Jaw pain is one of the most excruciating pain and consistently and constantly nagging if left untreated. Some experience pain in their jaw that runs along their face. Some pain is localised to the joint of the jaw while some others do not experience pain but instead a clicking in their joint. A pain in the jaw could be caused by multiple things.
Some of the most common are:
1. Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) disorder
2. Radiating pain from muscles and trigger points
3. Infections of the capsule
4. Sinus problems
5. Vascular conditions
6. Dental conditions: gum diseases, cavities, tooth damage
The most common however is having a TMJ disorder. This could be caused by conditions such as teeth grinding and clenching due one’s sleep. This is the most common during periods of stress whether it may be mentally, emotionally or physically. Patients can also experience pain after opening their mouth too wide.
Others can also experience osteoarthritis and osteoarthrosis, this usually leads to the surface of the temporal mandibular joint bones to wear away. There is also a disc in the TMJ which can ‘slip’ which could also cause clicking and pain. Another common condition is where the lining of the TMJ and/or connecting ligaments become inflamed due to overuse when grinding or clenching in the sleep.
When clients come in with TMJ disorders, we always check for trauma and if it has taken any kind of blow to the jaw or external force. We also always check for joint movement and if the jaw sways to the right/left or causes and over or under bite. Most of the time clients are referred to a dentist to check if they need to have a jaw-guard made. If all of the above has been done, we then move to treating the TMJ issue. This can be done with muscle work and spinal manipulations. We also do manipulations to the jaw which can be done using an activator or manually.
In practice, I have had many clients who come in with jaw pain and it can be quite simply fixed with time and patience. The process may be slightly painful due to the pressure and muscle therapy that needs to be done but the relief after is well worth it. If you are wondering why you are having jaw pain today, feel free to come by Healthworks and let us diagnose and help you with your condition.