Chronic Jaw Pain Caused By Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)
Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are a common subgroup of orofacial pain disorders that are often incorrectly referred to as TMJ.
Common TMD symptoms include:
- Pain or discomfort in or around the ear
- Pain or discomfort in or around the jaw joint
- Pain or discomfort in or around the muscles of the jaw, face or temples
- Clicking, popping or grating noises
- Abnormal jaw opening such as catching, locking, deviation or limited movement
- Chewing difficulties
TMD usually has multiple symptoms and rarely has a single cause. It can either be myogenous (muscle-generated pain) or arthrogenous (joint-generated pain).
Self-Care for Jaw Pain Caused By TMD
In general, self-care for chronic jaw pain from TMD should include:
- Limited jaw opening (yawning, etc) to no more than two finger widths
- Rest of the jaw by avoiding heavy chewing (e.g. gum, bagel, tough meats)
- Avoidance of grinding and clenching of teeth by keeping the teeth slightly apart and the jaw relaxed
- Avoidance of leaning or sleeping on the jaw
- Avoidance of tongue thrusting and chewing fingernails or non-food objects
- Avoidance of playing wind, brass and string instruments that stress, retrude or strain the jaw
- Use of cold/ice packs or moist heat compresses as directed by your doctor or therapist
- Massage the affected muscles
- Gentle range of motion exercise of the jaw as directed by your doctor or therapist
- Use of over-the-counter medications such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naproxen or Tylenol
For more information about caring for chronic jaw pain, contact the Raleigh Facial Pain Center.
Treatment for TMD-Related Facial Pain & Jaw Pain in Raleigh, NC
If you have experienced any of these symptoms or have chronic jaw or facial pain, consider setting up an appointment with Dr. Keith A. Yount, who is board certified and residency trained, at the Raleigh Facial Pain Center. Our experienced staff can assist you with living a pain-free life again. We provide a combination of dental and medical services that you can not get anywhere else.
The Raleigh Facial Pain Center treats chronic facial and jaw pain in patients in Raleigh, NC and surrounding areas, including Wake Forest, Greenville, Pinehurst, New Bern, Greensboro and even South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Contact us today for more information.