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Why is My Jaw Sore When I Chew?

Jaw sore is a symptom of temporomandibular disorder (TMD). It’s a condition that affects chewing muscles and joints found below the lower jaw and the base of the skull. This condition is also referred to as TMJ.

Symptoms of TMD will include discomfort when chewing, jaw sore, sensitivity, and painful bite, among others. Even though it’s not a serious condition, it can still lower your quality of life. If it becomes severe, special treatment may be needed.

Symptoms of TMD

This mouth condition causes grating or popping noises when you chew or move your mouth. It also causes muscle pain around your jaw and pain in front of your ear that can spread to your cheek. Sometimes, your jaw feels tight, making it difficult for you to open your mouth. It also causes a migraine, earache, and pain in some parts of your body, like the neck and back. Some of these symptoms can disrupt sleep..

What are the possible causes of TMD?

There are several possible causes of this condition. One of them is grinding your teeth while you’re asleep. When you grind your teeth during sleep, your jaw muscles will overwork and put pressure on your joint. Another possible cause is osteoarthritis, which causes wear and tear of your jaw joint. If you had surgery in your jaw or experience a blow to your face, then you may soon experience jaw pain and discomfort when chewing. Stress can also contribute to this condition. Unfortunately, some patients will develop signs of TMD without apparent cause.

TMD Treatments

If you have a painful bite, jaw pain, or tooth sensitivity, you should see your dentist for a diagnosis. These symptoms could indicate TMD, but it could also be signs of another medical condition.

The most common treatment for TMD is a lifestyle change. However, for severe cases, patients may need to undergo oral surgery.

Changing your lifestyle is vital to treat your TMD. Many patients find relief by eating soft foods, avoiding chewing gum, wearing a mouth guard at night, relaxing, or massaging the jaw. When you visit Southwest Oral Surgery, we’ll teach you some jaw-stretching exercises that can offer relief to your TMD.

  • When you open your mouth, you shouldn’t open it too wide. It’s also vital not to clench your teeth for an extended period. Then, massage your facial muscles around your joint.
  • Since stress is a contributing factor to TMD, you should learn some relaxation techniques to ease the pain.
  • If the cause of jaw pain is grinding, then the use of mouth guard may help. It doesn’t treat TMD, but it reduces jaw clenching.
  • Painkillers may be given to relieve the pain and discomfort. Your dentist may also prescribe a muscle relaxant or antidepressant.

If arthritis causes your TMD, then a steroid injection may be given to reduce pain and swelling. Sometimes, steroid injections can improve the pain for a few weeks or months. In other cases, it resolves jaw pain completely.

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