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Teeth Click When Pushed With Tongue: What Are Its Reason?

Many people feel like their teeth click when pushed by the tongue. It seems that there is some kind of slight movement in teeth during swallowing, talking or some other action involving tongue movement. This situation can occur in any tooth, but in most of the cases it occurs in two upper front teeth or in jaws.

So, why do  teeth click when pushed with tongue?

Teeth clicking or popping  occurs due to various reason. It may be due to some kind of gums disorders or infection, heretical diseases that affect teeth physiology, and due to some kind of arthropathy that damages dental joints like TMJ disorder. It can also be caused by our hygienic activities.

All reasons, symptoms, and treatment of teeth click are described below. So, keep reading!

Table of Content

Reasons of Teeth Click When Pushed With Tongue

Teeth clicking can be caused by many factors, including;

Gum Disease

Gum infection known as periodontitis that is caused by bacterial attack in the mouth results in destruction of soft tissue of gums. During the damage to soft tissues of gums, bones holding the teeth are also influenced by the bacteria due to its growth in mouth.

As tissues and bones holding the teeth become weaken, it results in loosing of grip of gums on teeth. Eventually, a popping or clicking sound is heard. It may also result in loosening of teeth if left untreated.

This infection occurs due to unhygienic dental conditions caused by unhealthy food or an inefficient brushing routine. 

Symptoms of Gum Disease

Symptoms of gum disease include:

  • Swollen gums
  • Sensitivity in teeth when something cold or heat enters in mouth
  • Pain during mastication
  • Gums turn reddish
  • Pus in gums
  • Bleeding during brushing of teeth
  • Loss of teeth
  • Foul smell when breaths
  • Gums feel as soft and puffy when touched
  • Spacing may develop in between the teeth

                                                                                   From Shutterstock                                                                    

Treatment of Gum Disease

By preventing growth of bacteria in the mouth, periodontitis can be cured. The different treatment  that can be used to get relief from periodontitis include;

  • Taking proper care of oral hygienic conditions by using antibiotics and brushing twice a day. By flossing at least once in 24 hours.
  • Avoidance of smoking and drinking habits.
  • Professional therapy that may include polishing of teeth, treatment with fluoride, removal of all kind of plaque formed in between the teeth, and it may also include a complete removal of teeth from it roots in order to clean any type of deposits in gums by using anesthesia.
  • Antibiotics and antimicrobial medication can be recommended to cure this malfunction.
  • In chronic situations, surgery is the only left option to get rid of sick gums. 


Teeth grinding also known as bruxism may also result in destruction of gum’s tissue and damage to bones that result in teeth losing their grip. At the end, vibration like movement and clicking sound  is observed in teeth.

Most of the cases are caused by heretic and physiological factors. Mental and physical health also have some effect on bruxism to occur as stress, anxiety, anger can result in teeth grinding.

Symptoms of Bruxism

Symptoms of bruxism include:

  • Grinding and clenching of teeth
  • Pain in jaws
  • Flattened or chipped teeth
  • Teeth and gum sensitivity
  • Sleep disruption due to grinding sound that may be loud enough to be heard by the other person.
  • Difficulty in opening and closing of mouth             
  • Earache 
  • Damaged tooth covering or worn teeth enamel, exposing the inner and sensitive layers of teeth outside.

                                                                                    From Shutterstock

Treatment of Bruxism

Bruxism can be treated by:

  • Using the mouthpiece (a mechanical device that avoid enforced pressure on teeth) during bedtime.
  • Taking some antidepressants and muscle relaxing drugs before sleep.
  • Cosmetic dental treatment in which dental structure of mouth undergo reshaping.
  • Avoiding caffeinated drinks and alcohol.
  • Using neurotoxin injection, but this injection is used in severe conditions when all treatments fail.

TMJ Disorder

In temporomandibular joint disorder, a joint connecting the mandible to the skull becomes dysfunctional. It also affects the muscles that control jaw

movements, including the mastication movement of the jaws, needed to chew food. 

The jaw is made up of actually two bones, including mandible and maxilla bone. The lower jaw is connected to the skull through the mandible (at the top of temporomandibular joint) and a disc. 

This disc is made up of fibrocartilage, is present between the skull and lower jaw to reduce the friction during any kind of movement that involve jaw mobility.

In TMJ disorder, this disc become slipped from its original position and some other tissues come in between the joint connecting the jaw and skull that cause hindrance in movement of mandible.

In order to open the mouth properly, condyle(a prominent rounded end of the bone, most commonly it is a part of the joint) slides over the back end of the disc and produces a clicking or popping sound. 

Similarly, in order to close the mouth, the condyle slides back out of the disc and again a clicking or a popping sound can be heard.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

Symptoms of TMJ disorder include:

  • Pain in jaw muscles that can lock your jaws, causing hindrance in opening and closing of mouth.
  • Earache
  • Irritation during mastication and chewing of food.
  • Jaw muscle spasms.
  • Headache
  • Jaw becomes soft and tender 
  • Dizziness
  • Swollen gums
  • Toothache

                                                                   From Shutterstock                                                                         


Treatment of TMJ Disorder

Sometimes, TMJ disorder recovers itself but if complications persist then various remedies can be used to get rid of it. These treatments include;

  • Usage of mouth guards(a mechanical device that prevent enforced pressure on teeth).
  • Exercise that help in relaxing and stretching of jaw muscles.
  • Medications such as usage of  antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs, anti-depressants, pain relievers and muscle relaxants.
  • Neurotoxin injections can be given in severe conditions.
  • Various types of surgeries can be done. Arthrocentesis, a dental surgery in which tiny needles are used at the joint area and the fluid is injected at that area in order to remove all debris deposited there due to swelling.

TMJ arthroscopy is another type of minor surgery in which an arthroscope in inserted into joint capsule by removing only some thick cartilage and some upper layers of tissues and then other small instruments are used by the surgeons for surgery.

This surgery is at much less risk to cause complication as compare to open surgery.

Dental Physiology Impairment 

Dental physiology varies widely in different people. People having limited space in their mouth for teeth accommodation are at more risk that they may  get problems like teeth clicking.

Sometimes, teeth become displaced, just because mouth doesn’t have Proper space for proper orientation of teeth. This impairment may result in the sensation of clicking or popping sound in teeth.

If any tooth is missing in our dental structure, then it may prevent the proper positioning of other teeth, including upper and lower jaws. 

The improper settling of jaws can also be a cause of clicking of teeth when pushed by the tongue.

Symptoms of Dental Physiological Impairment:

Any disturbance in dental physiology may be due to some heretical reasons or due to some injury that affects mouth joints badly. Its symptoms in

  • Pain in jaws
  • Swollen gums
  • Earache
  • Headache
  • Teeth ache
  • Jaw muscle spasms

Treatment of Dental Physiological Impairment

The remedies or therapeutics used for the treatment of TMJ disorder can be used easily to get cure of dental physiological disorders. As Physiological impairments are diverse, so any exact remedy can’t be predicted.

Unhygienic Chewing Habits 

Most of the people have developed unhygienic chewing habits. For example, eating hard food like pomegranate or corn continuously results in displacement of our teeth from their original positions.

Furthermore, Some people have habits of biting on pencils, chalks, nails and many other objects like this. 

These habits result in displacement of joints of jaws and also weakens the strength of bones holding the teeth. As a result, teeth click when pushed by the tongue.

                                                                                   From Shutterstock


Avoiding all these bad eating habits that can prove worse for our dental structure will help us to stay away from this clicking sound of teeth.


The most common factor that can cause teeth clicking is age. As we grow up, our bones become weak, the same thing happens with the bones holding our teeth. 

Gums also lose their strength and grip on teeth. With growing age, our joints lose their mobility, the same thing happens with temporomandibular joints. All these factors collectively become a cause of teeth clicking.

                                                                      From Shutterstock

Drug Usage

All types of drugs have their benefits as well as their side effects. Medicines we use, quietly destroy our teeth by weakening their strength. 

Many antidepressants and anti-inflammatory drugs that we use, badly affect the strength of teeth. These drugs remove the protective covering of teeth and exclude inner layers at the surface that increases the sensitivity of teeth. In addition, medicines that we use in our daily routine contain alcohol to some extent, so it makes our teeth clicking or popping.

By avoiding the overuse of drugs or any other kind of medicine, we can prevent ourselves from teeth clicking.


Do I need to worry if I hear clicking or popping sounds in my teeth?

Answer: Actually, no need to get worry about it. Some common and minute complications can cause the teeth clicking. But it can be cured easily.

If you experience some unusual pain or anything else that makes you feel weird, you should seek medical attention.

How long does it take for teeth clicking to heal?

Answer: You may recover within three to four days if no serious complications occur. Minor complications may take two to three weeks to resolve. Major complications may require one month or more to resolve.

Can I stop my teeth clicking at home without any medical treatment?

Answer: Sometimes, the clicking or popping of teeth ends on its own within 3 or 4 days. No need of medication in these cases. However, it may cause serious complications like bleeding. Dental care is necessary in this situation.


Teeth clicking or popping when pushed by the tongue, is due to different physical, physiological and heretical factors. 
The activities in our daily lives have a strong impact on oral hygiene, and if left unchecked, the condition may become worse. All we need, is just to take proper care of oral cleansing and to avoid bad eating habits.

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