Blog

  • Mahesh

Jaw Ache: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment


Causes

A variety of things could cause TMJ problems. It could be one or more of the following factors:

  • A history of clenching

  • A history of grinding teeth

  • Stress

  • Trauma

  • Arthritis

  • Auto-Immune Disease

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of TMJ disorders may include:

  • Pain or tenderness of your jaw

  • Pain in one or both of the temporomandibular joints (highlighted on the image)

  • Earache and headache

  • Difficulty chewing or pain while chewing

  • Locked jaw, making it difficult to open or close your mouth

  • Clicking sounds when opening/closing

  • Waking up with jaw discomfort (common when grinding/clenching in your sleep)

Treatment

There are a variety of treatments available to help ease signs and symptoms of TMJ problems, depending on what the cause could be.

  • Exercises - your dentist may recommend you start with some simple jaw exercises to help ease pain. This is a simple and non-invasive way to potentially help. Your dentist could also recommend a number of relaxation techniques.

  • Bite guard - your dentist may recommend a bite guard to wear at night or whenever you've noticed you clench/grind the most. This puts a protective barrier to prevent damage to teeth and in some cases helps break the habit of clenching and grinding.

  • Splint - a splint would be made from a hard acrylic and is used to help re-programme the mouth, hence putting less pressure on your TMJ.

  • Botox - Botox is a muscle relaxant. It would help relax the muscles around your TMJ reducing clenching/grinding.

  • In some rare cases surgical intervention may be the only option.