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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Why is my jaw clicking and crunching?

    Whenever I open my mouth wide my jaw on the right side clicks and crunches.

    Is there any reason for this?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 31


    Jeremy Barbouttis

    Counsellor, Hypnotherapist, Psychotherapist, Sex Therapist

    Jeremy is an expert in Hypnotherapy, Psychotherapy, Sex Therapy, Relationships & Addictions. Jeremy is a Clinical Supervisor with the Australian Hypnotherapists Association.Specialisations: Stop Smoking Hypnosis, … View Profile

    You may be grinding or clenching your teeth in your sleep. A dentist would be able to confirm this. 

    I am a Hypnotherapist, and you might wonder why a Hypnotherapist would reply to this question. 

    The reason is because I assist people with Bruxism, (clenching and grinding of teeth) all the time. The clicking and the jaw crunches may be a symptom of bruxism. Nearly everyone I help speak of similar symptoms.

    Dentists do have their approaches to helping, such as wearing a splint.

    Some people see a physiotherapist and try to get assistance there as well.

    I would recommend you consult a dentist initially, as they can tell from wear and tear on your teeth if you are grinding.

    You can decide how you wish to resolve it from there.

  • 37


    Kerry Read


    Headline Physiotherapy for the Head Neck and Jaw deals specifically with TMJ Facial Pain Headache Migraine and other musculoskeletal issues involving the cranial area. All … View Profile

    There are 2 main causes of jaw noises.

    1.Clicking is usually heard when the small disc of cartilage in the jaw joint is out of alignment.
    2.Crunching or grinding can also come from a disc problem but may also be a sign of wear and tear within the jaw bones. You can get wear and tear type arthritis in your jaw joint, just like your knee, hip, hands etc.

    Jeremy's suggestion to see your dentist to determine the state of your jaw joints is spot on.
    Grinding your teeth may or may not be an issue for you, as it's only one potential cause of jaw joint problems.

  • 8


    Tom Winwood

    HealthShare Member

    I have number 2 what do i do about this??

  • 1




    Principal Dentist at Darlinghurst Dental, a high quality, affordable practice located in the heart of Darlinghurst. A high emphasis on customer service and impeccable cross … View Profile

    Clicking in the jaw joint is very common. It happens to about 1 in 5 people. It is a result of a slipped disc in the joint. As others have mentioned it can be a symptom of bruxism. It can also be a result of trauma or just irregular bone shape (morphology).

    If it is new, it would be advisable to see a dentist for assessment to check if you are grinding your teeth. If so, a splint can help to control symptoms and protect from damage. A splint is a bite guard you wear in your sleep. Some people clench and grind daytime, in which case, changing habits is the key factor. Some do both.

    Other symptoms of bruxism include headaches, neck/shoulder pain/tension, jaw muscle tension, difficulty opening, difficulty closing or locking of the jaw. The risk factors for grinding include stress, difficulty sleeping, breathing difficulties and malocclusion (bad bite).

    If the clicking has been happening all your life, with no other symptoms and no damage due to bruxism, it is likely due to a past trauma you simply have forgotten. Assuming it never gets worse, no treatment may be needed. You should avoid very hard chewy things like toffees or minties (teeth killers). Excessive chewing gum is also bad for the joint.

    Sometimes surgical treatment is needed in severe cases, but as the jaw joint is the most complex in the body, with milder symptoms, it is best managed more conservatively.


    Dr Frank Farrelly

    Darlinghurst Dental, 30 Burton St, Darlinghurst, NSW 2010

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