A member asked:

My jaw sounds cracky in the morn if i clinch and stops if im clinching too hard until the next morn. should i be worried? can this deform my jaw?

5 doctors weighed in across 4 answers
Dr. Paul Williams answered

Specializes in Family Medicine

Cracky jaw: Sounds like you might be developing TMJ syndrome on that one side. The jaw is a sliding hinge type of joint - with a small layer of cartilage in the joint - we think this starts to wear causing the sounds and later pain. It won't deform the jaw but can lead to pain later. Try to avoid the clinching activity.

Answered 6/10/2014

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Dr. James Bates answered

Specializes in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Jaw joint noises: Jaw joint noises are very common and seen in at least 25% of the normal population. If there is no pain or limited function of the jaw, the noises by themselves are generally of no concern. However, if there is pain or limited oral opening, it may indicate a form of arthritis. The "cracky" noise you hear may be crepitus, a grating or grinding noise that commonly accompanies arthritis of the joint.

Answered 1/26/2017

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Dr. David Chrisman answered

Specializes in Dentistry - Cosmetic

TMJ : Many times this is a jaw disc displacement problem with jaw joint noises. You might be having to displace the joint in the morning to get your teeth back together. So you wake with disc in a more normal position. If you get headaches and have limited opening after biting hard you may get rid of the noise but be putting the jaw in a displaced position. See a TMJ dentist to get it diagnosed.

Answered 6/10/2014

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Dr. Louis Gallia answered

Specializes in Surgery - Oral & Maxillofacial

Be worried: Clenching and a cracking jaw are a bad combination. I would recommend seeing a TMJ specialist for advice.

Answered 3/18/2015

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