Face Ache? Is it a Pain in the Neck?

Posted by on 14 February 2014 | Comments

We all suffer from aches and pains occasionally but do you ever have clicking or grating noises when you move your jaw or :

  • Difficulty opening or closing your mouth
  • Swelling or tenderness over your jaw joint
  • Pain in your face, neck or chewing muscles
  • Pain in your shoulders and back
  • Headaches or migraine – especially in the morning
  • Pain in your ear

You may have TMJ problems.The temporomandibular joint is the joint between your upper and lower jaws – just in front of your ear. The bone surfaces are separated by a gristly cartilage. Pain around this joint is usually the result of increased tension in the jaw muscles. Tension is often caused by fatigue, stress or anxiety and their physical symptoms can be made worse by :

  • Grinding or clenching your teeth – this can happen during the day but many people clench their teeth at night, without even realising
  • Habits such as biting your nails or chewing a pen

Some people may have jaw problems because of the way their teeth or dentures meet together when they bite. 

Painkillers and sedatives can relieve symptoms in the short term - sometimes the thing that’s causing the stress, like moving house, will come to an end. If its longer term, it’s better to try and treat the underlying issue.

  • Use relaxation and stress-relieving techniques
  • Give up habits that aggravate the condition
  • Wear a night guard (made by a dentist), to help you stop grinding your teeth in your sleep
  • Problems with bite can be helped by adjusting the position or shape of some teeth, by replacing missing teeth (with dentures or implants) or by making a new denture 

So if life’s a pain in the neck, come and see us.  Our dentists may have the solution.