Jaw pain

Also known as the temporomandibular joint.

What is jaw pain?

Your temporomandibular joint is a hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull, which are in front of each ear. It lets you move your jaw up and down and side to side, so you can talk, chew, and yawn.

Problems with your jaw and the muscles in your face that control it are known as temporomandibular disorders (TMD). Pain can be mild to severe and may be aggravated by movement of the jaw.

What are symptoms of TMJ pain?

TMJ pain often causes severe pain and discomfort. It can be temporary or last many years. It might affect one or both sides of your face. More women than men have it, and it’s most common among people between the ages of 20 and 40.

Symptoms may include:

  • Pain and tenderness in your face, neck, shoulder and jaw when you’re moving your jaw
  • Trouble chewing or opening your mouth
  • Jaw clicking, locking or popping when moving. This may or may not be painful
  • Swelling

What causes TMJ pain?

The cause of TMJ pain is unknown and multifactorial. Injury to your jaw, the joint, or the muscles of your head and neck — like from a heavy blow or whiplash — can lead to TMJ pain. Other causes include:

  • Grinding or clenching of the jaw
  • Stress
  • Injury
  • Arthritis

Chiropractic management of TMJ pain

Depending on the cause of your TMJ pain you’ll be given a treatment care plan to address your jaw issue. Your jaw pain may or may not be chiropractic appropriate or we may co-manage with other health professionals to manage your TMJ pain. Release muscular tension around the jaw, neck and shoulder improve jaw function. Chiropractic adjustment and mobilisation of the neck and jaw region have shown to be effective.