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Jaw Cracking
The jaw joint, also called Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) can crack and emit noises like any other joint in the human body. Jaw joint cracking is often erroneously seen as a symptom of Temporomandibular Dysfunction (TMD). The cracking of the jaw joint is a frequent symptom when the mouth is forced open to widely. Most of the time, people suffering from jaw noise don’t experience any jaw joint pain. The cracking itself doesn't need to be treated, since it is assumed that only harmless air bubbles in the synovial fluid are the cause of the sound that occurs during pressure balancing. Only if additional symptoms such as pain around your ear, headaches, stiffness, lockjaw or diminished mouth opening occur, a Gnathologist has to be seen. By the way, Gnathology is the study of the masticatory apparel. Disorders such as muscle pain and tension (Myofascial Pain) are probably caused by grinding, clenching (Bruxism), nail biting, jaw joint degeneration caused by Arthritis and last but not least if you have a natural jaw misalignment. A Gnathologist treats these symptoms. Don't worry though; Temporomandibular Joint is much less of a problem than generally assumed. Find out more in this video!
Produced: 04/2011
Sometimes even jaw "cracking" that appears in childhood is a variation which is not normal and can be the emerging signs of an anteriorly displaced disc/misaligned articular disc. This can then lead to limited range of motion, pain, and open-lock/closed-lock issues later in life. After screening by your dentist, you may benefit from a consultation with a TMJ expert - an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. - Steven Koos DDS, MD
Posted: 11 years ago
Thanks for the educational video! My son cracks his jaw, i'm glad to hear its nothing serious.
Posted: 11 years ago