Have you ever experienced a snapping or popping sensation in your jaw when you open your mouth? It’s a common concern that many people bring to our attention at North 49. The good news is, in most cases, this phenomenon is harmless. This is particularly so if it’s not accompanied by pain or limited motion. Given that this is a common question let’s explore:

  • the causes of jaw snapping and popping,
  • why it’s generally not a cause for worry,
  • and when you should seek professional advice.

The Benign Nature of Jaw Snapping and Popping

One or both of our temporomandibular joints, which connect our jaw bone to the skull, can sometimes cause a snapping or popping sound. This can be due to an asymmetry in the shape and/or angle of these joints. As long as there is no pain or restricted movement associated with the snapping, it is generally considered benign.

When to Have Your Jaw Assessed

However, if you’re experiencing pain or limited motion along with the snapping or popping, it’s time to pay closer attention. In some cases, degenerative changes in the cartilage of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) may be the culprit. It can also be due to the disc – a shock absorber, spacer type of tissue within your TMJ – that may be sitting slightly forward. As you open your mouth, the disc snaps back into place, causing the sensation. Check out this video to see what is happening when this occurs.

If the disc is involved, the ligaments that hold the disc in place can be stretched, leading to your disc being perched anteriorly. This is often a result of poor oral habits such as clenching. If you’re experiencing pain or limited motion associated with your jaw snapping, it’s essential to explore the underlying causes and seek appropriate care.

How North 49 Can Help

At North 49, our team includes physiotherapists who specialize in treating temporomandibular (aka jaw) problems. They can determine the best course of action. Whether you need education on self-care, manual therapy, or follow-up with your dentist for a possible night guard, our team is here to assist you.

Contact Us

You can call us during the weekdays at 306-343-7776 or book a Temporomandibular Initial Assessment online 24/7 through our website.

Let’s address your concerns, provide necessary treatment, and ensure you have the answers you need for peace of mind regarding your jaw health.