Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Braces

Jaw `Popping`

01/11/2001

Question:

I have been having problems with my jaw, or what appears to be my jaw, "popping" and locking for the last 2-3 weeks, and have always had crooked teeth, and my lower teeht do not line up right. My parents cannot afford braces, and so I have not had my teeth straightened, so I was wondering if my jaw problems were caused my my teeth being out of allighnment. Please tell me if there is anything I can do.

Answer:

Somehow I overlooked this e-mail. My apologies. Many people have signs of " popping "or clicking in one or both sides of the glenoid fossa where the condyle or head of the mandible ( lower jaw ) resides. In general this can be a one time episode but it can reoccur. To lessen the frequency it is wise to go to a softer diet, avoid sudden opening movements, reduce caffeine intake to reduce muscle irritability and avoid chewing gum. If it is present on one side only you should try sleeping on your back or at least away from the affected side. The profession is divided on whether there is a direct relation to crowding of the teeth but it is unlikely that the jaw problem caused a long standing mal-occlusion (crooked teeth ). If your problem Is associated with pain you should consult your family dentist.

For more information:

Go to the Braces health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Walter C Buchsieb, DDS, MS Walter C Buchsieb, DDS, MS
Professor Emeritus - Clinical, Associate of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University