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Disc Reduction Strategies for Jaw popping

Updated: Mar 14

Follow these instructions to decrease jaw popping and pain in jaw, A device called temporomandibular tubing is used with this strategy.

  1. Open jaw wide, move jaw left or right, or jut jaw forward in order to get the disc to pop in to place. Do not close the jaw or move jaw back to midline after the disc has popped in to place. (If you can’t get disc to pop, see directions for the non-reducing jaw).

  2. Begin to slowly close on to the largest tube. If you start to feel the disc move out of place, stop moving jaw immediately and wait for feeling to dissipate. Continue to slowly close on to tubing. You may have to use your fingers to stop even the littlest movement to occur so the disc does not force its way back out of place. (you can make sure the disc did not slide out by reopening your jaw. If popping occurs then you closed too much too fast. If popping did not occur disc is still in place close on to tube again and continue to step 3)

  3. Wait 4 minutes

  4. Take out large tube and slowly close on to medium tubing and wait 4 minutes (may recheck to see if disc popped out by reopening again)

  5. Take out medium tube and slowly close on to small tubing and wait 4 minutes (may recheck to see if disc popped out by reopening again)

  6. Move bottom part of jaw away from the side that pops most, place small tubing between teeth opposite to side that pops most and VERY SLOWLY move bottom jaw back towards midline and past midline. Stop if you feel disc start to pop out and wait for feeling to dissipate before moving again.


  • This takes many days of practice to fix completely, but the disc should be popping out of place closer and closer to the closed position each day. One day you will close your mouth completely and open again and have it not pop. From here, it will stay fixed or you may have to continue and get it to stay in place longer and longer.

  • Feel free to modify wait times, the longer you keep the disc popped in place and at range just before it does pop back out, the better. You are stretching muscles and tissues that attach to the disc that may have been tight for a long time.

  • If you are unable to get the disc to reduce further towards the close position, you may have adhesions that can be fixed with an arthrocentesis procedure done by a trained oral surgeon. The more acute the issue, the better the odds are for a successful outcome. After the procedure, continue with disc reduction exercises to see if area is better lubricated and disc is less adhered.

  • This youtube video shows the anatomy and pathogenesis of this dysfunction: Temporomandubular joint (TMJ) and disc displacement animation by alila medical.

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