Could The Popping In Your Jaw Mean TMD?

Have you noticed popping or crackling sensations in your jaw on a regular basis? If so, this could be more than a minor irritation. In fact, this is a common warning sign of a serious oral health issue known as TMJ disorder, or TMD. In today’s blog, your Austin, MN, dentists will explain how we diagnose and treat this issue!

The Warning Signs of TMD

The temporomandibular joints connect your jaw and skull, controlling the movements necessary to eat and speak. However, when strained, patients could develop TMJ disorder, which causes difficulty opening and closing the mouth fully, and leads to uncomfortable symptoms. Along with the popping and crackling we mentioned before, you could also develop headaches, migraines, jaw pain, and aches in the face, neck, and shoulders. Causes could include tooth loss, bite imbalance, dental misalignment, stress, and injury to the face or jaw.

Creating an Oral Appliance

In order to reduce the strain on your jaw joints, we need to address the cause of the strain. For some, we may correct misalignment to improve the balance of your bite. In addition, we may use a restoration, like a crown, to correct the balance of your smile. However, the most common solution is to take detailed digital images and measurements of your smile, using the information to create an oral appliance that fits like a mouthguard. When worn at night, the device helps repositions the jaw to ease pressure on the joints!

The Teeth Grinding Link

The disorder is often linked to teeth grinding, also known as bruxism. With bruxism, people grind and clench their teeth one a regular basis, which strains the jaw joints and also wears down or chips/cracks teeth. The damaged enamel then exposes the inner dentin, allowing cavities to form and toothaches to develop. Untreated bruxism could lead to TMD, and vice-versa. Fortunately, the same oral appliance that treats TMJ disorder could be used to correct the strain behind bruxism, and also place a barrier between the upper and lower sets of teeth to prevent further damage. If you have any questions about treating issues like TMJ disorder and bruxism, then contact our team today. We want to help you enjoy a healthy, strong, and comfortable smile that you’re proud to show the world.


We want to help relieve the discomfort caused by issues like TMD and bruxism. We also have solutions for other common oral health issues, including tooth decay and gum disease. To learn more about our custom treatment options, then schedule an appointment with the Potach and Mitchell Dental Clinic, contact our Austin, MN dental office today by calling 507-437-6312. Our office welcomes patients from Austin, MN and surrounding communities.