Jaw Joint Pain
If you experience jaw joint pain you are not alone. It is experienced by a significant number of people. Fortunately for most people the symptoms will subside with time.
If you have pain near the front of your ear, headaches or muscle pain on one side of your head , difficulty opening or closing your mouth then you should consult your dentist.
In the meantime here are a few things that you can do to reduce your symptoms.
Avoid movement that can exacerbate joint pain:
• wide jaw opening movements,
• moving excessively from one side to another,
• intentional popping or clicking the joint.
Diet modifications can also decrease jaw muscle tension and fatigue:
- smaller cuts/pieces to avoid wide opening,
- soft diet, avoid hard/crunchy/chewy foods,
- limiting caffeine is advisable to reduce muscle tension.
Thermal treatments include applications of cold, hot and moist heat. Cold packs are typically a better thermal treatment than heat. If you cannot tolerate cold, or there is an increase in symptoms, then a heat pack alternating with cold can be used. You should apply thermal packs twice a day. Cold packs should be applied 10-15 minutes, and heat packs or hot pads about 15-20 minutes. Cold pack applications should not exceed fifteen minutes within an hour in order to avoid damage to the skin.
Jaw joint pain questionnaire. Before visiting your dentist download this form and answer the questions prior to your arrival.