Ouch! My Jaw Hurts!

When pain occurs in the jaw, it can be difficult to talk and eat. The joint of the jaw is called the temporomandibular joint or TMJ. Jaw pain can be a symptom of temporomandibular joint dysfunction or TMD.

What causes TMD and jaw pain?

1. Teeth that are not aligned (such as an under bite where the bottom teeth are more forward than the top teeth or an overbite where the top teeth are more forward and rest over the bottom teeth). Malaligned teeth can create abnormal forces across the TMJ.

2. The muscles surrounding the jaw are in constant contractionThis means that the muscles never stop working. For example, a person who has difficulty sleeping may not be able to find a comfortable resting position and this could contribute to their jaw pain. The function of the temporalis muscle is to close the mouth. It has to constantly work against gravity to keep the mouth closed so that a person does not walk around...

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