Understanding Jaw Pain

Temporomandibular disorders (TMD or also known as TMJ) are due to issues with the jaw and the muscles in your face that are connected to it. Dentists believe that symptoms connected to TMJ are sometimes due to trauma to the jaw joint, the jaw, or muscles in the neck and head. For instance, if you were in a car crash and experienced a whiplash, you can get TMJ. Let’s review other causes of this disorder.


Clenching and/or grinding the teeth. This grinding motion can place an intense amount of pressure on the jaw. TMJ could also be due to stress. When we experience stress the facial muscles and jaw can tighten or clench up, creating additional pressure on the jaw. Joint arthritis or movement of the soft cushion disc between the ball and socket of the joint can also lend to jaw pain.

Some of the symptoms connected to TMJ include tenderness or pain in the neck, shoulders, jaw joint, or face. In some cases you could feel pain around the ears or when you talk or eat food. Some individuals even experience pain when they try to open their mouth wide.

Other symptoms include the jaw getting “locked” into an open position, clicking or popping sounds when you eat, a tired feeling around the face, problems chewing, not feeling like your bite is correct, or swelling on the side of the face. Dizziness, earaches, hearing issues, shoulder pain, tinnitus, and headaches can also be indications of TMJ.


After your TMJ has been diagnosed, the dentist may discuss some of the following at home treatments for you to use: apply a moist heat or cold pack to the area of the jaw where you feel pain. Do this a few times a day for the full effect. Eat softer foods like fish, cooked produce, beans, and yogurt.


For more information on how to address your TMJ pain, call Agnini Family Dental today. You can reach our front desk to schedule your appointment by calling (863) 682-1500.


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