HomeAnswersDentistrytemperomandibular joint disorderI have jaw pain with popping and locking. Is it a TMJ problem?

Can jaw pain with popping and locking indicate TMJ problem?


The following is an actual conversation between an iCliniq user and a doctor that has been reviewed and published as a Premium Q&A.

Medically reviewed by

iCliniq medical review team

Published At April 11, 2017
Reviewed AtDecember 26, 2018

Patient's Query

Hello doctor,

I am an 18-year-old female and for about nine months I have had severe jaw pain and it hurts when I chew and sometimes it pops and locks into place. My parents brought it up to my dentist about two months after it started but without looking at my jaw or even asking me about it they said it is growing pain and they will not worry about it unless I still have it when I am little older but I am also getting way more headaches than I used to and sometimes the pain is so severe it makes me cry. Sometimes, it is getting way worse to the point where I suddenly have to stop talking sometimes because my jaw locks in place. Please help.


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I have read through your complaint and the relevant details. Lock jaw, clicking sound are one of the classic symptoms of TMJ disorders. TMJ stands for temperomandibular joint which is the joint that moves the mandible up, down and sideways. If there is a lack of cushion effect, the mandible head slides through the other bone surface giving this kind of sounds and pain. It cannot be a growing thing. If this continues, it might lead to loss of bone in the joint or even fracture at some point. Addressing at an early stage can be of massive help. You should be given a custom fabricated mouth guard to be worn daily specially during night times. This mouth guard is a flexible one which can be used easily by yourself and maintained clean. This is the initial treatment approach in such a scenario. You will definitely see a huge difference in 3 to 6 months. I request you to visit the dentist again and stress in your complaint so that the right treatment approach is given to you.

Investigations to be done

TMJ X-ray.

Treatment plan

Mouth guard fabrication.

Preventive measures

1.Avoid chewing in one side. 2.Also, avoid biting hard food.

Regarding follow up

Same symptoms don't mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Dr. Geethanjali. S. S
Dr. Geethanjali. S. S


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