Why does my jaw hurt?
Do you have pain in your jaw joint? Does your jaw get stuck? Do you have painful clicking or popping? Do you suffer from frequent headaches, especially migraines? If so, you may want to talk to Doctor Archibald about Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, commonly referred to as TMJ or TMD.
Your temporomandibular joints (you have two of them, one on each side) allow you to open and close your mouth and slide your jaw from side to side or back and forth. They are part of a complicated system of muscles, connective tissues, and bone that makes all these movements possible. But because they are so complex, your jaw joints can develop various different problems.
Some possible causes of TMJ/TMD include:
- Diseases that affect muscles and joints, such as arthritis
- Injury to the jaw joint or connective tissue
- Habitual movements of the teeth and jaws, like grinding or clenching
Other conditions like sinus or ear infections; neck, shoulder or back injuries, or even bad posture can cause pain in your jaw area. All these things may be part of the discussion when Dr. Archibald meets with you to discuss the source of your jaw pain.
What are symptoms of TMJ/TMD?
- Pain in and around the ear
- Pain when chewing
- Tender jaw muscles
- Painful clicking or popping when opening or closing the jaw
- Difficulty opening or closing the mouth
- Pain when yawning or opening wide
- Headaches, facial or neck pain
One large, multiyear study also found that people with TMJ/TMD are more likely to report chronic symptoms—like runny nose, fatigue, or dizziness. Anxiety and depression have also been associated with TMJ/TMD.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please call 540.900.2898 to schedule an exam with Dr. Archibald.