Search Our Site

Jaw Pain/Temporomandibular Joint Pain

Definition

  • The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are the two hinge joints that connect the lower and upper jaws. They are two of the most frequently used joints in the body, as they are used every time you open and close your mouth.
  • Pain in one or both of the TMJ's occurs as a result of problems with the joint and surrounding muscles that control chewing and using the jaw.
  • It is a relatively common problem after undergoing lengthy dental procedures.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Pain in your jaw joint and/or muscles surrounding the joint, this can include your neck and shoulders
  • Difficulty opening your mouth, i.e. locking of your jaw
  • Clicking or grating feeling in the jaw joint
  • Headaches

Management

  • Avoid foods that require excessive chewing.
  • Your Physiotherapist, at Advantage Healthcare and Physiotherapy, will conduct a thorough assessment and work towards managing your immediate pain. They will provide you with self-management advice, postural re-education and other strategies to promote a full recovery.
  • Grinding or clenching your teeth can cause TMJ pain. A dentist can assess if you are grinding your teeth and prescribe a mouth splint to give your jaw a rest.
  • Stress can contribute to clenching/grinding your teeth. Therefore activities which can minimise stress are helpful.

< back to articles