Jaw Pain

Jaw Pain | Dental Specialists Turramurra

Jaw pain is often described as a throbbing, uncomfortable pain and can occur on one side or both sides.

Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) can include a variety of symptoms and problems such as jaw pain, headaches, neck aches, facial pain, cracked and sensitive teeth, ringing in the ears.

In addition to pain, jaw problems often make a clicking or popping sound when opening the mouth or chewing. In severe cases, this can even cause the jaw to become permanently stuck in an open or closed position.

We are dedicated to fully comprehending your issues and discomfort at Dental Specialists Turramurra, as the most effective treatment of TMD only comes when there is a complete picture of your symptoms and history.

At Dental Specialists Turramurra, we provide a wide range of specialist dental treatments and services. Contact us for more information or to book an appointment.

Home Care Advice for Jaw Muscle Strain and Jaw Joint Dysfunction

In the same way as your legs become sore after you run a marathon, the muscles and joints of your jaw can also become sore if they are overworked.  The following advice will help your jaw muscles and joints to heal and restore comfort and function.  The time taken to gain symptom resolution and comfort will depend largely on how closely you follow this advice.

  1. Rest for your muscles and joints

    • Avoid chewy and hard foods. These include fresh carrots, steak, apples, minties and nuts.  Maintain a soft diet until your pain has resolved.
    • Avoid biting food with your front teeth. Cut your food into smaller pieces.  This will also reduce them amount that you have to chew.
    • Keep teeth comfortably apart at all times during the day, but particularly during times of stress, intense concentration and physical exertion.  Practice saying the word “none”, which will help maintain a comfortable jaw opening.
    • Avoid any activities that stretch or strain your jaw. These might include swimming, playing the violin or flute, singing, yawning wide and shouting.
    • Reduce caffeine, sugar and nicotine. These are stimulants which may increase muscle tension.
    • Sleep on your back.  Sleeping on your side or your stomach places significant pressure on your jaw joints and muscles and multiplies the effect of tooth grinding.  Done correctly, back sleeping can be very comfortable.  Lie on your back with your head touching the bed.  Bend your knees and place your feet on the bed.  A pillow may be used to support your knees and a towel or a heat pack for your neck.  If you place a pillow on either side of your face, this may help you feel as though you are on your side.  Your head, shoulders, buttocks and soles of your feet should touch the bed at the same time, maintaining a perfectly straight alignment.
  2. Reduce your stress levels

    • Avoid stressful situations at home and work as much as possible
    • Take some time for yourself each day and do activities you enjoy without interruptions. Short pleasurable interludes make your day enjoyable.
    • Exercise regularly.  Regular aerobic exercises help reduce your stress levels, increase your fitness, energy and sense of well-being.  Try to schedule exercises three times per week.
    • Relaxation exercises.  These will help reduce your stress as well.
  3. Use hot packs on your sore jaw muscles

    The best type of heat is moist heat.  Place a wet face washer in the microwave for 30 sec until hot.  Roll it up and wrap it under and around your jaw in a “U” shape stretching from one temple to the other.  Use small round circles to massage the heat into the painful areas.  Do this twice a day for 20 minutes, more often if possible.

  4. Correct your posture

    Most people spend all their time with a forward head posture.  It places excessive strain on your neck and may lead to pain.  If the head is held forwards, pain can be projected to the jaw and also result in headaches.  If you are sitting still for long periods of time at a desk or a computer or whilst driving, stretch your neck at least every 15 minutes.  Rotate your shoulders and do “chin tucks” to straighten your cervical spine.

  5. Take Medication as prescribed

  6. Perform any physiotherapeutic jaw exercises as prescribed

    If you are given jaw exercises, please perform them as per instruction sheets.

If you have any problems or questions, do not hesitate to call.

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Suite 2, 1335 Pacific Highway, Turramurra NSW 2074

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Suite 2, 1335 Pacific Highway, Turramurra NSW 2074
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