Jaw Popping

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TMJ Free Smile

Jaw Popping is only one way to describe it. I had one patient call it a.....Klunk Klunk. Anyway, whether you call it Clicking Jaw, clicking joints or Jaw Popping, it means that the Meniscus (Disc) in the Temporomandibular Joint is out of place.

Now, it's not the end of the world in most cases, but it is very annoying to many. Most people aren't even aware that they have a dislocating disc in their TMJ's.

It can cause problems however...sometimes it will cause Lock Jaw, pain, or just annoying sounds when it pops in and out.

What usually happens is...when the muscles that work the TMJ get tired, overworked, and fatigued (with or without pain), the muscles don't pull the disc in the correct position. That "out of place" position usually is forward and mesial, Whew...mesial might be a new term for you...it means more towards the middle of the head, or more inside than a certain location.

Anyway, the disc usually gets stuck forward and a bit inside of where it should be located when you close your mouth or teeth together.

So, When you open your mouth, your jaw muscles pull the disc forward with the mandible, with the disc on top of the Condyle as a cushioner or pad that pads the bony Condyle from the bony Bony Emminence it rubs against.

So, then you don't have a "bone on bone" situation. So now your mouth is open wide with the disc in place, then when you close your mouth, the disc will slip out of place (from between the bony's) and stay in front of the Condyle instead of on top.

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Now your mouth is closed and the disc is out of place. So, if you want the disc back in place, just walk around in life with your mouth wide open....mmmmm, that just reminded me of Jim Carey. OK, i'm kidding about walking around with your mouth open wide.

The Jaw Popping is the sound or thumping that you feel when it goes in and out of place.

SmartGuard Night Guard

If the clicking does not hurt, and does not cause any real life altering problems, it may be best to just leave it alone. You're gonna get lots of opinions about this one...whether or not to treat. I'll need a bunch more space to explain this one. Try to visit Simple TMJ Treatment page.

Dr Spainhower,

I have been using the Smartguard for a month now and I am so pleased. I have tried so many guards and this is the first that has worked for me. I did experience tmj, headaches, ringing in ears, vertigo, neck pain and nausea throughout my days but not now. I strongly suggest this Smartguard for anyone who grinds or clenches. Who would have ever thought that this odd looking guard would have given me back my normal life?

Thank you so much,

Shannon B.

I have been wearing my new TMJ SmartGuard for about one month now and I definitely have to say that it beats my other, custom-made, mouth guard hands down. The first noticeable difference I experienced with the SmartGuard was that it immediately felt more comfortable in my mouth. This is because the SmartGuard is smaller and less cumbersome than my custom-made guard. I didn’t expect a self-molded guard to fit as well as one modeled by a dentist but in fact it fit very well and has not fallen out of my mouth once since I started wearing it.

Michelle Roycroft

Another thing that I prefer about SmartGuard’s design is that his guard prevents my back teeth from touching at ALL, which my other custom-guard does not, so with the Smartguard I am prevented not only from grinding the enamel off my teeth but also from clenching my jaw at the back which I believe is the reason I no longer have any jaw or joint pain. It’s great to wake up in the morning feeling less tension in my face and to be experiencing fewer headaches as a result!

I’m surprised and pleased that someone has created such an affordable alternative to the custom-made guard.

Michelle R.

Before wearing the SmartGuard, I would wake up in the middle of the night with a headache; during the day I had to apply warm corn bags to my jaw and often had to take IBprofen to ease the pain. I went to a TMJ specialist and was told I needed to wear 2 appliances, 1 for day and 1 for night, for 3-6 months, braces for an overbite and more appliances for the rest of my life. Total cost $,8000 to $10,000. No mention of exercises or physical therapy.

The first night wearing the night guard I didn’t have any more headaches. After 2 nights my jaw didn’t ache during the day between meals. Today I am working on incorporating exercises into my daily routine. Thank you Dr. Spainhower for caring about those of us who suffer everyday with TMJ.


Donna Brudjar


Yes the main purpose is to reduce tmj symptoms and protect my teeth.

I just got the guard 2 days ago and I already feel better.

The only thing Im struggling with is my bottom front teeth get sore and I get pools of saliva running out of my mouth. but I have a feeling once I get used to it this will improve. I used to have the NTI mouthguard. I kept chewing thru it and had to modify it all the time.



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