Popping jaw

I have never had jaw problems til 6 wks ago. I became sick with fever and my ears both turned red and swelled. I had red splotches on my face. My left ear finally developed some water blisters on the outside.

I first went to the emergency room for treatment as it was Memorial Day weekend. He said that I had the Shingles; Tues. of that wk went to regular Dr. he was not sure it was the shingles as it had progressed from my right side to the left side.

Day four of being sick I started having some pain when opening my mouth; It then progressed to severe pain and some popping when I tried to eat only soft foods. It improved for a wk after doing some tmj exercises.

I then had my regular dental cleaning and ckup; now I have the constant popping that appears to be in the joint. Have no headaches or other type symptoms. Through all of this I have ear infections in both ear.

As the popping is right side only that ear still seems to have fluid behind the ear drum. They have not diagnosed what I had for sure; but as I stated it was only during the illness with fever and chills that this started.

Would love to hear from you and what you think.


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Popping Jaw
by: Dr. Spainhower

Hello Shirley,

I cannot give you a better diagnosis than your physician. However, I can give you some things to evaluate about your jaw popping.

Think about your jaw popping in two ways...
#1 Reversible
#2 Irresversible

Your popping could be reversible if the popping hasn't been occuring for more than a month or two.

This is difficult to know however.

Most often when people notice their jaw popping and clicking, it is during times of stress that makes the popping harder and more noticeable.

So, in reality, the disc has been popping or slipping in and out of place since their teenage years.

People are functioning day to day and their disc in the TMJ is slipping and they don't know it.

So, how can you quickly evaluate that?

If your teeth fit together "normally" when you close your teeth together now, then most likely your disc in the TMJ has been slipping in and out since your teen years.

If your bite feels off or won't close together normally, then this might be an acute or "new" case of a slipping disc.

If this is a new case, then you might be able to stop the popping and clicking. But it won't return to normal if is has been clicking more than two months or so.

If that is the case, you need to wear an appropriate night guard Now to stop it immediately. Or, it will slip out pop forever.

You can see your TMJ dentist for a night guard, or purchase one from this site. I would purchase the Double Arch, the SmartGaurd, or TMJ Appliance.

If your teeth fit together normally now, then your popping and clicking will gradually reduce as your sickness goes away. And the night guard may not be needed, and you'll return back to your normal situation.

Hope this helps, you can email me at TMJSpainhower at Gmail dot com.


Dr. Spainhower

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