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Do You Have an Ear Infection Or Is It Really TMJ? | Ear Pain Relief

At least once a day, someone comes into our offices complaining of ear pain. Most of our patients think that they have an ear infection based on assumption (the pain is coming from the ear region after all!) or becuase their primary care physician indicated as such. Some patients are indeed diagnosed with ear infections but it may come as a surprise that most ear pain has nothing wrong with the ears.

The most common cause of ear pain in an adult is the temporo-mandibular joint or TMJ. The temporo-mandibular joint is located extremely close to the ear canal and middle ear. The muscles that surround the temporo-mandibular joint and the fascia and ligaments that hold the bones in place are intricately connected with the ear and the nerve that supports the ear. Frequently the pain (in one ear or both) has persisted for several weeks and may even come and go. Very often, hearing hasn’t been affected but there will be a stuffy or clogged feeling in the ear. Ear pain is often worse at night or in the morning. Some patients even tell us that their ear pain is worse when they chew or yawn.

Most people with TMJ disorder have some kind of predisposing factor. The most common factor is that the molar teeth do not fit together that well (called a mild malocclusion). When the teeth do not fit together perfectly, biting can cause stress at the jaw joint because an abnormal or uneven force is being applied to one or both of the joint spaces. Very often, people with TMJ have what doctors call bruxism which means that they either clench or grind their teeth. Tooth clenchers tend to clench during the day when they are concentrating or thinking hard about something. The tooth grinders tend to do it at night while they are sleeping. This is a completely involuntary behavior which is mildly stress-related. Ear pain can also be caused by a dental procedure such as root canal or gum cleaning. During these procedures, the temporo-mandibular joint has been stressed because the mouth was held open for a long period of time. There may be some muscle or ligament strain that starts it. Interestingly, many people with this problem will also experience tinnitus or ringing in their affected ear. We do not really understand why the tinnitus is more active during times of temporo-mandibular joint stress; however, because it is a higher brain function, it may be that problems with the ear simply bring the brain’s attention to this part of the body and tinnitus results. The good news is that after the temporo-mandibular joint disorder is treated, the tinnitus and ear pain will resolve.

The conservative treatment for ear pain caused by temporo-mandibular joint disorder is very simple. First, we recommend a soft diet which means no heavy chewing of foods such as raw fruits and vegetables, hard-crusted bread or tough meat. We recommend soft foods such as noodles, scrambled eggs, well-cooked meat and vegetables to reduce the strain on the jaw joint during eating. Of course, we recommend no chewing of gum or other recreational chewing. We recommend the application of warm packs a couple of times a day to help relax some of the musculature in that area. We also recommend prescription-strength anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen around-the-clock for about a week to reduce the inflammation in that area. These measures should help resolve the TMJ flare. Also helpful is the use of a mouthguard or bite plate, especially during sleep. Mouthguards relieve stress from the joint and our TMJ patients have reported instant relief after use. Mouthguards are available over-the-counter and are quite affordable. There are custom bite plates as well that your dentist can make for you which are much more expensive but also more clinically effective.

TMJ can cause other problems in the head and neck, as well. Often, people who clench at night will awake with aches across their cheeks or in the lower jaw. Inflammation of the fascia surrounding the jaw joint can also cause pain that radiates from the ear area up into the temporal muscle in the temple and/or into the neck muscles. Sometimes, people will even think that they have a sinus infection because of the combination of facial pressure and ear pain that they experience.

Other common causes of ear pain are swimmer’s ear or excessive wax impaction which are disorders of the ear canal. Also, less common in adults is otitis media which is an infection of the middle ear. This is the same kind of ear infection that babies and young children often get.

Causes, remedies, and when to see a doctor

Pain in the ear and jaw can range from a mild ache to intense pain. Numerous conditions can cause ear and jaw pain, including infections, injuries, and joint problems.

In this article, we discuss the most common causes of ear and jaw pain. We also suggest home remedies to try before seeing a doctor and explain the medical treatment options.

Numerous conditions can cause ear and jaw pain.

It can be difficult for a doctor to diagnose the cause based on these symptoms alone, so they will take into account risk factors and recent history. For example, a person who has not been to the dentist in many years and has a history of tooth pain may have a cavity.

The following are some common causes of ear and jaw pain:

TMJ dysfunction

Problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) can cause a wide range of symptoms, including, most prominently, ear and jaw pain. Some people also get headaches, eye pain, and even sinus pressure. Several conditions and factors can cause TMJ pain, including:

  • grinding the teeth
  • problems with the alignment of the jaw or teeth
  • muscle injuries
  • arthritis

Although TMJ can be painful, home treatment often helps manage or even eliminate symptoms.

Sternocleidomastoid pain

The sternocleidomastoid is a thick muscle that extends from just under the ear down to the collarbone. Injuries to this muscle can cause jaw and ear pain, as well as sinus pain, eye pressure, and other symptoms that a person might mistake for signs of a cold or infection.

When a person has these symptoms but has no injuries and no other signs of infection — such as a fever or runny nose — an injury to the sternocleidomastoid may be the culprit. A doctor can rule out other causes, such as infections of the middle or inner ear, by carrying out a physical examination.

Oral infections

A tooth abscess can sometimes cause pain that radiates to the ear or jaw.

In most cases, a person will also have swelling in the gums or tender spots in and around the teeth. Sometimes, the pain in the teeth disappears and then reappears as pain in the ear or jaw, which may signal that the infection is spreading.

Ear infections

An ear infection can cause intense pain in, around, or behind the ear. Sometimes, this pain radiates to the jaw, sinuses, or teeth.

In most cases, viruses or bacteria cause ear infections. Ear infections can also happen when water or other fluids build up in the ear.

A person with an ear infection may have other symptoms, such as fever, congestion, and low energy. The pain of an ear infection can be intense and may get rapidly worse without treatment.

Untreated ear infections can spread to other parts of the body. Some people develop an infection called mastoiditis, which is an infection in the mastoid bone near the ear. When this happens, a person may experience swelling close to the ear, hearing problems, or a high fever. Severe cases of mastitis can be life threatening and require immediate treatment.

Jaw injuries

An injury, such as a broken jaw or a strain or sprain in the surrounding muscles, could cause jaw pain that radiates to the ear. If a person notices ear and jaw pain shortly after a fall, a car accident, or a blow to the head, they may have a jaw injury that needs medical treatment.

Tooth grinding

Grinding the teeth at night places stress on the muscles of the face, neck, and jaw. The tension can cause pain in the jaw, in the ears, and on the front or side of the face. Some people may also damage their teeth, slowly grinding them down or even breaking them.

Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders can cause ear pain, tinnitus, and hearing loss in some people. The TMJ is located next to your ear and connects your skull to the lower jaw. Because of its location, issues with the TMJ may lead you to experience symptoms involving your jaw as well as surrounding areas, including your ears.

GARO / PHANIE / Getty Images

If you have symptoms of a TMJ disorder and think your hearing loss is related, check with your doctor. TMJ disorder is a relatively common condition and affects people of all ages, with about one-third of adults experiencing symptoms.


If you have symptoms of TMJ disorder-related hearing loss, they may include:

  • Muffled/decreased hearing
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Ear pain
  • Feeling of fullness in the ear
  • Clicking or popping sounds when you move your jaw

You’ll probably have other symptoms as well, including jaw pain, headaches, difficulty chewing, facial pain, dizziness, and pain or stiffness in the neck or shoulders. 

Your level of hearing loss may depend on the severity of your TMJ disorder. One study found that those who had the most symptoms, including jaw stiffness, were more likely to experience hearing problems.


Since the TMJ is located next to the middle ear, a disorder in the jaw can affect your hearing. While the exact reason isn’t clear, it’s thought that pressure or inflammation from the TMJ can affect nerves and muscles in the area, leading to blocked eustachian tubes.

Tinnitus or difficulty hearing can result because the eustachian tubes cannot properly drain fluid from the middle ear.


Your doctor or dentist may suspect a TMJ disorder if you have symptoms of hearing loss, ear fullness, and tinnitus, but don’t have any signs of an ear infection or other ear-related condition.

Doctors and dentists can usually diagnose TMJ disorder based on a physical examination as well as your medical history. Your physician will examine your jaw to check for any stiffness, pain, and sounds like popping or clicking.

They may gently press on the side of your face while you open and close your jaw. They’ll note how wide you can open your mouth comfortably, with the normal range being at least 4 centimeters.

Panoramic X-rays may be taken to confirm the diagnosis. These let the doctor or dentist look at the TMJ as well as the jaws and teeth to make sure that there aren’t any other issues causing your symptoms.


Treatment for a TMJ disorder can help you restore your hearing loss and relieve ear-related symptoms. Treatment may vary depending on the cause of the disorder. You may be advised to use a mouth guard, or splint, to help allow your jaw muscles to relax and recover.

Physical therapy may be recommended to help strengthen the muscles around your jaw. You might also be prescribed medications, such as pain relievers or muscle relaxants. In rare cases, your doctor may suggest seeing an oral and maxillofacial surgeon to repair any damage to the TMJ. 

A Word From Verywell

It’s natural for anyone, including a healthcare provider, to first think of issues related to the ears themselves when hearing problems occur. As such, it might take time for you and your doctor to recognize that a TMJ disorder is to blame for your hearing loss.

Thankfully, once it’s diagnosed, it is treatable. Talk to your doctor if you have questions about whether a TMJ disorder could be affecting your hearing, especially if you are experiencing any of the other symptoms mentioned here.

Association between Ear Fullness, Earache, and Temporomandibular Joint Disorders in the Elderly

Int Arch Otorhinolaryngol. 2014 Oct; 18(4): 383–386.

Julya Macedo

1Department of Fonoaudiologia, Faculdade Global de Umuarama, Umuarama, Brazil

Marcelo Doi

2Department of Health Sciences, Universidade Norte do Paraná (UNOPAR), Londrina, Brazil

Paula Vanessa Oltramari-Navarro

3Department of Odontologia, Universidade Norte do Paraná (UNOPAR), Londrina, Brazil

Vanessa Gorres

4Department of Fonoaudiologia, Universidade Norte do Paraná (UNOPAR), Londrina, Brazil

Marina Stephany Mendes

4Department of Fonoaudiologia, Universidade Norte do Paraná (UNOPAR), Londrina, Brazil

Izabele Machado Silva

4Department of Fonoaudiologia, Universidade Norte do Paraná (UNOPAR), Londrina, Brazil

Ricardo Navarro

3Department of Odontologia, Universidade Norte do Paraná (UNOPAR), Londrina, Brazil

Luciana Lozza Marchiori

1Department of Fonoaudiologia, Faculdade Global de Umuarama, Umuarama, Brazil

1Department of Fonoaudiologia, Faculdade Global de Umuarama, Umuarama, Brazil

2Department of Health Sciences, Universidade Norte do Paraná (UNOPAR), Londrina, Brazil

3Department of Odontologia, Universidade Norte do Paraná (UNOPAR), Londrina, Brazil

4Department of Fonoaudiologia, Universidade Norte do Paraná (UNOPAR), Londrina, Brazil

Address for correspondence Marcelo Doi, MSc Department of Health Sciences, Universidade Norte do Paraná (UNOPAR), Rua João Huss 405 ap 603, Londrina 86050490, Brazil, moc. [email protected]

Received 2014 Mar 19; Accepted 2014 Jun 7.


Introduction An earache (otalgia or ear pain) is pain in one or both ears that may last a short or long time. Earache is prevalent in the population with temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJDs), but there is a dearth of epidemiologic studies regarding the association between TMJD and ear pain and ear fullness in older people.

Objective To assess the presence of earache and ear fullness in elderly patients with TMJD.

Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted in independently living, elderly individuals. TMJD was assessed by dental evaluation and earache was verified by medical history. Statistical analysis was performed using the chi-square test and relative risk.

Results Of the 197 subjects evaluated in this part of the study, 22 had earache, and 35 was verified by ear fullness. Of the 22 subjects with earache, none had conductive or mixed hearing loss in the ears tested. There was a significant association (p = 0.036) between the TMJD and earache (odds ratio = 2.3), but there was no significant association between the TMJD and ear fullness.

Conclusion These results highlight the importance of identifying risk factors for earache that can be modified through specific interventions, which is essential in the prevention of future episodes, as well as managing the process of treatment of elderly patients in general.

Keywords: earache, elderly, temporomandibular joint disorders


Aging is a slow and progressive deterioration of bodily functions; an individual’s age increases, functional deficiencies become more evident.1

An earache (otalgia or ear pain) is pain in one or both ears that may last a short or long time and is said to be common, although specific incidence and prevalence are not known. It has several potential causes. Earache is generally separated into two types. Primary earache arises from ear pathology, the most common of which is otitis media, but which also includes external otitis (often referred to as “swimmer’s ear”) and Eustachian tube dysfunction. Less commonly, primary otalgia may be attributed to primary neoplasms and benign tumors. However, up to 50% of earache cases are classified as secondary earache, which involves referred pain from other areas, including chronic infection that spreads to other tissues such as the skull base; dental abnormalities; sinus, pharyngeal, or salivary gland infections; temporal arthritis; or cervical or temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJD). It has also been reported to arise from disorders of the cervical spine. It is not clear how frequently ear pain involves musculoskeletal dysfunction that may be amenable to manual therapy; however, in authors’ experience, a variety of problems in the musculoskeletal system can cause or contribute to ear pain. Very little information about this can be found in the literature. 2

TMJD involves structural and functional alterations of the stomatognathic system, which are characterized by pain in the temporomandibular joints (TMJ), masticatory muscles, limitations in jaw movements, noises in the TMJ, functional difficulties, and otologic symptoms.3

Lam et al4 agree with the characteristics of TMJD proposed by Felício et al.3 that the signs and symptoms of TMJD can manifest in areas of the face and neck and temporal, occipital, and frontal areas of the head and auricular areas. In the adult population, 40 to 75% present signs of TMJD and at least 5% have symptoms.4

Costen stated the hypothesis that the otologic symptoms could be caused by changes of the TMJ.5 Over the years this statement came to be supported by others.3456

The risk of otologic symptoms such as ear pain, vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss is considered greater in patients with pain on palpation of the TMJ and masticatory and cervical muscles, as well as pain during mouth opening. 78 Thus, this study aimed to verify the association between ear fullness, earache, and TMJD in the elderly.


The study sample consisted of 197 physically independent elderly (mean age: 68.89 ± 5.68 years) subjects of both sexes (123 women and 74 men), from a population of 43,610 elderly enrolled in 38 Basic Health Units (UBS). The selection of individuals was randomly defined, taking into account gender and the five regions of the county, as follows: 15% of the central region, 27% in the northern region, 23% in the southern region, 19% of eastern region, and 16% in the western region. It records individuals older than 60 years, of both sexes, living independently, rated at levels 3 and 4 of Functional Status Spirduso,9 who agreed to participate voluntarily in the study.

The data were only collected after the volunteers were informed the objectives of the study and signed the informed consent before any clinical procedure.

As criteria for inclusion in the study, the elderly had natural teeth or prostheses, with a functional occlusion. Individuals who were toothless and not duly rehabilitated by prostheses were excluded from the study. In addition, patients participated in the anamnesis of the audiological evaluation. Experienced examiners performed all reviews of this research.

The diagnostic evaluation of earache complaint consisted of audiological anamnesis, and information on medical history and general information were obtained. The verification of mixed or conductive hearing loss was made by pure tone audiometry. A routine audiological anamnesis used was applied in the current study. The anamnesis is based on the protocol for anamnesis by Miller,10 which consists of otoscopy, to examine the external acoustic meatus and the tympanic membrane, and pure tone audiometry, considered the gold standard to evaluate the auditory threshold in adults, at the frequencies 250 to 8,000 kHz with presentation of pure tones, initially using 30-dB hearing loss at 1,000 Hz. The result was noted in a record form of pure tone audiometry used in the routine care of that sector and subsequently entered to the database in the program WinAudio (WinAudio, Curitiba, Brazil) to be stored and printed for the patient.

A self-reported questionnaire about comorbidities was also applied, which included questions about age, gender, tinnitus, and medical history.

The classification used for the determination of hearing loss considered individuals without hearing loss as those with triton average up to 25 dB, and individuals with hearing loss as those with triton average above 26 dB.11

The evaluation of the presence of painful symptoms in the TMJ started with the explanation to the patients of the difference between pressure and discomfort, to obtain reliable answers. This test was performed with bilateral palpation, with the index fingers placed 10 to 20 mm ahead of the external auditory canal. The lateral aspect of the TMJ was palpated with the patient’s mouth closed, and the posterior aspect was palpated with the patient’s mouth opened. These regions were pressed continuously and delicately, with a force of ∼450 to 900 g, according to Austin and Pertes.12 For muscular palpation, patients received the same orientation regarding the difference between pain and discomfort. The palpation of the masticatory muscles involved anterior, medial, and posterior temporal and origin, body, and insertion of superficial and deep masseter, which were bilaterally palpated, with a constant pressure of 1,500 g.13 The presence of pain was checked through the eyelid reflex and/or by questioning patients. Cervical muscles (posterior digastrics muscle, sternocleidomastoid, and superior trapeziums) were palpated by clipping one’s fingers like pincers on both sides.

The presence of joint noises based on right and left TMJ inspection was also evaluated. This evaluation was performed by placing the pointer fingers lightly upon the region corresponding to the lateral pole of the condyle, facing the external acoustic meatus, while the patient open and closed the mandibles.14

The study sample consisted of 197 physically independent elderly of both genders, and 123 women with a mean age of 68.16 years (minimum: 60, maximum: 84; standard deviation [SD] = 5.415), and 74 men, mean age 70.11 years (minimum: 60, maximum: 85; SD = 5.939).

Statistical analysis was performed by chi-square tests and odds ratio to determine possible correlations between earache and TMJD. In the univariate analyses, p < 0.01 was considered significant, and p < 0.05 was considered significant for the inclusion in the final model for the chi-square test and the relative risk value, with 95% confidence.


From the 197 subjects of the study, 196 were verified with ear fullness. From the 196 subjects evaluated in this part of the study, 35 had ear fullness and 22 had earache and none of them presented conductive or mixed hearing loss in the ears tested.

This study showed that there is a significant association between TMJD and otalgia () and no significant association between TMJD and ear fullness ().

Table 1

Full distribution of the number of patients with TMJD and earache

TMJD Earache complaint Total
Yes No
n % n %
Yes 13 4.6 112 56.9 121
No 9 6.6 63 31.9 76
Total 22 11.2 175 88.8 197

Table 2

Full distribution of the number of patients with TMJD and ear fullness

TMJD Ear fullness Total
Yes No
n % n %
Yes 22 11.2 99 50.5 121
No 13 6.7 62 31.6 75
Total 35 17.9 161 82.1 196


TMJD is a set of conditions that affect the masticatory muscles and joints and exhibiting pain as its main feature. Historically, symptoms have been attributed to dental-related mechanisms or structural abnormalities, but with considerable controversy and little solid evidence.15

D’Antonio et al stated that the symptoms often associated with TMJD are headache, tinnitus, ear pain, TMJ noise perception, and balance disorders and problems of malocclusion and painful palpation of temporomandibular structures.16 In some movements, the mandibular condyle ends exerting pressure on auricular nerve, close to the capsule of the TMJ, working to trigger the painful process within the temporal region. According to these authors, the jaw and the ossicles of the middle ear have the same embryologic origin, explaining why various malformations of the middle ear are associated with mandibular changes. Furthermore, the anatomy and biomechanics of the TMJ are closely related structures and aural functions .From these studies, it appears that several distinct mechanisms and other comorbidities may be present in the pathophysiology of otologic symptoms in general and, more specifically, the otalgia in relation to TMJD, causing their interaction.

Hearing and vestibular alterations such as hearing loss, vertigo, tinnitus, earache and other auditory symptoms found in this elderly population are commonly reported by patients with temporomandibular dysfunction.17181920

The objective of a study was to investigate the association of otology symptoms with otologic findings and the others TMJD signs and symptoms. The 27 patients with temporomandibular symptoms answered a questionnaire that included questions about signs and symptoms of TMJD, and these subjects were submitted to otorhinolaryngologic and audiologic examination. The data obtained were analyzed through binomial test, Fisher exact test, and Pearson correlation, with p < 0.05 considered significant. Otologic symptoms were presented in 88.88% of the patients (59.26% presented otalgia). The results provide additional support for the notion that a relationship between temporomandibular disorder and otologic symptoms does exist. But more studies are needed to elucidate the involved mechanisms.20

The significant association (chi-square = 4.398, p = 0.036) between the TMD (temporomandibular disorder) and earache in this study population highlights the importance of identifying risk factors for ear pain that can be modified through specific interventions. The results of this study will be a basis for health care professionals involved with both symptoms of earache and TMJD. Marchiori et al found in a study with the same population of elderly that 27.14% of the elderly population with vertigo complaints had TMJD.8

Clinical characteristics might be associated with TMJD because they are antecedent risk factors that increase the likelihood of a healthy person developing the condition or because they represent signs or symptoms of either subclinical or overt TMJD. In baseline case–control study of multisite orofacial pain, 1,633 controls and 185 cases with chronic, painful TMJD completed questionnaires and received clinical examinations. Odds ratios measuring association between each clinical factor and TMJD were computed, with adjustment for study site as well as age, sex, and race/ethnicity. Compared with controls, subjects with TMJD reported more trauma, greater parafunction, more headaches and other pain disorders, more functional limitation in using the jaw, more nonpain symptoms in the facial area, more TMJ noises and jaw locking, more neural or sensory medical conditions, and worse overall medical status. They also exhibited on examination reduced jaw mobility, more joint noises, and a greater number of painful masticatory, cervical, and body muscles upon palpation.15

Earache complaint may have a variety of causes. One of these can be musculoskeletal disorders involving the cervical spine, TMJ, and its related muscles and ear, which may be amenable to manual therapy and exercise. It may be advantageous for otolaryngologists and primary care physicians to have at their disposal clinicians who are skilled at the examination and manual treatment of cervical spine and the musculoskeletal system in general, who can provide input regarding the possible involvement of these tissues.2

The results of the present study have shown that 40.9% of the elderly population with earache complaints has TMJD. According to all studies cited in this research, there was an association between TMJD and TMJ palpation, masticatory muscles, and cervical muscles and between TMJD with earache. The significant association between TMJD and earache in the studied population demonstrated the importance of identifying risk factors for earache complaints that can be modified through specific interventions.


This research demonstrated a significant association between TMJD and earache complaints but there was no a significant association between the TMJD and ear fullness. This significant association in the studied population demonstrated the importance of identifying risk factors for earache that can be modified through specific interventions.


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Is It All in Your Head? | TMJ Disorder (updated 3/15/2019)

Have you suffered from ailments that leave your healthcare team scratching their heads? 

Do you find that nothing seems to relieve the symptoms? 

Have you gone from specialist to specialist looking for answers?   

Have you been told it’s all in your head?

It might be in your head…but not in the way you think. It might be in your jaw, in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), to be precise.

A Small Joint with a Big Function (updated 3/15/2019)

Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is unique and amazingly complex. Positioned on either side of your face next to your ears, this two-in-one joint connects your lower jaw to your skull.  Working with several supporting muscles, your TMJ makes a wide range of activities possible, from talking and yawning to chewing and swallowing. Your TMJ moves your jaw backward and forward, up and down, and side-to-side. With so much force riding on two tiny joints the size of marbles, it is not surprising that TMJ dysfunction can wreak havoc. 

What Causes TMJ Disorders?

 There are several causes for TMJ dysfunction, including:

  • Dental issues, including bite misalignment

  • Joint alignment issues or muscle strain

  • Injury to the head or neck

  • Degenerative conditions

  • Chronic Stress or Tension

How it’s All in Your Head

TMJ dysfunction, also referred to as TMD (temporomandibular disorder), can cause a number of strange and painful symptoms that might be overlooked. The bones of the upper spine near the skull can become misaligned quite easily. The body tries to compensate for this imbalance, but even a small alignment problem can put tremendous pressure on nerves and tissues.  Disorders like TMD can result.

Here are 5 ways your TMJ might be trying to get your attention:

1. Headaches

Headaches are the most common symptoms associated with TMJ pain. Roughly 80 percent of people with TMJ problems report suffering from headaches. The TMJ could be to blame if your headaches tend to recur, if they are not alleviated by typical headache treatments, and if they do not respond in the long term to over-the-counter or prescription medicines.  It is possible BOTH TMJ pain and Headaches are effects of a misalignment between the head and neck.

2. Dizziness and Vertigo

Dizziness is the feeling of near-fainting: things may seem fuzzy, dark, and out of focus, and you may feel that you’ve lost consciousness for a moment. Vertigo is the sensation of standing on the heaving deck of a ship. Dizziness and vertigo may appear separately or together in people with TMJ dysfunction.

3. Ear Pain, Fullness, and/or Ringing

The sensation of plugged ears or an earache can be frightening. Doctors often treat this mysterious ear pain with antibiotics or steroids; many sufferers believe allergies are to blame.   Ear pain or fullness and tinnitus (ringing in the ears) can be caused by nerve irritation from TMJ disorders.  It can also be caused by changes at the base of the skull, or by disfunction in the muscles of the neck.

4. Head, Neck, and/or Shoulder Pain

TMJ issues sometimes manifest as pain in the face, neck, or shoulders. Some sufferers have chronic sinus pain with no signs of infection. Others have episodes of eye pain and pressure, unexplained tooth sensitivity, or mysterious neck and shoulder pain or stiffness. Many nerves in these areas come from the brain stem. When the nerves are irritated by misaligned bones near the skull, they may cause significant pain.

5. Cognitive Difficulties

People with TMJ pain do not simply have jaw pain; they live in chronic pain. Chronic pain can cause trouble with thinking, memory, and even depression or anxiety. If your jaw, neck, and skull are not properly aligned, the blood flow and fluid movement between your head and body slows down. It can cause “brain fog,” a state of mental confusion and difficulty focusing. TMJ syndrome patients were found to score poorly on cognitive tests and used different regions of the brain than normal to complete tasks. 

TMJ and Ear Pain – Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

One of the leading symptoms of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders is ear pain. In fact, it is one of the more commonly reported symptoms. Your temporomandibular joint is connected to many of the muscles found in the maxillofacial region and as a result, a problem with your TMJ can cause pain across your face. Fortunately, experts like Dr. Katherine Phillips can provide TMJ disorder treatment, thus providing lasting relief.

What is TMJ?

The TMJ are the joints that connect your jaw to your skull on each side of your head just below your ears. Acting as a sliding hinge, moving side to side, up and down, and back and forth, they enable you to chew, talk, yawn, and more. Due to overuse, when injured, or when certain medical conditions affect your TMJ, TMD-related inflammation, pain, and swelling can wreak havoc on your quality of life. The pain and discomfort of TMD is not surprising when you consider how often you use these complex joints.

Symptoms of Ear Pain from TMJ?

The maxillofacial region, which includes the TMJs, is immensely complex and closely interconnected. Just think about the many different facial expressions you can make and the many ways you can move your jaw and mouth. The intricate system of muscles, joints, and other tissues of the maxillofacial region make all this possible. You can click here to learn about the
basics of your TMJ and how it functions.

This intricacy also means TMJ disorders (TMD) can cause pain and other complications across the face. Since your ears are located less than a half an inch from your TMJs, this includes ear pain.

Symptoms of ear pain from TMJ Ear pain might be a dull, ongoing irritation or it could be a sharp, searing pain. The pain may worsen with jaw movement, although not always. Inflammation and swelling due to TMD can spread to the ear causing ear pain. Additionally, straining the muscles connected to the TMJ can result in ear pain as well as tension headaches and pain behind the eyes.

By addressing the TMJ disorder, you may be able to address pain in your ears and elsewhere. If your ear pain is the result of a TMJ disorder, treatments that target only the ear, or ear infections, may be ineffective.

Causes of Ear Pain

Inflammation in the TMJ

As with any joint in your body, when the TMJ is overused, injured, or are afflicted with a chronic condition such as osteoarthritis, it and the muscles around it can become inflamed. Generally speaking, inflammation is the body’s immune system’s response to an irritant. Although the inflammation originates in the TMJ, it can spread to tissues and muscles surrounding the area, including the ear.

Swelling in the TMJ

Swelling and inflammation usually go hand-in-hand, and blood flow to an affected area increases with inflammation. This can result in a buildup of fluid not only inside the TMJ, but in surrounding tissues. This buildup causes swelling, signified by an increase in the size or a change in the shape of the affected area.

Overuse putting pressure on the TMJ

The TMJ is one of the hardest-working joints in your body. You use it to talk, eat and drink, yawn, and even when you open your mouth to breathe or sigh. Overuse and subtle muscle spasms caused by teeth grinding (bruxism) and clenching, and repetitive actions such as chewing gum, puts extra pressure on the TMJ. This may result in inflammation and swelling. Pain and tenderness in the TMJ due to overuse can radiate to surrounding tissues, including the ears.


Being under stress can cause you to clench and/or grind your teeth which puts extra strain and pressure on your TMJs. These actions can cause  stress-induced TMJ disorder.

Presence of osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the TMJ

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of degenerative arthritis. It can affect every joint in the body, including the TMJ. Osteoarthritis of the TMJ affects both the hard and soft tissues around the TMJ, changing the shape and functioning of the jaw.

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic,  autoimmune disease. It attacks the lining of the TMJ causing it to become inflamed and damaging the joint tissue.

Ear Infection Or TMJ Related Ear Pain?

To properly diagnose whether your ear pain is the result of an infection or TMJ disorder-related, you should consult a medical professional. However, be aware there are some important differences between the two types of pain.

TMJ-related ear pain is most often felt in front of or below the ear. With ear infections, the pain is often inside the ear. If the pain sharpens when you move your mouth, this may also indicate a TMJ disorder is resulting in ear pain. Also, check for the TMJ disorder symptoms below, or see our TMJ disorder symptoms page.

Often, it’s best to first rule out ear infections. A quick visual inspection is usually enough to diagnose these infections. With TMJ disorders, the most effective way to diagnose a problem is with a Cone Beam CT Scan, which produces a 3-D image of your jaw joint, combined with a physical examination of a doctor experienced in orofacial pain and TMD.

Other Symptoms of TMD

While many people rightly associate jaw pain with TMJ disorders (TMD), the nature of the temporomandibular joint means pain can turn up elsewhere, including the ears. In fact, ear pain is one of the most common symptoms of TMD. Likewise, the most common cause of ear pain in adults is TMD, not ear infection. 

Other symptoms of TMD include:

  • Jaw pain
  • Headaches
  • Clicking or Popping sounds when moving the jaw
  • Locked jaw or limited range of motion
  • Ear fullness
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Pain behind the eyes
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Other orofacial pain

Treatment for Ear Pain Associated with TMJ

Fortunately, it is possible to both diagnose and treat TMJ disorders. It’s important to seek professional help if you are suffering from a TMD as the disorders are easy to misdiagnose and mistreat. Further, each TMD will require its own treatment plan. While cases may be similar, they are never identical. Let’s look at some of the more effective types of treatments.

Home Exercises and Stretches for TMJ

There are a variety of home exercises and stretches that you can perform to strengthen your jaw and the connecting muscles. Over time, this could provide pain relief. One of the simple things you can do to relieve TMJ pain is practice holding your lips together while keeping your teeth separated. In this position, the TMJ isn’t engaged. Stretching exercises such as those below also help with pain relief.

  • Close your mouth. With your head facing straight ahead, glance to the right with your eyes only. Extend your lower jaw to the left and hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat on the opposite side.
  • With your shoulders back, chest up, and jaw relaxed, pull your chin straight back, creating a “double chin.” Hold for three seconds and repeat 10 times.
  • Touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth, then slowly open and close your mouth.
  • Slowly open your mouth as wide as you comfortably can while holding your tongue in a neutral position. Hold in place for 5 to 10 seconds. Close your mouth then open it again slightly. Gently glide your jaw back and forth five to 10 times.

Additionally, you can gently massage your TMJ and the surrounding muscles. A hot or cold compress can provide immediate relief. And if you’re eating hard, crunchy foods, it’s time to change your diet. Opt for softer, easier to chew foods that won’t strain your joints and muscles.

If you want to massage your TMJ or use strength-building exercises, it’s smart to talk to a professional. He or she will be able to teach you how to perform these exercises appropriately.

When To See A Medical Professional

Seek attention from a TMJ medical expert such as Dr. Katherine Phillips if you have persistent pain or tenderness in your jaw, which may be accompanied by ear pain and other
symptoms. Untreated or undertreated TMD can lead to a host of long-term issues, including blocked
eustachian tubes and possibly hearing loss.  Your TMJ specialist can discuss possible causes and treatments for your problem

Working With A Professional

TMJ disorders can be extremely complex. The symptoms are often diverse and vary from case-to-case. So too does the underlying cause. A treatment plan that addresses the TMD in one patient won’t necessarily treat the pain in another patient.

If you are suffering from ear aches and exhibiting TMD symptoms, you should consider working with a professional. He or she may be able to:

  • Provide physical therapy
  • Teach you how to perform strength-building exercises
  • Prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants
  • Build custom bite orthotics to realign the jaw and reduce stress on the jaw joint complex.

In some cases, surgery may be required or other treatment plans will have to be devised. Lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, may also help. A TMJ disorder specialist can work with you to develop an effective treatment plan that will resolve your disorder and provide pain relief.

How Doctors Diagnose Ear / TMJ Related Jaw Pain Issues

TMJ disorders are often difficult to diagnose because the symptoms can mimic those of other medical conditions. Due to this, many sufferers go undiagnosed or underdiagnosed for years until they see a TMJ expert.

TMJ dentists take a detailed medical and dental history, and examine problem areas. Signs of overuse, such as worn down and cracked teeth due to grinding, will also be evaluated. As previously mentioned, a quick visual inspection is usually enough to rule out an ear infection. Diagnostics usually include imaging, such as advanced 3-D Cone Beam CT imaging or digital X-rays. 

  • When seeing your TMJ dentist, keep in mind:
  • Recent dental surgeries. Lengthy dental work that requires your mouth to be open wide for extended periods of time can cause or aggravate TMD.
  • Illnesses. Other health problems that coexist with TMJ disorders, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, sleep disturbances, or fibromyalgia.
  • Injuries. Just like other joints in your body, the TMJ can be injured which may lead to TMD. 
  • Changes to your mental health, such as stress, anxiety, or depression. When you are anxious, depressed, or stressed out, you may unknowingly tense up, clench your jaw, and even grind and gnash your teeth at night (bruxism). This puts extra pressure on your hard-working TMJs, resulting in over-use which can lead to pain and tenderness in the area and the joint itself.
  • Your dentist will examine your jaw, looking for the following:
  • Listen to your jaw. Damaged cartilage tissue can cause a popping sound and clicking sounds  in the TMJ.
  • Feel your jaw and around your face. Swelling along your jaw and throughout your lower face is a symptom of TMD. It can occur on one or both sides.
  • Look in your ears. Checking inside the ears helps rule out an ear infection.
  • Examine your mouth.  Cracked and worn down teeth are signs of bruxism (teeth clenching and grinding), which can cause TMD due to overuse.

Answering Your Frequently Asked Questions

Can TMJ disorders cause ear fullness and/or pressure as well?

TMJ disorders can result in a sensation of pressure or fullness in the ear, as well as other conditions such as tinnitus (ringing in the ears). The causes may include nerve irritation and changes at the base of the skull, or dysfunction in the muscles of the neck associated with TMD.

Can TMJ issues affect your hearing?

TMJ disorders may affect your hearing. It’s thought that pressure or inflammation from the TMJ can affect nerves and muscles in the area, leading to blocked eustachian tubes. When fluid cannot properly drain from the middle ear, it may result in difficulty hearing.

Is my TMJ related ear pain permanent?

Ear pain due to TMD does not need to be permanent. Successfully treating the causes of TMD and effectively managing TMD flare-ups can reduce TMJ pain and inflammation. This can reduce or eliminate any associated pain in surrounding tissues, including the ear.

Can the TMJ cause swelling behind or under the ear?

TMJ pain that radiates to ear pain is most often felt in front of or below the ear instead of inside the ear. This is because the TMJ is located below and just in front of the ear.

Does clenching my jaw cause ear pain?

Jaw clenching puts pressure on the muscles, tissues, and other structures around your jaw, including the TMJ. Excess stress on the TMJ can cause TMD, resulting in inflammation and swelling which can affect areas surrounding the TMJ, including the ear.

Are You Experiencing Ear Pain?

Dr. Katherine Phillips is a leading TMJ disorder specialist. Over the last 13 years (as of the publication of this article), she has treated thousands of patients suffering from a TMD. Using her vast experience and education, Dr. Phillips can help you devise a treatment plan that will provide both immediate and long-lasting pain relief. Get in touch today!

Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD) | Johns Hopkins Medicine

What are the temporomandibular joints (TMJ)?

The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are the 2 joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull. More specifically, they are the joints that slide and rotate in front of each ear, and consist of the mandible (the lower jaw) and the temporal bone (the side and base of the skull). The TMJs are among the most complex joints in the body. These joints, along with several muscles, allow the mandible to move up and down, side to side, and forward and back. When the mandible and the joints are properly aligned, smooth muscle actions, such as chewing, talking, yawning, and swallowing, can take place. When these structures (muscles, ligaments, disk, jaw bone,  temporal bone) are not aligned, nor synchronized in movement, several problems may occur.

What is temporomandibular disorder (TMD)?

Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are disorders of the jaw muscles, temporomandibular joints, and the nerves associated with chronic facial pain. Any problem that prevents the complex system of muscles, bones, and joints from working together in harmony may result in temporomandibular disorder.

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research classifies TMD by the following:

  • Myofascial pain. This is the most common form of TMD. It results in discomfort or pain in the fascia (connective tissue covering the muscles) and muscles that control jaw, neck and shoulder function.

  • Internal derangement of the joint. This means a dislocated jaw or displaced disk, (cushion of cartilage between the head of the jaw bone and the skull),  or injury to the condyle (the rounded end of the jaw bone that articulates with the temporal skull bone).

  • Degenerative joint disease. This includes osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis in the jaw joint.

You can have one or more of these conditions at the same time.

What causes TMD?

In many cases, the actual cause of this disorder may not be clear. Sometimes the main cause is excessive strain on the jaw joints and the muscle group that controls chewing, swallowing, and speech. This strain may be a result of bruxism. This is the habitual, involuntary clenching or grinding of the teeth. But trauma to the jaw, the head, or the neck may cause TMD. Arthritis and displacement of the jaw joint disks can also cause TMD pain. In other cases, another painful medical condition such as fibromyalgia or irritable bowel syndrome may overlap with or worsen the pain of TMD. A recent study by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research identified clinical, psychological, sensory, genetic, and nervous system factors that may put a person at higher risk of developing chronic TMD.

What are the signs and symptoms of TMD?

The following are the most common signs and symptoms of TMD:

  • Jaw discomfort or soreness (often most prevalent in the morning or late afternoon)

  • Headaches

  • Pain spreading behind the eyes, in the face, shoulder, neck, and/or back

  • Earaches or ringing in the ears (not caused by an infection of the inner ear canal)

  • Clicking or popping of the jaw

  • Locking of the jaw

  • Limited mouth motions

  • Clenching or grinding of the teeth

  • Dizziness

  • Sensitivity of the teeth without the presence of an oral health disease

  • Numbness or tingling sensation in the fingers

  • A change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together

The symptoms of TMD may look like other conditions or medical problems. See a dentist or your doctor for a diagnosis.

What are the treatments for TMD?

Your healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment based on:

  • How old you are

  • Your overall health and medical history

  • How well you can handle specific medicines, procedures, or therapies

  • How long the condition is expected to last

  • Your opinion or preference

Treatment may include:

  • Resting the temporomandibular joint (TMJ)

  • Medicine or pain relievers

  • Relaxation techniques and stress management

  • Behavior changes (to reduce or stop teeth clenching)

  • Physical therapy

  • An orthopedic appliance or mouthguard worn in the mouth (to reduce teeth grinding)

  • Posture training

  • Diet changes (to rest the jaw muscles)

  • Ice and hot packs

  • Surgery

90,000 What is temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ): symptoms and treatment

This term refers to a disruption in the functioning of the joint connecting the upper and lower jaws. By its structure, it is one of the most complex joints: it provides movement of the lower jaw forward, backward and from side to side. Any problem that interferes with the normal functioning of this complex system of muscles, ligaments, cartilaginous discs and bones is called TMJ dysfunction. In case of dysfunction, the temporomandibular joint often clicks, and the jaw may even “jam” at some moments.In many cases, the exact cause of the problem cannot be determined.

What are the symptoms of TMJ dysfunction?
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction has many signs and symptoms, but it is often difficult for patients to understand that it is a malfunction of this joint, since all these symptoms can be associated with other problems. By examining the history, clinical examination, and x-rays, the dentist can make a more accurate diagnosis.

The most common symptoms of TMJ dysfunction include:

  • headaches (often similar to migraines), ear pain, discomfort and pressure behind the eyes;
  • 90,010 clicks when opening or closing the mouth;

  • pain that occurs when a person yawns, opens his mouth wide, or chews;
  • “jammed” or skewed jaw;
  • soreness of the muscles of the jaw;
  • sudden change in occlusion (closing of the teeth of the upper and lower jaw).

How is TMJ dysfunction treated?
Although there is no universal treatment for TMJ dysfunction, there are treatments that can significantly alleviate the severity of symptoms. Your dentist may recommend the following:

  • Try to relieve muscle cramps and pain with warm compresses, muscle relaxants, aspirin, over-the-counter pain relievers, or anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • If TMJ dysfunction is associated with bruxism (the habit of grinding teeth), use a special occlusal splint or night guard.Such a device is made individually, is put on the teeth and does not allow clenching them in a dream;
  • Learn relaxation techniques to control jaw muscle tension. The dentist may recommend that you attend an appropriate training session or see a psychologist to relieve stress;
  • for lesions of the temporomandibular joints and ineffectiveness of other methods of treatment, surgical intervention may be indicated.
Figure caption:
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction is a malfunction of the joint connecting the upper and lower jaws.

TMJ syndrome – MPD syndrome Pain dysfunction syndrome

Full range of articulation and occlusion testing tools

The very name “TMJ Syndrome” is an abbreviation commonly used in American dental terminology for Temporo-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrom. This syndrome is characteristic of a violation of the corresponding articular conjugation, the causes of which are within this articular articulation; this can be, for example, a shift, displacement or deformation of the articular cartilage (Discus Articularis), as well as degenerative changes in the cartilage tissue of the joint and / or the bone tissue of the joint.The TMJ syndrome can develop on the basis of very long-term loads of a non-physiological nature arising on this joint. The cause of TMJ syndrome can be, for example, the usual long-term incorrect (defective) bite of the teeth. Treatment of TMJ syndrome is a clearly difficult and painstaking task, and quite often the situation can be corrected only with the help of surgical intervention. The differentiation to be made between patients with true TMJ syndrome and those with normal pain syndrome requires preliminary and detailed research, but, however, is further complicated by the fact that both categories of patients suffer from similar pain symptoms.PDS or MPD Myofascial Pain-Dysfunction Syndrome), which in German is called Myofaziales Schmerz Dysfunktion Syndrom, is described by typical symptoms of pain sensations such as pain in the region of the joint itself, pain in the head , pain in the back of the head and shoulder.

Carrying out the therapeutic treatment of MPD syndrome is greatly simplified with the exact knowledge of the causes in each individual case. At the same time, a causal relationship has been unambiguously established, following which violations of the occlusion of the teeth, exceeding only 10-20 microns, can cause disturbances in chewing functions (Professor Meyer).Such patients with these functional disorders usually acquire a new habitual dentition, which differs from the position of the central occlusion (CR) (Fig. 1).

CR – Position

Fig. 1. The physiological working position of both condyles, in their highest and posterior position, not laterally displaced, results in close contact at the thinnest, central location of the stressed discs, with subsequent transmission to the Eminentia articularis.


Fig. 2. If the condyles are in the CR position, then all the teeth in the mouth should be in the position of evenly distributed occlusion or even dentition (CO position).

It has been repeatedly noted that in such patients, in the maximal inter-tubercular position (MC) (Fig. 2), there is sufficient occlusal contact. However, it should be noted and taken into account the fact that in such patients fascial abrasion is noted on the teeth, as well as lesions of the necks of the teeth, which are typical indicators of the corresponding functional disorders.

If the positions CO and CR coincide with each other (Fig. 3), then we are talking about some ideal case. As a rule, it happens that in practice we are dealing either with a protruding or elevated, or with a too low ground denture (low or low occlusion) (Fig. 4), ie. almost always there is some deviation from the usual position of the usual occlusion of the teeth (Fig. 5).

Fig. 3, 4, 5.

The practitioner knows from experience that every dental intervention in the dentition always necessitates the emergence of a new habitual bite.The initial premature contacts during closure may no longer be localized over the entire surface and affect other places. At this stage, increased loads begin to act on the temporomandibular joint, the desmodont, and the teeth themselves. If these symptoms are not detected and eliminated in a timely manner, then due to the changed contact of the teeth (Fig. 6), weakened and overstressed places on the tooth surface appear. In addition, due to incorrect occlusion of the teeth, both the temporomandibular joint and the neuromuscular system of the face are exposed to increased loads, stresses, which can lead to both compression of the discs and disturbances in the work of the muscles, which again leads to the appearance and intensification of pain …

Treatment of functional disorders of the patient should be carried out consistently and based on the correct diagnosis and the correct sequence of treatment procedures, which are closely related to each other (see: dental laboratory). A list of links and related instructions and tips for diagnosing such functional impairments can be found on the Bausch website. Nevertheless, two important procedural steps are critical for successful treatment: one is able to keep the occlusion under constant control, and the other is to control not the usual occlusion, but the CR position.For other methods, the registration of contact centers should also be carried out in the CR position.

There were multiple cases of oblique bite in patients due to the fact that they had incorrect closure of the teeth and, accordingly, malfunction of the temporomandibular joint occurred due to unfavorable occlusion in relation to the central position (CO – not equal to – CR). This deviation affects all further procedural steps of diagnosis and treatment. When registering the occlusion of the central part, it is often difficult, especially with the patient’s neuromuscular disorders, to establish the central position of the condyles of the joints.For rechecking the conditions of occlusion, the method of deprogramming the neuromuscular system is also rational. There are various techniques for the dental neuromuscular system to be deprogrammed, such as the use of two auxiliary cotton swabs for biting, small JIG-Splints or the so-called special hand Dawson-Griff bar. Especially effective are two such orthodontic appliances operating on a hydrostatic principle, the Aqualizer ™ and GELAX®.They are filled with either water or, respectively, with a hydrogel and have a temporary relaxing effect, simultaneously leveling all the interfering premature contacts of the teeth during bite.

Fig. 6

Fig. 7

  1. Headache
  2. Increased sensitivity to light
  3. Unpleasant sensations in the area of ​​the mandibular joint
  4. Ear pain, tinnitus, increased sensitivity to noise
  5. Tension in the occipital region
  6. Shoulder pain

Occlusion and possible effects of occlusal interference on patients

Occlusion (any contact between the teeth of the upper and lower jaw) is subject to constant change.Any therapy with the replacement of hard tooth tissues with artificial materials, tooth extraction (changing the position of the tooth), dental orthopedic treatment, as well as surgical interventions in the maxillofacial region are always accompanied by a change in occlusal relationships. Constant monitoring of the occlusal relationship and a clear understanding of all occlusion-dependent factors are the primary prerequisites for quality dental treatment.

A. Ossal tissue of the alveolar process
B. Maximum amplitude of tooth mobility in the desmodon about 20 μm
V. Bundles of collagen fibers in the desmodont serve as a buffer
G. Premature contact

The maximum tooth displacement in the desmodont (Fig. 9) under vertical loading is approximately 20 micrometers. During the final fixation of fixed dentures, the abutment teeth are displaced by approximately 20 micrometers towards the corresponding alveolar ridge.After the end of fixation and removal of the load, the teeth are displaced in the opposite direction, while returning to their original position. Even such a premature contact point, which is overestimated by only 15 microns, can significantly interfere with the patient. In order to avoid unpleasant sensations, the patient tries not to bite into the new bridge as much as possible and moves the lower jaw to a position that does not correspond to the physiological optimum. This new position becomes habitual, which leads to uneven activity of the masticatory muscles, which, in turn, can, over time, cause pathological changes in the temporomandibular joint, as well as muscle pain.Frequent headaches and bruxism can also be the consequences. With a long-standing pathological process, it is difficult to establish the primary cause of the disease, which in this case lies in the error of the dentist, who did not accurately fit the bridge prosthesis.

How can this painful dysfunctional syndrome (TMJ) be avoided?

Reliable diagnosis of premature contacts

According to general theoretical concepts, the thinnest occlusal foil should be used to check the occlusion.In practice, however, this is often very inconvenient and time-consuming. The occlusal contacts can be comparable in size to the point of a needle, therefore, very accurate diagnostic tools must be used, leaving color prints with clear outlines. In the case of dry occlusal surfaces, such as on a model in an articulator, obtaining distinct prints with foil is not a problem. However, when the occlusal surfaces are wetted with saliva, especially when it comes to ceramic and polished metal surfaces, the foil leaves only subtle marks, or these marks are not visible at all.In this case, diagnostic errors arise, since many dentists believe that the visual absence of prints reliably excludes the presence of overestimated occlusal contacts. The reasons for poor print quality on wet surfaces are chemical and physical. The coloring coating of all types of occlusive diagnostic foil and some types of articulating paper consists of wax, oil and pigment, that is, from a hydrophobic mixture that is not in harmony with the hydrophilic properties of saliva, the main component of which is water.Bausch Occlusal Foil is manufactured with emulsifying additives, which give this foil a certain degree of adhesiveness to damp occlusal surfaces. The thickness of the paint coating on the foil must not exceed 6 µm, otherwise the paint layer will separate from the foil carrier material. The demands placed on this extremely thin layer are very high. It should have a pronounced coloring activity. This is necessary so that even the smallest contact points can be clearly visible on the occlusal surfaces.Compared to foil, occlusal and articulating papers are capable of depositing significantly more colorants. Specifically, Bausch’s 200-micron progressive color articulation paper contains 10 times more colorant than foil, resulting in significantly improved color prints, even on damp occlusal surfaces. Contact points are instantly clearly visible.

You can buy dental equipment from us, as well as order repair of dental equipment.

How to prevent spasm of the chewing muscles – 5M-DENT.RU

“What to do if it hurts to open your mouth?” – Yandex.Queue

Pain when trying to open the mouth is acute and chronic. Acute pain is usually temporary and resolves quickly. Chronic bothers regularly, it can be intense or weak.

First of all, it is necessary to find out the cause of the pain and exclude the trauma of the jaw. The following reasons can be distinguished because of which it is painful to open the mouth:

  • Diseases of the oral cavity;
  • Diseases of the ear, throat, nose;
  • Neuralgia;
  • Temporomandibular joint pathology;
  • Tumors of the jaw.

Dental Causes

Sometimes short-term pain occurs after bleaching. When the patient sits with his mouth open for a long time, the tissues in the temporomandibular joint swell. Because of this, after whitening, there is a feeling that the teeth are not closing correctly.

The dentist solves the problem of pain in the following cases:

  • Carious teeth. With caries, pulpitis occurs – an inflammation of the dental nerve, which is associated with the branches of the trigeminal nerve passing through the lower jaw.Therefore, when the patient opens his mouth, the pain intensifies.
  • Complication of caries. If the infection from the carious cavity extends beyond the tooth, the endings of the periodontal tissues, bone and gums react. Due to the infection, the pain when opening the mouth increases, and with the flux it also occurs at rest.
  • Tooth injuries. If deep dental tissues are damaged during dislocation, chipping and fracture of the tooth neck, pain in the pulp occurs.
  • Alveolitis. If, after the extraction of a tooth, its hole becomes inflamed, and the soft tissues swell, squeezing the nerve endings, pain occurs.
  • Wisdom tooth. The third molar is located close to the temporomandibular joint. As it grows, it is not uncommon for soft tissue swelling to occur, which causes pain when trying to open the mouth.

Dental pain can be easily distinguished from non-dental pain. When pain is associated with problems in the oral cavity, it intensifies at night, sometimes the patient cannot sleep because of it. If inflammation begins in the mouth, the pain is throbbing and aching, it is aggravated by hot or cold food.For these symptoms, make an appointment with your dentist.

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction

Both dentists and maxillofacial surgeons are involved in the treatment of joint pathology. If, when opening the mouth, there is not only pain, but also a click, the reason is probably the wrong position of the head of the lower jaw. It can be due to dislocation, injury, joint inflammation, or overstrain of ligaments and muscles.

Diseases of the ear, throat and nose

These organs are connected to the lower jaw by branches of nerves.With inflammation of one branch, the pain is transmitted to the other.

If the maxillary sinus is inflamed, pain when trying to open the mouth radiates to the upper jaw and the cheekbone area on the affected side. With otitis media, the auricle hurts along with the jaw, periodically clogs the ear.

Sometimes, if it hurts to open the mouth – this is the first sign of “mumps” or mumps, in which the parotid salivary glands become inflamed. When they increase, they are often confused with a flux.

Neurological problems

If the trigeminal nerve is damaged or inflamed, pain occurs both when trying to open the mouth and when shaving, washing, and even for no reason.As a rule, pain bothers in the afternoon, but never occurs at night. It is felt both in the jaw and on the face, eyebrows and forehead. These areas correspond to the exit of the branches of the trigeminal nerve through the bony foramen.

With nervous tension, a person often squeezes the jaw strongly, because of which the chewing muscles are overstrained and react with pain when he opens his mouth.

How to reduce discomfort if it hurts to open your mouth?

For unexpressed pain without signs of inflammation, doctors recommend:

  • Use pain relievers.It is important to remember that if the cause of the pain is not eliminated, it will return within a few hours after taking the pill.
  • Don’t talk a lot or move your jaw.
  • Apply a cold compress to the affected area. Cold is contraindicated if there is a suspicion that the pain is caused by trigeminal neuralgia.

If the pain intensifies, the body temperature rises and the face swells, it is necessary to see a doctor and take an x-ray of the jaw. In case of injury or dislocation due to pain, the jaw cannot be opened, ensure peace of the joint and immediately call an ambulance or contact the dentist on duty.

The jaw hurts on the right or left near the ear, it hurts to chew

Pain near the ears and in the jaw can be a signal of many dysfunctions. How to recognize the cause of pain and what to do?

Pain after visiting the dentist

The jaw near the ear on the right or left may hurt after installing braces or removable dentures. In such a situation, the teeth become mobile and a headache may periodically appear.

All interventions are performed by an orthodontist.

Such phenomena are associated with the formation of the bite. If the symptoms continue to bother for several months after treatment, you need to see a specialist.

After tooth extraction

The jaw may hurt around the entire perimeter and in the area of ​​the ears after tooth extraction. Normally, painful sensations can be observed within 3 days, while their intensity gradually decreases. The cause of pain can be:

  • Alveolitis – pain spreads opposite the extracted tooth, can spread to the entire left or right side of the face, appears on 3-5 days.In the absence of any intervention, it becomes pulsating, with each wave the pain is more intense. Fever, mild nausea, loss of appetite, weakness may be added to the symptomatic picture. Possibly adding signs of intoxication.
  • Periomandibular phlegmon – appears mainly after tooth extraction, if pus has accumulated in its roots. The risk of phlegmon formation increases if, in this situation, the patient has not been prescribed local antiseptic baths or antibiotics.In the area of ​​the lower or upper jaw, additional swelling of the cheeks may form. The patient becomes painful to chew and open his mouth, later opening the mouth becomes impossible. The face becomes asymmetrical. Weakness and fever appear, appetite disappears. The swelling grows even more over time.
  • Abscess in the jaw area – in terms of symptoms and reason, it is identical with phlegmon. Pathologies are treated in different ways, only a specialist can distinguish them.
  • Osteomyelitis of the jaw – lower or upper (where the tooth was removed).Complication of pulling out teeth with pus in the molar cavities. The main symptoms are fever, facial asymmetry due to swelling of the skin inflamed above the bone.

If pain persists for a week or more, the patient goes to dentistry. With abscess and phlegmon, an operation is most often performed to open them.

Does it hurt after an injury?

Due to the violation of the integrity of the facial bone apparatus, pain may also appear.Most often they bother with:

Bruise The reason is a blow to the face. There is swelling of soft tissues, bruising, bruising, it hurts to chew and open your mouth.
Dislocation May result from sudden opening of the mouth, yawning, biting of a large object or intense laughter. There is severe pain in the jaw with a return to the ear, the jaw tilts to the side or moves forward, it is almost impossible to close the mouth. Speech becomes difficult, saliva begins to stand out more actively.In case of dislocation, an x-ray is necessarily done to exclude a fracture.
Fracture Hematomas and bruises appear. Other symptoms are the same as for dislocation. If the fracture is complete and there is a displacement of the processes, there may be a change in one part of the jaw relative to the other (it falls sideways or moves out).
Traumatic osteomyelitis Edema is formed, which grows and becomes dense by the 5th day. The pain intensifies, the temperature rises, the general condition worsens.
Chronic subluxation of the lower jaw The jaw moves laterally with any movement of it. This is due to the loss of elasticity of the fibrous tissue between the head of the jaw and the fossa in the temporal bone. This condition does not go away on its own, it must be treated. If untreated, various dysfunctions and arthrosis appear.
Cellulitis / abscess Appears when the integrity of the skin is violated by some object or when infected. Symptoms are the same as after dental surgery.
Fixation of jaw fragments If a patient had a fracture, which was fixed with wires, a splint and after a while there was pain, this indicates:

  • damage to the teeth (ligaments / necks) or gums with a wire to fix the splint;
  • nerve damage;
  • edema and hemorrhage due to re-fracture;
  • osteomyelitis / abscess / phlegmon.

Special attention should be paid to additional pathologies in case of injuries of the upper jaw.

These include: bleeding from their ears and nose, bruising around the eyes, discharge of clear fluid from the ear or nasal cavities in the absence of cold symptoms.

If symptoms are found, it is better to consult a doctor quickly, as inflammatory and purulent processes may begin.

These manifestations are direct signs of a fracture of the base of the skull. This is one of the most dangerous injuries, the lack of treatment by professionals is fraught with death.

If there are no symptoms other than pain

This indicates peripheral vascular and nerve disease.Such diseases include:

  • neuralgia of the superior laryngeal nerve – pain in the jaw appears with inflammation of the lower branch of the nerve, attacks of burning pain at night are characteristic;
  • trigeminal neuralgia – pain is localized near the ear and under the jaw and radiates to the sternum, ears and shoulders, accompanied by hiccups, coughing and drooling;
  • glossopharyngeal nerve neuralgia – pain increases with pressure on the jaw, lasts several minutes and is accompanied by dry mouth;
  • osteosarcoma – tumor growing from the jaw, accompanied by its deformation and pain everywhere in the face;
  • odontogenic pain – pulpitis , caries, abscesses are characterized by the appearance of pulsating pain in the jaw and near the ears, the sensitivity of the teeth to food and temperature increases;
  • arteritis of the facial artery – burning and severe pain from the corner of the jaw (near the ear) to the upper lip.

Based on the anamnesis, the doctor makes an accurate diagnosis. Treatment is prescribed to eliminate the cause of the pain.

If it just hurts to open your mouth

Such pain can be acute (appeared suddenly and abruptly) or be chronic (worries for a long time). Acute pain occurs when:

  • Fracture, dislocation or contusion of the joint.
  • Osteomyelitis, phlegmon, abscess. Occurs after injuries, prolonged pain in the tooth, removal, chickenpox, tonsillitis.
  • If the patient visited the dentist and kept his mouth open for a long time, a joint effusion could form. This is excess fluid produced by the articular membrane. In this situation, you need to eat a minimum of solid food so as not to load the joint. Cold compresses are applied where it hurts. If treatment is avoided, a degenerative joint condition – arthrosis can develop.
  • Arthritis. It appears due to common infectious diseases or against the background of hypothermia. Chewing processes in such a situation are accompanied by clicks, crunching in the joint.Pain can radiate to the ear.

Chronic pain may start to bother you for other reasons. If they appear in the morning, and weaken with the course of the day, this may be a sign of arthrosis of the temporomandibular joint.

It appears with missing molars, when the load instead of the teeth falls on the bone.

Lack of therapy can lead to permanent disruption of facial symmetry.

The pain is felt when opening the mouth and chewing.They can appear on the right and left. Chronic pain is also troubling with the development of trigeminal neuralgia (described above).

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The muscles of the face and jaw hurt to open the mouth to chew and smile – Neurology

Hello. According to your description, it looks like you have either Kosten’s syndrome – a pathology of the temporomandibular joint, or myofascial pain syndrome with damage to the masticatory muscles, or perhaps a combination of these two diseases.This disease is treated in a complex way – by dentists, neurologists, physiotherapists, masseurs. Bad medicine in Sweden? I didn’t expect it. All the same, you need a doctor’s examination. But I’ll write you recommendations to reduce pain.

Principles of self-help for arthralgia of the temporomandibular joint and myalgia of the masticatory muscles.

1. In case of muscle and joint pain, apply damp heat or cold (which helps to relieve pain in a particular patient) on the area where the pain is located.Both heat and cold can reduce joint or muscle pain and promote muscle relaxation. It is necessary to apply heat to the area of ​​localization of painful sensations several times a day for 20 minutes. Warm up a damp towel so that it becomes warm, wrap it around a bottle of hot water and apply to the soreness. When using cold, apply ice, wrapped in a thin cloth, for 10 minutes several times a day on the site of pain (until numbness appears).

2. Eat soft and liquid foods. Avoid hard foods such as stale bread or bagels. Avoid chewy foods such as chunks of meat or candy. Cut fruits and vegetables into small pieces. Chew food mainly with your back teeth, try not to bite off food with your front teeth. Don’t use chewing gum.

3. Chew food on both sides at the same time or alternately to avoid stress on one side.

4. Try to keep the tongue in a raised position so that the teeth do not touch each other and the jaw is in a relaxed state.Place your tongue on the palate behind your upper front teeth so that the teeth do not touch each other and the muscles supporting the lower jaw relax. The teeth of the upper and lower jaw should not touch at rest, only occasionally – when swallowing. Monitor the position of the lower jaw throughout the day to maintain a comfortable position and a relaxed lower jaw.

5. Avoid taking caffeine. Caffeine can increase the tension in the chewing muscles and cause sleep disturbances. These effects of caffeine, when consumed in excess, can exacerbate jaw pain and trigger headaches.Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, and chocolate.

6. Avoid habits that strain the muscles and joints of the lower jaw. These include: tight jaw clenching, teeth grinding (bruxism), resting teeth touching, cheek biting, tongue placement between teeth, jaw tension, and object biting. Eliminate these habits and replace them with the habit of correctly positioning your tongue in the sky.

7. Try not to support the lower jaw with your hand to reduce the tension of the TMJ and relax the chewing muscles.

8. Avoid situations and activities that require excessively wide and prolonged mouth opening (for example, yawning and prolonged dental treatment) until pain relief is achieved.

9. Try not to sleep on your stomach, as this position during sleep has an unfavorable force load on the muscles of the jaw and neck.

10. Use anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen and decaffeinated aspirin) to relieve pain in the TMJ and masticatory muscles.

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction: symptoms and treatment

What is temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction?
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction means that the joint connecting the upper and lower jaw is not functioning properly. This joint is one of the most difficult joints in the human body, it is responsible for the movement of the lower jaw forward, backward and from side to side. Any disease that prevents this complex system of muscles, ligaments, cartilage and bones from working properly is called temporomandibular joint dysfunction.Often with TMJ dysfunction there is a feeling that the jaw clicks, clicks, or even momentarily “wedges”. It is often impossible to determine the exact cause of this disorder.

What are the symptoms of TMJ dysfunction?
TMJ dysfunction disorders have many signs and symptoms. It is often difficult to pinpoint the presence of TMJ dysfunction because one or more of its symptoms may be a manifestation of another disorder. Your dentist can make an accurate diagnosis by reviewing your medical and dental records, conducting a clinical examination, and taking the necessary X-rays.

The most common symptoms of TMJ dysfunction include the following:

  • Headache (often reminiscent of a migraine), ear pain, and pain and pressure behind the eyes.
  • A clicking or clicking sound when you open or close your mouth.
  • Pain when you yawn, open your mouth wide, or chew
  • If the jaw is “jammed”, they do not open or “pop out”
  • Weakness of the muscles of the jaw
  • Suddenly the upper and lower jaws begin to close differently

How to treat TMJ dysfunction?
Although there is no single treatment for TMJ dysfunction, there are different treatments that can significantly reduce your symptoms.Your dentist will be able to recommend one or more of the following methods.

  • Try to relieve muscle spasm and pain by applying hot compresses or medications such as muscle relaxants, aspirin or other over-the-counter pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medications.
  • Reduce adverse squeezing and grinding effects by wearing a device sometimes referred to as a bite block or splint. Tailored to fit your mouth, this machine covers your upper teeth and prevents them from rubbing against your lower teeth.
  • Learn relaxation techniques to control jaw muscle tension. Your dentist may advise you to go to a training or consultation session to learn how to deal with stress.

If the jaw joints are out of order and other treatments do not help, jaw joint surgery can be recommended.

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction occurs when the complex joint that connects your upper and lower jaw like a hinge does not function properly

What to do if the jaw clicks when opening your mouth or chewing? This is interesting

Why does the jaw click?

When chewing, talking, yawning, a click can be heard in the jaw, most often it does not cause any pain, but often it causes discomfort.Many even get used to this sound and stop paying attention to it at all, but this lasts exactly as long as the pain joins the clicking.

Unfortunately, clicking in the mandibular joint is just a symptom of the disease, but which one will have to be found out by the attending dentist. The most common cause of clicks is the ligaments that surround the joint capsule.

Why is this happening?

– Muscle tone, it can occur due to excessive compression of the jaws, for example, when doing certain sports

– Dislocation of the jaw and any other trauma

– The presence of an extensive carious process in the oral cavity with tooth decay, damaged dentures, incorrectly installed fillings

– Bruxism, better known as gnashing of teeth

– Fatigue of the joint, joint subluxation

– Arthritis of the mandibular joint


Unfortunately, we go to the dentist when we find its initial cause and the underlying cause almost impossible.

– If clicks occur during chewing, it is likely that we are dealing with a dysfunctional TMJ disorder, this is not a disease, but a pathological condition, often accompanied by headaches

– If you have clicks after diseases such as otitis media, purulent sore throat, purulent processes in the oral cavity, there is reason to talk about the presence of arthritis, such clicks are always accompanied by pain in the joint and can lead to disruption of the joint structure

– Malocclusion, in particular when the lower teeth overlap the upper ones, can cause clicks when opening mouth

– If clicks occur with pain in the morning hours, and in the evening these symptoms usually disappear, we can talk about arthrosis, this is a dystrophic disease that is chronic and develops for a very long time

What to do if the jaw clicks?

The very first thing to do is see an experienced dental surgeon.The doctor will conduct the necessary examinations and prescribe treatment. Be prepared for the fact that it will be quite long, you may need to correct treatment from other specialists: a dentist, periodontist and orthodontist. The most severe cases are dealt with by maxillofacial surgeons in the hospital.

Methods of treatment at home

We are categorically against self-medication, but there are situations when the pain was taken by surprise and a visit to the dentist in the next day is not possible, then several procedures will help to alleviate your condition for a short time:

– Apply a wet, cool towel to the joint for 10-15 minutes, such a compress will help in the presence of inflammation in the joint

– With arthrosis, a hot compress will help

– Rinse with a broth of sage or calendula, to relieve inflammation and pain


Prevention is simple

– Timely solve dental problems, do not neglect going to your dentist once every six months

– If you have a jaw injury, be sure to show yourself to the dentist, even if the injury seems insignificant to you

– Timely solutions are required not only for dental, but also for ENT diseases

How long does a bruise hurt jaw?

Hit with the lower jaw.I took a picture. The doctor diagnosed a bruise. I am wondering why there is a crunch on the left when chewing solid food? What can be done?

Perhaps, against the background of the injury, there was inflammation in the joint. Solid foods should be excluded for a month.


The day before yesterday I had a fight and now the 2nd day my jaw hurts. She is swollen, I can speak calmly, it is difficult to eat. It hurts badly. Who to contact?

There is always a dentist on duty.You need to see a dentist surgeon. The doctor, under the control of an X-ray, determine the condition of the bone tissue and exclude a fracture.


The husband accidentally charged into the jaw with his elbow, the blow came to the lower left, inside the cheek was swollen, it was painful to chew, and sometimes even swallow! Yesterday I went to take a picture, but it will be ready only today! But the doctor told me, there is a suspicion of a crack, is it dangerous !?

Before making an accurate diagnosis, you need to follow a certain regimen, exclude hard food from the diet, do not bite off food, but grind it in advance, do not open your mouth wide, avoid physical exertion and the possibility of re-injury.In the future, it is necessary to follow all the instructions given by the attending physician. In this case, serious complications can be avoided.


Received a strong blow, in the jaw in the area of ​​the wisdom tooth, the cheek is very swollen, the tooth itself hurts. The jaw is not broken as I can talk and move my jaw. It was swollen under the jaw, the lymph node did not hurt so much, but it was sensitive to touch. Do I have a fracture or is it a bruise? What should I do?

You cannot judge the presence or absence of a fracture without a picture.It is necessary to go to the department of maxillofacial dentistry, take an X-ray and get a consultation with a dentist-surgeon. Dislocation, fracture without displacement, tooth trauma, tissue edema from impact is possible, but in order to exclude complications, an in-person consultation with a specialist is required.


There was a blow to the face in the jaw area, there was a concussion. More than 2 months have passed, the jaw still hurts and discomfort. What could it be?

This can be due to a fracture or fissure in the jaw, or subluxation.You need to go to the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.


My husband had an accident. As a result, SHM, TBI, rib fracture and jaw contusion. I am worried about a bruised jaw, as it hurts a lot. X-rays showed no fracture. The cheek is very swollen, and it is swollen under the lower jaw to the neck, it hurts to swallow. How long will it hurt?

It is also necessary to determine if there is a fracture of the zygomatic bone. If the fracture is absent, the pain will decrease as tissue edema decreases within 2-3 weeks, and will subside.


They hit me hard in the jaw. After that, the cheek was very swollen. The dentist said there were no fractures. I wrote out the CT numbers and the Bruise-off. How can a tumor be removed?

You can partially relieve tissue swelling by applying cold to the area of ​​edema.


Yesterday I had a fight, hit in the jaw. The jaw hurts and the cheek is swollen. How to treat and will it hurt for a long time?

You need to see a dentist surgeon.The doctor, under the control of an X-ray, will assess the condition of the bone tissue of the maxillofacial region. Perhaps there is a fracture. Self-medication is not worth it, in order to avoid complications.


Hit the ice, now the whole right side of the jaw and teeth hurt. It hurts to open your mouth wide. Is it worth going to the dentist or is it just a bruise and will go away in a couple of days?

Without a clinical examination and assessment of X-ray images, it is impossible to judge the nature of the injury.You need to go to the dentist and take x-rays – a teleroentgenogram in frontal projection and an orthopantomogram.


Played football, hit in the jaw. I open my mouth, it hurts, I eat it, too. The jaw in the ear area hurts. What should I do?

In the ear area, the temporomandibular joint may hurt. When hitting the jaw with the ball, the load could be distributed to the joint area too.
Perhaps, most likely, there is nothing serious.Try to switch to a sparing diet for a couple of days: exclude hard food in the form of meat, nuts, raw vegetables such as carrots, as well as apples, crackers, etc. If after a couple of days the soreness does not subside, then it makes sense to consult a dentist for full-time reception.


Why does the jaw hurt near the ear?

Any painful sensations in the head area bring a lot of discomfort to a person and cause anxiety. This anxiety is not unfounded, since such symptoms may indicate problems in certain systems and organs.

If a person has a sore jaw near the ear, it hurts to open his mouth, talk or chew food, then a huge number of factors can be the reason for this. Such symptoms may indicate a specific disease occurring in this area, or about developing pathologies of other organs of the body. It is worth considering the most common factors that affect the development of pain near the ear.

Orthodontic structures

Braces, removable dentures and any other products that are designed to correct a person’s bite can bring unpleasant sensations.Designs of this type are necessary so that teeth that grow incorrectly fall into their rightful place.

In this case, the phenomenon is quite understandable if a person has a sore jaw near the ear. This condition is considered normal. After a while, the unpleasant symptoms disappear. It should be understood that a removable denture is a foreign body for the oral cavity. For a person to get used to this design, he needs some time.

However, there is a risk that the product was selected incorrectly by the doctor.Because of this, it presses or injures the gums. In this case, inflammation can form, which leads to the fact that the jaw near the ear hurts, it hurts to chew and open the mouth.

If a person notices redness and swelling in the oral cavity, then it is necessary to consult a specialist, replace the prosthesis or resort to another type of treatment.

Injury of the jaw

If the jaw hurts near the ear to the right or left, this may indicate that the person has received a bruise or more serious injuries.In the first case, damage to the soft tissues of the mucous membranes of the facial area could occur. The main evidence of such an injury will be the appearance of hematomas, swelling and pain when opening the mouth or while chewing food. As a rule, these symptoms disappear within 3 days. In order to alleviate your condition during this period, it is recommended to apply cold compresses to the damaged areas and exclude solid foods from the diet.

If the jaw near the ear on the right hurts, it hurts to open the mouth or it is impossible to close it on its own, then this may indicate that a dislocation of the mandibular joint has occurred on the right side.In this case, the jaws begin to tilt a little, and their fixation can only take place in the open position of the oral cavity. Such dislocations often occur when a person tries to open their mouth too much or gnaw on a hard object. In such a situation, it is necessary to consult a traumatologist and set the jaw.

If the jaw hurts near the ear on the right, it hurts to chew and there is swelling or hematoma, then this may indicate a fracture. In this case, damage can be single or multiple, with or without displacement.In such a situation, it is also necessary to consult a doctor, as it may be necessary to fix the jaw with a special splint. As a rule, you need to wear it for about 21 days.

Wisdom teeth

If the jaw hurts near the ear, then this may be due to the fact that one or more wisdom teeth begin to erupt. Not everyone knows that they grow from 14 to 30 years old, so similar problems can be observed not only in adolescents, but also in older people.

When the last chewing teeth appear, patients almost always experience painful sensations. This is because the teeth push through the dense bone tissue, causing pain in the jaw. In addition, this process can lead to inflammation of the mucous membrane, the formation of purulent masses. Often, patients have an increase in body temperature, swelling of the gums and cheeks. At the same time, a person cannot fully open his mouth and experience food. The pain can be given in the area of ​​the ears, temples, neck and head.

Very often the jaw near the ear hurts in the mouth due to the fact that the germ of the wisdom tooth is not located correctly. If it begins to grow to the side, it affects the adjacent molars, tongue and cheeks. In some situations, wisdom teeth remain hidden and are located inside the bone tissue. This is because they begin to grow horizontally. In this case, the destruction of the roots of adjacent teeth occurs.

VNS dysfunction

If there is a malfunction of the mandibular joint, this can lead to unpleasant symptoms.This disease develops against the background of malocclusion, trauma, or improperly installed prostheses. Pain can also radiate to the temples and neck. In this case, it hurts patients to chew or open their mouths fully. Some people experience facial asymmetry.

In the course of treatment, it is necessary to stabilize the joint and eliminate the causes that cause this pathology.


If a person has a sore jaw near the ear on the right, this may be a symptom characteristic of inflammation of the trigeminal facial nerve.This pathology develops against the background of the fact that the nerve endings are squeezed by the blood vessels of the human brain. At the same time, it is very easy to determine neuralgia, since it will manifest itself in the form of strong, burning, resembling electric discharges, pains. In this case, the pain syndrome occurs in attacks, most often it intensifies at night, in the process of chewing or talking.

Also, among the additional symptoms of neuralgia, it is worth highlighting increased salivation and coughing. In this case, seizures appear with the lightest touch on the face.A person may experience extreme pain from washing their face, brushing their teeth, or even smiling. Treatment of this ailment involves medication. In difficult situations, surgical intervention is indispensable.


In this case, we are talking about rather severe paroxysmal headaches, which most often spread in the temporal region, eyes and jaw. Typically, a migraine completely affects the right or left facial side. Therefore, it is not surprising that a person has a sore jaw near the ear on the left or right.

In addition, patients with neuralgia may suffer from vomiting, visual disturbances, numbness of the legs and arms. To date, specialists have not yet been able to find out why it is in particular people who develop migraines. However, antidepressants, pain relievers, and vasodilators are most commonly used to treat it.


In this case, the jaw hurts near the ear due to the inflammation of the walls of the facial arteries. In this case, discomfort may also appear in the cheek and eyes.It is painful for patients to chew, swallow and open their mouths while talking. As a rule, women over 50 years old suffer most from arteritis.

In addition, there is more than one type of this ailment. For each specific situation, the necessary treatment is prescribed.

Other causes

Pain in the jaw (upper, lower, right and left) can occur against the background:

  • Osteomyelitis. In this case, we are talking about an inflammation of the jaw.A similar pathology can develop due to improper treatment of sinusitis, tooth extraction or implantation. At the same time, patients have an increased body temperature.
  • Gingivitis. In this case, we are talking about inflammatory processes that occur in the soft tissues of the gums. In this case, bleeding and a rather severe pain syndrome are observed. A person develops bad breath and body temperature rises.
  • Submandibular abscess. In this case, patients most often complain that the jaw near the ear on the right hurts, it hurts to open the mouth and chew.Discomfort can also be observed in the left ear.

If a patient has pain syndrome only during chewing and discomfort appears in the right or left ear, this may indicate the development of:

  • Carotidinia. This ailment develops due to dissection of the temporal artery. Also, pathology may appear against the background of the appearance of a tumor in soft tissues or with irritation of nerve endings that are located near the carotid artery.
  • Ear node neuralgia.In this case, the pathology develops against the background of severe angina, hypothermia or sinusitis. The pain is paroxysmal, burning in nature. Most of all unpleasant sensations appear in the temples. After that, the pain goes to the ear and spreads to the entire lower jaw to the chin. As a rule, the patient experiences most discomfort when pressing in the area under the ear.


If the jaw hurts near the ear, then in order to get rid of the pain at home, it is recommended to use analgesics.However, you need to understand that they will not help eliminate the initial disease, but will only temporarily reduce the level of discomfort. These drugs include analgin, “Ketanov” and other drugs.

If a person does not want to take risks and use medicines, then you can try traditional medicine. If the patient is sure that he has a dental disease, then it is recommended to rinse his mouth with a soda solution. To prepare it, you need to dilute 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water.

If inflammatory processes are observed, then warm chamomile compresses should be applied to the affected area. However, before using any recipe of traditional medicine, it is imperative to consult with a specialist so as not to cause even more harm.

Treatment in the clinic

Depending on the specific cause that causes the pain, the doctor can take a number of measures that will help alleviate the patient’s condition. For example, in case of dislocation, it is necessary to apply a special fixing bandage.If there is a suspicion of a bruise, then an x-ray is most often performed. This is necessary in order to exclude the possibility of a fracture.

In case of osteomyelitis, it is necessary to remove the affected tooth, open the purulent focus and undergo a course of drug therapy. If the problem lies in diseases of the ENT organs, then in this case it is necessary to undergo a course of antiviral drugs, antiseptics, and also painkillers.

Rubbing is recommended for inflammatory processes and neuralgia.Also, in addition to drug therapy, compresses can be used. In some situations, it will be necessary to remove the dental nerve and fill the canals.

In conclusion

Regardless of the reasons that cause unpleasant symptoms, you should not ignore the pain sensations if they last more than three days. In this case, there is a risk of not diagnosing a serious pathology in time and at least losing a tooth that could be cured. Therefore, it is worthwhile to undergo an examination by a dentist and other doctors in a timely manner.

What is it and how is it spread

What is mumps?

Mumps is an infection caused by a virus that spreads easily through saliva and mucus. This usually occurs in children who have not been vaccinated.

Mumps can affect any part of the body but most commonly affects the salivary glands below and in front of the ears (called the parotid glands). These glands can swell when infected. In fact, swollen cheeks and a swollen jaw are sure signs of the virus.

Mumps used to be common, but since the introduction of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine in 1967, it has been almost completely eradicated.

Signs and symptoms of mumps

Symptoms do not appear earlier than 2 weeks after infection. The classic signs are pain and swelling of the face and jaw. A few days before, you may notice other symptoms, including:

  • Fatigue

  • Fever

  • Headache

  • Loss of appetite

  • Muscle pain

  • Weakness

Causes of mumps

A virus called paramyxovirus causes mumps.It is very easy to get infected from someone else if you come into contact with their saliva or mucus. Infected people can spread through:

  • Coughing, sneezing or talking

  • Sharing cups and utensils with other people

  • Improper hand washing and touching objects that other people then touch

  • Close contact from certain sports or kissing

Treatment for mumps

If you have mumps, there is no cure.This is because antibiotics have no effect on the virus. You just have to let it take its course. Talk with your doctor about what you can do to help you or your child manage symptoms. Suggestions may include:

  • Use cold or warm compresses on swollen areas

  • Drink plenty of fluids

  • Eat soft foods

  • Rest

  • Take over the counter, no pain relievers

If you think you have mumps or have been around someone who is sick, see your doctor immediately for an examination.

Mumps Complications

This does not happen often, but mumps can lead to serious problems. It is more likely if you get sick as an adult than as a child. Some of the possible complications are:

  • Inflammation of the ovaries, breast tissue and testicles in men who have already passed puberty

  • Inflammation of the brain, called encephalitis

  • Inflammation of the membrane covering the brain and spinal cord, called meningitis

  • Hearing loss

  • Heart problems

  • Miscarriage if infected during pregnancy

  • Pancreatitis

Prevention of mumps

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Recommends children to get two doses of vaccine …The first child should be received at the age of 12-15 months, and the second at the age of 4 to 6 years. Adolescents and adults should make sure they receive timely MMR vaccinations.

If you have not been vaccinated, you can get mumps. Some have it without even knowing it. Most recover completely within a few weeks.

As soon as possible Dental care | Jaw Pain

Temporomandibular Joint Disorders (TMJ, TMJ)

Your temporomandibular joint is the hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of the skull, which are located in front of each ear.It allows you to move your jaw up and down and side to side so you can talk, chew, and yawn.

Problems with the jaw and facial muscles that control this condition are known as temporomandibular disorders (TMJ). But you can hear it mistakenly called TMJ after joint.

What causes TMJ?

We do not know what causes TMD. Dentists believe that the symptoms are caused by problems with the muscles of the jaw or with parts of the joint itself.

Injury to the jaw, joint, or muscles of the head and neck – for example, from a strong blow or whiplash – can lead to TMJ Other causes include:

  • Teeth grinding or clenching that puts severe pressure on the joint
  • Moving the soft pad or disc between the ball and the hinge seat
  • Arthritis of the joint
  • Stress that can cause tension in the muscles of the face and jaw or clenching of the teeth
What are the symptoms?

TMD often causes severe pain and discomfort.It can be temporary or last for many years and can affect one or both sides of your face. It occurs more often in women than in men, and is most common in people between the ages of 20 and 40.

Common symptoms include:

  • Pain or tenderness in the face, jaw joints, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew, speak, or open your mouth wide
  • Problems trying to open your mouth wide
  • Jaws that “get stuck” or “locked” in the open or closed position
  • Clicking, popping or squeaking in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth or chewing.It may or may not be painful.
  • Fatigue on the face
  • Difficulty chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite – as if the upper and lower teeth do not fit together properly
  • Swelling on the face

You may also have toothaches, headaches, pain in neck, dizziness, ear pain, hearing problems, upper shoulder pain and ringing in the ears (tinnitus).

Why does the jaw hurt? 5 causes of jaw pain

You wake up with a pain in your jaw that gets worse and worse throughout the day.If you recognize this painful scenario, it’s time to find out the answer to the question “Why does the jaw hurt?” Let’s take a look at five common causes of jaw pain.

Why does the jaw hurt

Almost everyone at some point in their life suffers from an aching jaw. The causes of jaw pain range from simple, easily treatable situations to complex problems that require careful treatment. Here are five causes of jaw pain.

Dental Problem – Jaw pain can occur due to (1) tooth decay, (2) cracked tooth, (3) infection, and (4) gum disease.Don’t skip making an appointment with your dentist if you suspect a dental problem is at the root of your aching jaw.

Stress – Are you stressed at work and in your daily life? One of the trickiest ways to show the weight of life is with a tight jaw. Gripping your jaws too tightly and grinding your teeth will undoubtedly lead to mouth complaints.

Sinus – If you are struggling with your sinuses, you have probably experienced the unique way that sinus pain and pressure masquerades as jaw pain.You may suspect a sinus problem if jaw pain is accompanied by things like (1) dizziness, (2) postnasal discharge, and (3) pressure in the forehead. Your doctor can help determine if your jaw pain is due to sinus problems.

Headache – Migraine and cluster headaches are notorious culprits for a painful jaw. In the case of a migraine, the blood vessels and nerves combine to create severe discomfort.If the pain in the jaw subsides as the problem goes away, there is a good chance that the migraine is causing the pain in the jaw; if the severe headaches persist, consult your doctor.

TMJ- One of the most common causes of jaw pain is the TMJ. The temporomandibular joint connects the lower jaw to the skull. There are many reasons why TMJ can cause severe pain whenever you open your mouth. Symptoms include:

  • Gentle sponge
  • Painful chewing
  • Difficulty opening the jaw
  • Clicking when opening the jaw
  • Pain around the ears

Successful treatment of the temporomandibular joint often includes orthodontic care.Uneven teeth and bites often cause problems with the joints of the jaw, so they lend themselves well to braces. Smiles for Life Orthodontics specializes in helping patients overcome temporomandibular joint syndrome so that they can smile without pain.


When should you seek help for aching jaw? In general, the pros say home remedies like rest and ice are helpful first steps. Avoid chewing food and focus on relaxing your jaw.If home remedies aren’t managing your pain, it’s time to seek professional help. Schedule an appointment with your dentist for a full checkup.

Finally, the next time you ask yourself, “Why does my jaw hurt?” relax and remember that you do not need to endure prolonged jaw pain. Dentists are experts in diagnosing and solving all types of jaw problems. If your treatment includes orthodontic treatment, contact us at Smiles for Life Orthodontics and we will help you live a pain-free life in no time.

Temporomandibular joint and jaw pain – why does the jaw hurt?

Injury, dental problems and other health problems can cause jaw pain. Jaw pain can range from unpleasant to severe, but you don’t need to suffer in silence. Once a healthcare professional has identified the source of your jaw pain, you can receive treatment to relieve or eliminate your pain.

The structure of your jaw

The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) on either side of the mouth connect each side of the mandible or mandible to the skull.These joints are flexible and can easily move, slide, and rotate in different directions as you talk, eat, drink, yawn, floss, and perform other movements with your mouth; however, if your TMJ is damaged or overused, it can click or pop. rather than moving freely, which can cause you pain and discomfort.

Any problem or pain associated with TMJ is referred to as a disorder of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), sometimes called a disorder of the temporomandibular joint and muscle (TMJ).This common problem affects 5 to 12% of people, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research.

Common Causes TMD

Several lifestyle factors and events can cause TMJ, for example:

  • Injury or injury to the mouth or jaw. Injury and injury can damage or dislocate your TMJ, affecting their ability to move freely.
  • Teeth clenching or grinding: People who clench or gnash their teeth put pressure on the temporomandibular joint, which causes jaw pain.Squeezing and rubbing is common during sleep, and you may not be aware of this habit.
  • Opening the mouth too wide: Opening the mouth too wide while eating or talking can stress the TMJ and cause TMJ.
  • Rheumatic Diseases: Arthritis and other rheumatic diseases cause pain in various joints, including the TMJ.
  • Tension headaches: These headaches are most commonly caused by stress and can cause pain throughout the face and jaw.
  • Sinus infections: The maxillary sinuses are located above the upper row of teeth. When they become infected, they can cause swelling and pain around the eyes, cheeks, and upper jaw. Many patients report feeling constant pressure in the upper jaw during sinus infections.
  • Neuropathic pain: This type of pain occurs after nerve damage. The damaged nerves send pain signals to the brain. If the damaged nerves are near the jaw, the condition manifests itself as pain in the jaw.People may experience jaw pain due to neuropathic pain all the time or from time to time.
  • Synovitis or capsulitis: These conditions cause inflammation of the joints such as the TMJ or the connective ligaments. The inflammation around the jaw can be painful.
  • Poorly fitting dentures: When dentures do not fit properly, they can cause your mouth to become unnatural, which can trigger and worsen TMJ.

Other TMJ symptoms

Jaw pain is one of the most obvious and unpleasant signs of TMJ, but patients usually have a variety of symptoms:

  • Headaches or migraines.
  • Limited movement of the TMJ.
  • Frequent blocking of the cams.
  • Difficulty chewing food.
  • Temporomandibular joint stiffness.

If you experience these symptoms, especially when combined with jaw pain, you should make an appointment with your dentist.

Other causes of jaw pain

TMJ is the most common cause of jaw pain, but not the only trigger. Abscesses, tumors, gum infections, and other dental problems can also cause jaw pain.Dentists can diagnose these problems. They can then write a treatment plan or refer you to another health care provider for more specialized care.

Treatment options for jaw pain

The cause of the jaw pain will determine the best course of treatment. Your dentist will carefully examine your mouth and jaw to develop a treatment plan. Blood tests, X-rays, MRIs, and psychological tests can also be done to diagnose your condition and find the best treatment solution.

Treatment may be simple antibiotics to clear the infection, or a soft diet to relieve pressure on the jaw until the problem goes away on its own. Some patients may need to put on a mouthguard to discourage bad behavior and correct malocclusion. Steroid injections and pain relievers can reduce swelling and inflammation around joints. Physical therapy can help some patients. Surgery may also be needed to remove tumors, damaged bones, or infected teeth, or to heal damaged nerves.

Preventing jaw pain

Once jaw pain has subsided, preventive measures can minimize the likelihood of recurrence in the future:

  • Choose soft foods such as pasta and soups over crunchy hard foods.
  • Eat small bites with meals.
  • Adopt relaxing habits such as meditation, yoga practice, and regular massage.
  • Sleep on your side or back, not on your stomach.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for oral examinations.

If you have jaw pain, contact your local 123Dentist clinic. Your dentist can help diagnose the cause of your pain, make a treatment plan, and help reduce your risk of developing jaw pain in the future.

Canadian Dental Association

The jaw joints and muscle groups that enable us to chew, swallow, speak, and yawn are known as the temporomandibular joints. When there is a problem with joints and muscles, you may have a temporomandibular disorder or TMJ.


TMJ symptoms:

  • Tender or painful jaw muscles. Your jaw can be even more painful when you wake up, grit your teeth, chew food, or yawn.
  • problems with opening or closing the mouth. It may be difficult to open or close your jaws completely, or your jaws may open or close.
  • headaches you can’t explain. You may also feel neck pain.It could be caused by TMD or other problems. Tell your dentist AND your doctor.
  • Clicking or grinding noise when chewing or yawning. You may hear strange noises in your jaw joints, such as clicking or popping when you open your mouth, or crunching and squeaking noises when you chew.

Cause and Effect

The cause of TMJ is not always clear, but in most cases stress is the main factor. Here are some of the reasons that COULD cause it:

  • clenching and grinding teeth.If you tighten your jaw muscles, they can hurt. Some people grit their teeth or clench their jaw muscles when they are under stress.
  • Injury to the face or jaw. Broken (or broken) jaws, a jaw joint that is knocked out of place (or dislocated), and whiplash can cause TMJ.
  • Certain diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, can affect the joints and muscles of the jaw.
  • : If your jaw is not growing as it should, your teeth may not line up as they should.This can make biting and chewing difficult and can also lead to TMJ.

Other factors that COULD lead to TMD:

  • worn, loose or missing teeth
  • gum problems
  • partial or complete dentures that do not fit
  • habits such as biting a pen or pencil

What you can do

1. Relax. Remember when you grit your teeth. Try to relax your jaw muscles and keep them relaxed.If you need help learning to relax, there are courses that can teach you. Ask your dentist or doctor.

2. Watch what you eat. Stay away from solid or sticky foods. Don’t chew gum. Eat a soft diet and cut your food into small pieces. Try not to open your mouth too wide, even when yawning.

3. Massage and exercise. Rub (or massage) and stretch (or exercise) your jaw muscles. It can help reduce stress, just like other muscles in your body.But be gentle; stretching too much or exercising can make the problem worse.

4. Use a compress. Your dentist may advise you to apply a cold or warm compress to sore jaw muscles and then gently rub (or massage) them to relieve muscle tension. For a cold compress, use ice cubes wrapped in a towel or a bag of frozen vegetables such as peas. For a warm compress, use a heating pad or heating pad wrapped in a towel, or a hot, damp cloth.

5. Remember the saying: “Lips together … teeth apart. »When you are relaxed:

  • your teeth should be slightly apart,
  • your tongue should be soft against the palate and
  • your lips should be relaxed and lightly touching or slightly apart.

Try to keep your upper and lower teeth separate from each other, except when eating or swallowing.

6. Think positively. Almost all TMJ patients recover, but there is no “easy cure”.“Some patients, upon learning that they are clenching their jaws, try to relax. They can relieve their symptoms in a few days or weeks. For others, it may take weeks or months before they feel better.

How a dentist can help

To assess your condition, your dentist:

  • will conduct a detailed exam and
  • can take x-rays.

Depending on what your dentist finds, he or she may suggest a treatment plan for your TMJ.Your dentist may also refer you to a specialist dentist with additional training in TMJ. This can be a maxillofacial surgeon (also called a maxillofacial surgeon), a dental pathologist, orthodontist, periodontist, or prosthetist. If your dentist refers you to a specialist dentist, he will explain to you what that specialist does.

Treatment may include:

  • refer you to another healthcare professional to help you ease muscle pain or open your jaw.This can be a physical therapist, chiropractor, and / or behavioral therapist.
  • Correction of dental problems. If you have a bad bite, braces or other dental services may be used to fix the problem. Sometimes the teeth that are causing the problem can be altered to fit better.
  • is taking medication. Depending on the cause of your TMJ, medications for pain, inflammation, muscle tension, or depression may help.
  • with night guard or bite plate (also called occlusal splint).The occlusal splint is made of transparent plastic. It fits over the bite of the teeth of one jaw, so you bite the splint, not the teeth. This will help relax the joints and muscles of the jaw. Depending on your TMJ, your dentist may advise you to wear the splint 24 hours a day, at night only, or for some time in between.
  • after surgery. If no other treatments have worked, or if your jaw is VERY difficult to open, you MAY need surgery.

Jaw Pain and TMJ Disorders – Physical Therapy

Your Guide to Temporomandibular Joint Disorders

Images from Essential Anatomy App.

images from Essential Anatomy app.

If you experience pain or clicks when chewing, yawning, or simply biting off a large sandwich, chances are that you have TMJ. TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint. These pains and problems tend to go undetected and rarely receive effective physiotherapy.Often, TMJ diseases can also lead to headaches.

TMJ diseases are surprisingly common. It affects up to 33% of people, or 1 in every 3 people. Unfortunately, most people are simply told that they “have to live with it” and are not referred to a physical therapist with experience in treating TMJ diseases.

What causes temporomandibular joint disease?

Like any joint in your body, the TMJ is also vulnerable to repetitive stress and injury.In addition, the TMJ includes many anatomical parts, including muscles, ligaments, and disc. Ineffective functioning of these parts can lead to suboptimal functioning of your TMJ. Here are some common causes of TMJ disorders:

  • Poor posture. A persistently ineffective head and neck position can sometimes place undue stress on the muscles, disc, and ligaments of the joint. The jaw is then forced to remain in a position that can cause pain and / or discomfort in the long term.In addition to this, the main chewing muscles begin to experience stresses and strains that prevent them from effectively performing their main task of chewing food.

  • Joint displacement. This is another common cause of jaw clicking and pain. In this case, the soft tissues of the joint (ligaments, tendons, etc.) may not be in the best position to do their job.

  • Bruxism or persistent contraction. Many people clench their jaws all the time.This can cause the muscles in the jaw to contract and stretch, which in turn can cause pain in the jaw, which then perpetuates the compression cycle. Stress can also contribute to constant clenching.

  • Lockjaw. This happens when the muscles in the jaw spasm, making it difficult to open or close the jaw completely.

  • Injury. Direct trauma to the jaw, face or neck.

  • Fracture. Even when the fracture is completely healed, TMJ stiffness and pain may persist.

  • Surgery. People may experience loss of mobility and TMJ function after certain types of facial and jaw surgery.

  • Incorrect bite. This is when your teeth are not properly aligned to chew or bite effectively.

What are the symptoms of TMJ diseases?

Some common symptoms include:

  • Pain in the jaw – when eating, eating, talking or simply waking up in the morning

  • Difficulty opening the mouth to bite, chew and / or speak

  • Headaches

  • Locking cams

  • Click or click of the jaw

  • Neck pain

Why physical therapy is a great treatment for TMJ diseases:
  1. We’re not just looking at your jaw.Sometimes, contributing factors to TMJ pain / problems can come from the neck and / or upper back. We will conduct a comprehensive examination to assess all the contributing factors and find the best treatment options for you.

  2. No medicine or injections! Our procedures often include training, hands-on procedures and some exercises. Your liver and kidneys will thank you 🙂

  3. Specialized treatments. We use a variety of practical techniques (manual therapy) to safely increase mobility and restore effective function to your jaw.This may include direct treatment of joint mobility, muscle tension, and retraining of the jaw muscles.

  4. Referral to the dentist. If we determine that you are not the best candidate for physical therapy, we will immediately refer you to a dentist.

We look forward to working with your dentist or therapist for the most complete treatment possible. Most health insurance in Michigan now allows people to see a physical therapist on their own without a referral from a doctor or dentist.

Ready to get started? Tell us a little about your story here.

At Health Source, we help people avoid unnecessary surgeries (shoulder, hip, knee, lower back, etc.). We also help rehabilitate people who have undergone surgery so that they can achieve maximum recovery and enjoy life again.

Our specialized doctors look at your body through the lens of mechanics (how things move), neuromuscular interaction (how efficiently your muscles work), and motor control (coordinating your body so you can get back to what you want.This includes a comprehensive assessment, hands-on care, training, movement retraining, and customized exercises to help you fully recover.


Images above are from the Essential Anatomy app. As many of our patients and students know, we are big fans of the Essential Anatomy app. It is great for showing and teaching anatomy in the clinic. Look at here.

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Why does my jaw hurt when I eat?

Posted October 18, 2015

Food is one of life’s greatest pleasures. Whether you are enjoying a homemade meal or dining on a special occasion, our food will make things a little better.

But what if you feel pain after eating? It can really ruin your mood and affect those around you.

If you feel your jaw hurts during or after eating, you may have a TMJ disorder, also known as TMJ. You will be glad to know that it is curable. If you live in Cobb County our team at West Atlanta Dentistry will be happy to help you.

What is TMD?

TMD stands for Temporomandibular Disorders. This includes many conditions that affect your temporomandibular joint, which connects your jawbone to your skull.

This joint allows you to move your jaw up and down and side to side. This will help you open and close your mouth while talking and eating.

If you suffer from TMJ (also known as TMJ disorder), you may experience any of the following symptoms:

– Pain in or around the ears
– Pain or discomfort when chewing
– Facial pain
– Problems opening or closing the mouth because the jaw appears to be “locked”
– Soreness around the jaw

In some cases, you may hear a clicking sound or feel a popping sensation when moving the jaw.

You may also experience ear pain and headaches (including migraines), shoulder and neck pain, and dizziness. You may even have hearing problems. While these symptoms are not exclusive to TMJ, they can be a factor if they are a regular part of your life.

What causes my TMJ?

Just as TMD can cause a variety of problems, it also has a variety of causes.

Sudden impacts may cause TMD. Perhaps you were playing a game with your friends and you were hit with a ball or shoulder in your mouth.Maybe you walked and ran into something because you weren’t paying attention (or someone else ran into you).

Compression of teeth can lead to TMJ. You may be gritting your teeth due to stress, or subconsciously grinding your teeth while sleeping. Either way, you put additional pressure on the joint.

Arthritis, an inflammation of the joint, can also be a factor.

How is TMJ treated?

First of all, we want to determine what is causing your symptoms. Jaw pain and discomfort are good signs that you have TMJ.However, we want to be sure that this is the reason before starting any treatment.

Our dentists will do physical examinations, x-rays and other tests to determine if you have TMJ. If so, we will find the right oral care product.

One example of treatment is kappa. This is similar to the mouthguards you may have seen athletes in competition. The difference is that you wear a mouthguard at night; grinding your teeth while sleeping can help you relax by repositioning your jaw.

Bite adjustment is another way to minimize temporomandibular joint effects.

Alternatively, botox can be used to help relax the jaw. This will put less stress and pressure on your temporomandibular joint. In turn, this can reduce pain.

Talk to your dentist

If you are concerned that you may have a temporomandibular joint disorder, please take a moment to talk to your dentist at Atlanta West Dentistry.

Before you arrive, try to answer a few questions about your symptoms.