Braces making jaws pop

jaw-popWearing an orthodontic appliance will shift your teeth form a position that they are in to a position that is more desirable. Your bite may be the problem, or it can be the way the teeth stick out, perhaps spacing is an issue, or you have a bit of crowding or a bit of gap. While these problems are fixed, your teeth and mouth will go through a series of changes and intermediary conditions, in which the teeth may be more uncomfortable, or appear more messed up than before. If this is the case, do not worry, it’s just transitional, and your teeth will look really good at the end of the treatment.

Snap, crackle, and pop

While the teeth are moved through the alveolus - which is the hard ridge of solid, porous bone that lies just below your gum line that your teeth are anchored in - there are likely to be some sounds that are not pleasant at all. One of the most common things people ask about is the popping, crackling and other noises that occur. During activation sessions, the symphony of bone and ligament can become pretty nuts, to the point where some people switch their dentist if they hear too many of the sounds that the internal structures just underneath the flesh like to make, only to have the next dentist produce the same sounds when tightening the brackets. These sounds are natural, and are part of the treatment, even if they are very scary sometimes.


With the jaw, since there is more material in your mouth now, you may find that biting down and chewing takes more effort, is harder to do, and may even cause some problems at first. One such problem is that your jaw may pop or crackle when you bite down. It may even hurt to bite for a while, and your TMJ may be sore or downright painful. This is only temporary, you should feel less and less pain as time goes on. After three days, the pain should be decreasing not increasing. If there is an increase in pain something may be wrong, so do see your orthodontist to make sure all is well. But 99% of the time you are fine, it is just that there is a crazy piece of technology in your mouth making it difficult to close properly.

Telltale signs that this is just part of the treatment include an inability to properly close your mouth, drooling, or dry mouth from too much exposure to oxygen. This is an unfortunate but required stage that will pass, and you will be able to close your mouth normally just as before.

Patience is the key to orthodontic treatment, as well as showing up to your adjustment appointments!

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