my neck, jaw, and even all over the left side of my head (top of my head, back of my neck, and around my ear) feel incredibly tight. I’ve been stretching my neck/head/body to ease the tightness. I noticed that if I shake my head back and forth in quick motions in a variety of different directions I hear light cracking and I can feel more range of motion in the muscles that use to be rock hard. My question is, what can I do, or who should I go see to help me with this more? Would it be a dentist that specializes in TMJ, an oral surgeon, or should I be getting TMJ massages? I am looking for a non-invasive solution, so preferably no surgery. Although I’m curious to hear what your professional opinion would be even if that includes something more abrasive. Thank you in advance for you help!

  67. Well, I do feel better knowing that this is overall a common thing, however, I think mine started when I was knocked over during a soccer game. I had landed on my jaw. It only hurt for a day and over all it doesn’t hurt anymore, 3years later. But i had just popped it weird when I opened my mouth, lip syncing to a song. Now it’s popping louder and at a smaller angle, so now I don’t have to open my mouth as far. Along with another sort of noise when I fully event my jaw, which reminds me of the sound of beads in a baby’s rattle, but it’s only a couple of beads.

    Would this be because my jaw off and not in the right place? My mouth feels fine when it’s at rest, like it fits into place.

  68. My name is Jackie . I too been having popping sounds but when I eat something. My boyfriend can hear it for. Across the room. Plus my jaw gets tired and hurts is this the same thing. Its embarrassing knowing g others can hear my jaw pop as I eat.

  69. Hi I’m 11 years old and I have just started to notice my mouth clickes. It is on my right side and I can only open my mouth the smallest bit before it clickes sometime my jaw will get stuck while I am eating are talking. I don’t no weather I need to go to the dentist or not. It does hurt most of the time as well. 🙁

  70. Hi Tom, this article is very informative. I do happen to have a popping or cracking sound on my left jaw. I only acquired this cracking sound right after I removed my wisdom tooth on lower left part of my mouth. I still have 3 left but I don’t want to go to the same agony again to remove the other 3.

    Could you please give me some advice, there are times that I feel that my jaw is not on the right position or something. Is it ok not to remove the other 3 wisdom tooth? I have the most laziest af wisdom tooth ever… thanks 🙂

  71. I’ve had a problem with my jaw cracking and popping for well over 15yrs on both sides, apart from the sound making me feel sick everytime i open my mouth and occasionally locking in place. No really problems till now. Now every morning i wake, when i open my mouth, it feels like my jaw has locked and makes an almighty crack. It feels like its getting worse and the noise is getting louder. Ive spoken to my dentist but she wasnt overly helpful. What am i able to do? Are there operations to fix the jaw or a way of cleaning it up?

  72. The right side of my jaw has been cracking for a long time. It started out only popping when I hyper extended it or moved it from side to side. However, it has grown progressively worse. Now it pops when ever I open it and when I try to open it widely I experience pain. It wasn’t much of a problem at first, but it is becoming one. Singing is a big part of my life, and the issue has started to limit my abilities. It has also made it difficult to eat. I’m not sure what to do.

  73. The left side of my jaw is popping and jaw is little bit moved to right side and it looks ugly,what problem I’m going through. Is it tmj?

  74. I am hoping I can get some answer to help with my problem after reading this. The other day I woke up with the right side of my jaw being stiff, popping when i try to open my mouth etc. I have never had this happen before so I am thinking I could have slept with my jaw very tightly clenched. I have known to do that sometimes. But I have never had it hurt or last this many days. Its been 4 days now. I even went and bought a sleep mouth guard to try and help me not clench and to relax it at night. But my issue is that its popping even when i eat and it feels awkward. Is this something that can happen after sleeping with a clenched mouth?

  75. I’ve had this for about 3 years now. First it was my right jaw. I was just talking thenout of nowhere i moved my right jaw to the left and it would only go half as far to the left as it should. I forced it to go more to the left like it should normally be able to and then bam, it made that crack sound and then I was able to move my right jaw fully to the left again, except now it doesn’t do smoothly. Halfway to the left, something inside moves out of place or something which feels like a bump, then when I bring it back to the right the thing goes back to where it is while making the bumpy moving feeling again. same thing with my left jaw except the left jaw problem began more recently so it isn’t as bumpy. Every now and then my right jaw gets stuck Halfway moving to the left and the only way to release it is by forcefully moving it all the way to the left or opening my mouth all the way which will make the crack sound. I see that i dont look the same anymore, my eye shape changed, my sides of my face have gotten wider then they should be and my face looks like squarish now. I hate it and I am getting really depressed.

  76. My jaw cracks every time I open my mouth. Wether I’m chewing or not. Kid I take a drink it pops. I have no pain. If I take my jaw and push it over to the popping side it goes away. Is this something to be concerned about? Thank you

    • I’ve just recently begun to experience these very same symptoms. Have you had any luck getting it to go away? If so, what did you do?

    • Also whenever my jaw pops it’s very uncomfortable, and everyone in the room can hear it… And they all look at me.

  77. When ever I open my jaw it clicks/pops. I used to be able to open it wide and then one day I couldn’t. Also it really hurts. What do I do?

  78. My jaw really don’t pop whenever I open my mouth i speak but earlier when I woke up I yawn and it suddenly popped which cause me worry. I don’t know wht happened. My don’t really pops but earlier it suddenly pop when I yaw. I’mkind of worried.

  79. Hi, I am 26, and i had a cavity filling on my lower jaw wisdom tooth. The anesthesia was quite strong. Now i have this clicking when I open my mouth to full extent. And then I have a second quieter clicking just when my mouth is about to close completely while closing my mouth. I have no pain at all. When I was younger probably ten years ago I had similar clicking noises with no pain. And then over a few years it just totally disappeared, but since then I was never able to open my mouth to full wide open. Is this some kind of TMJ swelling, even though I don’t have pain, that will go away on its own in a few weeks or so?
    Thanx, love ur site!

  80. Hello Dr.
    I am 24 years old. About 2 months ago I started experiencing the popping/clicking sound in my right left jaw. My dentist checked it and said its normal as long as there’s no pain. He recommended going for softer food, not opening my mouth so wide… but still the sound is annoying. Whenever I open my mouth, chew even tiny bites or anything the popping sound is present. And anyone near me can hear it.

  81. Hey, hello Tom. A popping sound in my jaw started at about three months ago. Sometimes or many at times I shut my mouth without doing anything with it like talking or eating then when I’m about opening it to maybe say something of eat something, I hear a popping sound. I do not have to open my mouth very wide to hear this and it causes me no pain at all. So Tom, please should I be worried or it’s nothing of concern. Thanks

  82. I am also getting such popping sound in my right jaw.It has been some months that experienced this. And so worried about this, even I thought if it is bone cancer or something like that. Please tell me something.

  83. I have Crepitus on my both sides. I am so much irritated by it that I can’t even eat properly. What should I do?

  84. I am 14 and in summer i was on a rollercoaster and i must have opened my jaw too wide, ever since i have experienced clicking on my left side of the jaw. In the last couple of weeks it has gotten worse and nearly everytime i open or move my jaw it clicks what should i do?

  85. My jaw started “clicking” last night , and it’s really annoying (especially when I eat , it’s constantly producing that click, click , click sound) , it doesn’t hurt and it’s not causing any bigger issues whatsoever.
    I’m wondering will it go away on it’s own ? I really don’t want to live for the rest of my life with a “clicking jaw” ? 🙁
    Should I be worried and should I do something about it ?

  86. Hi I am Juliana I am 15 and I recently just got the popping in my jaw about a year ago and it does away sometimes but I can’t open my mouth very far anymore and I always hear this loud popping noise and it really hurts is there anything I can do to help it

  87. Hi, I’m a 13 year old girl. For two months my jaw has been popping on the left side of my jaw. First it rarely happened maybe like once a week. But now it’s happening every single day. Like 5-6 times a day. It’s really annoying and scary. It even catches me off guard without me knowing. It happens when I eat, talk or when I try to open my mouth. It gets really stiff right after it pops. But right now it hasn’t popped because I’ve been eating really slowly and I tried to avoid moving my jaw. I would sometimes feel a little pain right after it pops. Sometimes I don’t feel pain. Is there anything I can do to stop it from popping in the future? Will this continue when I get older? I really miss eating that burrito. I haven’t finished it yet. I only took 4 small bites. It’s still in the fridge waiting for me.

  88. So im 17 and never had any problems with my jaw but this morning i woke up and my jaw started popping and a little weird noise when ever i open it if i do it very very slowly no pop but if i open my mouth as normal as like eating it pops theres no pain but how ever i just ate dinner and man it was so annoying and pesky to hear pop pop pop after every chew. Is there anyway i could fix this a conventional way?

  89. Hello tom. My name is tony im 23. My left jaw keeps popping. When i open my mouth. Fills like i could pop it would fill all right. But it dont just keeps pop like its out of place. Can it be fix?. My right fine. Just my left one that pops alot.

  90. So you’re saying that I don’t have to be afraid. So it isn’t that alarming? I’m 13 and I started to hear my left jaw pop a couple of months ago and it hasn’t gone away. But it doesn’t hurt either. So I shouldn’t be afraid. And is it really that common? Wow I never knew.

  91. I am a 14 year old girl! My right side of my jaw has always popped but today it has started to hurt when I open my mouth and feels like it won’t pop back into shape, I am very scared that I am going to have to get surgery, do I need this?

  92. I sympathize with all these posters. Badly in need of help, and pleading for somebody to offer advice, but nobody really can to so — they have worse problems of their own. And here I thought my right jaw click and occasional lock jaw was bad! Who knows what worries the average person carries around, day after day. 🙁 Happy healing to all of us.

  93. Im 22 and I’ve never had this problem before it started just a day ago. It doesn’t hurt or cause any other type of pain, its just annoying. I’ve read that it can also be caused my tense muscles cause by stress and etc. Is that true or have worny disc out somehow?

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