Jaw pain is one of the most common symptoms of TMJ, but not everyone experiences the same type of jaw pain. Instead, there are two common types of jaw pain that you may experience associated with your TMJ: masticatory muscle pain (MMP) and joint pain.
MMP Jaw Pain
MMP is when your jaw muscles are sore. It tends to be felt as a dull, aching pain that affects the entire jaw region. It can occur even when your jaw isn’t being moved or used, but it may also be more serious after you’ve used your jaw muscles vigorously (eating tough foods). It may be caused by bruxism or daytime clenching of your teeth.
You may not be able to open your mouth all the way because of the pain.
You may also have headaches, feel fullness in your ears, and have neck pain.
It’s hard to narrow down the cause of this type of pain, but it seems to result from a complicated interaction of physical and environmental factors, with a hormonal component, and an emotional one. It can be triggered by injury, and influenced by sensitizing mechanisms.
Jaw Joint Pain
This type of pain occurs when the jaw joint has been disrupted. The cushioning disk in the jaw joint may be displaced, or swollen. The pain you experience tends to be more sharp, and concentrated on the jaw, though it may radiate toward the ear region. It often occurs when you move your jaw a certain way or when your jaw reaches a certain point during its motion.
Jaw joint pain may be accompanied by a locking jaw, or by a jaw that pops, clicks, or jumps suddenly. Other times, you may experience the pain more constantly, and you may hear a kind of grinding noise in your joint.
The same types of overexertion that can cause MMP can lead to joint pain because they can displace the joint. This type of pain is more likely to result from jaw injury.
Relief Is Here
Whether you have one or both types of jaw pain associated with TMJ, we can help. TMJ treatment can immediately relieve some of your TMJ symptoms, and over time lead to a complete relief.
To learn more about how we can help you, please contact Beyond Exceptional Dentistry in Savannah, Georgia today.