Jaw squeaking is a problem that many people experience, but few actually understand. When it comes to this issue, there are a lot of questions and not a lot of answers. In this article, we will discuss the causes and possible solutions for jaw squeaking, allowing you to better understand and address the problem.

What Causes Jaw Squeaking?

Jaw squeaking can be caused by a variety of problems. Some of the most common causes of jaw squeaking include temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, arthritis, and bruxism. TMJ disorders are characterized by pain and stiffness in the jaw accompanied by jaw clicking, popping, or grinding. Arthritis can cause inflammation in the joints, which can lead to squeaking or grinding. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, can also cause jaw squeaking, and it is often associated with stress and anxiety.

How is Jaw Squeaking Diagnosed?

The first step in diagnosing jaw squeaking is to have a thorough medical history and physical examination. Your healthcare provider will ask you about your medical history, including any previous injuries or surgeries, any medications you are taking, and any other symptoms you may be experiencing. During the physical examination, your healthcare provider will look for any signs of inflammation or swelling in the jaw and will usually perform a gentle manipulation of the jaw to see if there are any signs of clicking, popping, or grinding.

If your healthcare provider determines that you may have a TMJ disorder, he or she may order imaging tests, such as X-rays, to further evaluate the structure of the joints. For arthritis-related jaw squeaking, blood tests may be ordered to look for signs of inflammation in the body. If bruxism is suspected, your healthcare provider may recommend a sleep study or a dental examination to further evaluate the condition.

Treatments for Jaw Squeaking

The treatment for jaw squeaking will depend on the specific cause of the problem. For TMJ-related jaw squeaking, the most common treatments include pain-relieving medications, such as over-the-counter pain relievers and prescription-strength nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Your healthcare provider may also recommend physical therapy or, in some cases, surgery to improve the function of the jaw joints.

For arthritis-related jaw squeaking, treatment will focus on reducing inflammation and controlling pain. This may include medications, such as NSAIDs, as well as physical therapy and other arthritis treatments. If severe arthritis is present, your healthcare provider may recommend surgery to replace the affected joint.

For bruxism-related jaw squeaking, treatment will focus on reducing stress and anxiety. This may include stress-reducing techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or mindfulness meditation. Your healthcare provider may also recommend a nightguard to prevent grinding while you sleep and, in some cases, muscle relaxants to help reduce the severity of grinding.

Preventing Jaw Squeaking

Preventing jaw squeaking will depend on the specific cause of the problem. If you have a history of TMJ disorders, it is important to avoid activities that may worsen the condition, such as gum chewing or frequent yawning. If arthritis is the cause of the problem, it is important to maintain a healthy weight and eat a well-balanced diet to help reduce inflammation. Stress management techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or yoga, can also help to prevent bruxism-related jaw squeaking.


Jaw squeaking can be a frustrating problem, but there are many effective treatments available. By understanding the various causes and treatments for jaw squeaking, you can take steps to prevent the problem from getting worse and enjoy a healthy, pain-free smile. If you are experiencing jaw squeaking, be sure to speak with your healthcare provider to determine the best course of action for your specific situation.