Cracking jaw: causes, symptoms, treatments

cracking jaw

Your jaw is cracking and it worries you? Know that you are not the only one to suffer from this. Painful on a daily basis, this problem affects thousands of French people.

A cracking jaw is also the result of joint dysfunction causing more distressing long-term effects. So why does the jaw make noises? What are the consequences of this phenomenon? Why do the cervical spines become so painful? What treatments exist? Our teams are looking into an anomaly in this special file.

Jaw clicks – origins


There are many causes for a cracking jaw. Among them, we note


Bruxism is a term used to describe teeth grinding. This teeth grinding occurs especially at night and causes strong tension in the jaw muscles. Eventually, this tension can easily cause teeth to chatter.

We distinguish two types of bruxism.

Eccentric bruxism:

This is a sideways clenching of the teeth. It is frequent, not very problematic and occurs mainly at night.

Focused bruxism:

More restrictive than its sidekick, it is characterized by a vertical clenching of the teeth. Leading to greater suffering, this type of bruxism also appears during the day. It is caused by feeling strong emotions such as anger.

SADAM Syndrome

Jaw cracking may be due to the syndrome SADAM (algo-dysfunctional syndrome of the masticatory apparatus). It is a painful dysfunction (“algo-“) affecting all the muscles, bones, ligaments and joints that allow us to eat (“manducator”).

This anomaly causes discomfort in the mandibular apparatus which is characterized by clicking, cracking or crackling jaws.

According to studies, 8% of French people suffer from SADAM.

Less common, stress and rheumatoid arthritis are also disorders causing cracking in the maxilla and mandible.

Cracking jaw: what symptoms on the rest of the body?

Jaw clicking is a phenomenon that affects the rest of your body. And for good reason ! The mouth is considered as a postural pivot. In other words, a dental imbalance can cause pain or disorders in all areas of the human body.

This is why a cracking jaw can very well be accompanied by pain in the neck. It is also not uncommon to experience hearing or eye problems (ringing in the ears, dizziness, blurred vision or redness in the eyes).

How to treat a cracking jaw?

A cracking jaw is first and foremost a mouth that needs to rest. The first thing is to reduce all movements that exert pressure on the masticatory apparatus. The slightest yawn or chewing certain foods can be painful.

As we mentioned earlier, the causes of crackling are multiple.

In order to treat this disorder, it is essential to consult a health professional. The dentist assesses the condition of your teeth, the seriousness of your problem and indicates the treatment best suited to your needs.

If you also suffer from neck pain, turn to an osteopath.

Complementary and transversal treatments are part of a holistic approach; more effective than simple symptomatic treatment.

Your jaw clicking gets worse with stress. In this case, it is essential to identify relaxation techniques to relieve muscle tension.

Bite guard

In the context of bruxism, the practitioner recommends wearing occlusal gutters. Called an occlusal release splint, this device frees up a space between the two rows of teeth to avoid any contact.

The prosthetic device becomes a real ally in relieving joint tension. By creating a small gap, the system stretches the muscles, reduces grinding and wears down tooth enamel.

Orthodontic treatment

If the practitioner advises orthodontic treatment, do not worry. This is the best solution in order to resorb the malocclusion at the origin of the perceptible cracks in the jaw.

The treatment aims to reposition the teeth, realigning them in a sustainable way.

In recent years, orthodontics has opted for a revolutionary shift by updating light and invisible devices. This is particularly the case with Invisalign gutters. Increasingly popular with teenagers and adults, these transparent aligners combine aesthetics and efficiency.


A jaw that resounds with the sound of cracking puts everyone on alert. Before giving in to panic, it is important to rest the masticatory apparatus and contact a healthcare professional. The latter assesses the problems, identifies the causes and indicates the appropriate treatment. Depending on the severity and origin of the disorder, orthodontic treatment may be implemented. It is advisable to act quickly, because the jaw being considered one of the pillars of the body, the pain extends to other parts, affecting the back, legs or neck.

Back to top