1836 Broadway Street, Paducah, KY 42001



By Dr. Charles Bohle
March 31, 2015
Category: Oral Health

Jaw Popping And Chewing

jaw poppingIt is not unusual for a patient to comment that they have a "popping jaw".  They often state that it is non-painful and doesn't bother them but their family members complain about the noise at meals.  What a nice way to ruin a family meal with the constant sound of your jaw popping while eating mom's meatloaf.  Pop, pop, pop.  You don't really care because it does not hurt but it can be really annoying to those around you.

Approximately 50% of the US population can make their jaw pop.  If it is non-painful then I usually don't worry to much about it.  But when it pops for every meal and loud enough to disturb those at the table, something needs to change.

It is then that I ask the million dollar question, "do you chew gum"?  About 90% of the time, the answer is yes and usuallly it is everyday.  In fact, this person can be profiled to be a female 25-35 years old who walked into the office chewing their gum.  They don't hurt now but when they get into their 50's the pain is almost always present.

If you chew gum everyday, then you are giving you jaw joint and chewing muscles and extra workout.  Eventually, those sytems can breakdown and become painful.  It is the cartilege disc and surronding tissues that will cause the pain.  I know that is true for my knees.  When I was younger I did highly stressful knee activity and didn't really have any  problems with my knees.  That is not true today.  The stess from my youthful activities are causing me pain now.  It is the same with you jaw joint and muscles.  You just flat wear them out.

I do approve of chewing sugarless gum after meals but only for about 5 minutes to change the pH of your mouth.  So if you are a jaw popper and a gum chewer, then give the gum chewing a rest.  It will pay big dividends in the future.

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