Jaw Joint Noises

Jaw popping refers to a clicking sound from the jaw, which can be accompanied by sensations of pain.

Sometimes jaw popping can arise from overextending the jaw, such as by opening the mouth too wide when yawning or eating.  At other times, it results from problems in the functioning of the temporomandibular joints or the joints that connect the jawbone to the sides of the skull.

Dysfunction of these joints is known as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), although the condition may be incorrectly referred to as TMJ.

Jaw popping without accompanying pain is not typically a cause of concern.


Jaw popping may be the only symptom experienced.  However, TMD can often cause other symptoms as well, including:

  • pain and discomfort
  • tenderness in the face or jaw
  • difficulty opening the mouth wide
  •  jaw that “lock” in an open or closed position
  • difficulty eating
  • facial swelling
  • toothache
  • headache
  • neck pain
  • earache

For anyone considering surgery for jaw popping symptoms, they should get a second or third opinion before going through with this treatment.  Most often symptoms can be resolved without surgery.

At TMJ-Ortho-Sleep Centre we treat jaw popping and other TMD symptoms without surgery.