Clicking/Popping in the Jaw Joint

Dental Center for TMJ and Facial Pain

One of the most common symptoms associated with TMD/TMJ are sounds heard when one opens and closes the jaw. A normal, healthy TMJ is quiet during function. The jaw movements should be smooth without any pulling to one side. There is a cartilaginous disc that sits between the two bones in the jaw joint that act as a bearing. If there is trauma to the ligaments that connect the disc to the muscles, the disc can slip out from between the two bones. When the jaw is open a certain amount, the jaw bone will jump on to the dislocated disc, leading to a clicking or popping noise. If there is inflammation within the joint itself, this noise can be painful.