If my jaw pops or clicks, does that mean I have TMJ?

TMJ is a group of conditions related to the TMJ. Popping and clicking can be one of the signs of TMJ. For a diagnosis it is important to see a dentist with extensive experience diagnosing and treating the jaw joint and its associated structures.

To find someone in your area that has experience and training in the field of TMJ, check out or
Clicking and popping sounds can be a symptom of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.

The TM joints are among the most complex joints in the body. Located on each side of the head, they work together to make many different movements, including a combination of rotating and gliding actions used when chewing and speaking. Any problem that prevents this complex system of muscles, ligaments, discs and bones from working properly may result in a painful TMJ disorder.

Your dentist can best determine if you have TMJ through a thorough exam and if so, determine the best course of treatment.
Popping or clicking sounds in your jaw can be a sign of a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. The TMJ is the joint in front of your ears where your jawbone connects to your skull that helps you open your mouth and move your jaw. TMJ disorders cause pain and tenderness in the joint. Other symptoms include an aching pain in the face, jaw, or around the ear; difficulty chewing, and difficulty opening or closing the mouth. Clicking, popping, and grating noises are sometimes symptoms of TMJ disorders, but can also be a symptom of arthritis. If you don't also have pain or discomfort in the joint along with the noise, you probably don't have TMJ.

Jaw clicking and popping is actually quite common. For most, it does not represent an underlying problem. However, if the pops and clicks are accompanied by facial pain, then you should see a doctor. The cause could be TMJ or there could be another underlying problem.

Continue Learning about Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ)

What is temporomandibular disorder (TMD)?
Akash Bajaj, MDAkash Bajaj, MD
Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are disorders of the jaw muscles, temporomandibular joints, and/or...
More Answers
How common is temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder (TMJ)?
By some estimates, temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder (TMJ) is fairly common, affecting...
More Answers
What are the temporomandibular (tm) joints?
National Athletic Trainers' AssociationNational Athletic Trainers' Association
The temporomandibular joints are located on either side of the jaw (mandible), just below the te...
More Answers
Who can treat temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder?
Dante A. Gonzales, DMDDante A. Gonzales, DMD
Depending on the cause of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, treatment modalities could dif...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.