Relieve Your Jaw Pain
The jaw joints and groups of muscles that let us chew, swallow, speak, and yawn are known as Temporomandibular Joints. When there is a problem with how the joints and muscles work, you may have a temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD.
The symptoms of TMDs are:
- tender or sore jaw muscles. Your jaw may be even more painful when you wake up, clench your teeth, chew your food, or yawn.
- problems opening or closing your mouth. It may be hard to open or close your jaws all the way, or your jaws may lock open or closed.
- headaches that you cannot explain. You may also feel pain in your neck. These may be caused by TMD, or by other problems. Tell your dentist AND your doctor.
- a clicking or grinding noise when you chew or yawn. You may hear strange noises in your jaw joints, such as clicking or popping when you open your mouth, or crunching and grinding sounds when you chew.
Cause and Effect
The cause of TMD is not always clear. Below are some common triggers:
- clenching and grinding your teeth. Clenching your jaw muscles can cause them to ache. Some people grind their teeth or clench their jaw muscles when they are under stress.
- injury to your face or jaws. Broken (or fractured) jaws, a jaw joint that has been knocked out of place (or dislocated) and “whiplash” may cause TMD.
- some diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, may affect the jaw joints and muscles.
- if your jaw does not close properly, your teeth may not line up properly. This can make it hard to bite and chew, and may lead to TMD.
- sleep apnea.
Other problems that MAY lead to TMD are:
- worn, loose, or missing teeth
- gum problems
- partial or full dentures that are not the right fit
- habits such as biting on your pen or pencil
We encourage you to call our office today to schedule your consultation or to discuss your questions regarding head and jaw pain with Dr. Blair 905.815.8888.