The jaw joints and groups of muscles that let us chew, swallow, speak and yawn are known as the temporomandibular. When there’s a problem with how the joints and muscles work, you may have a temporomandibular disorder.

 

Symptoms:

  • Your jaw may be painful when you wake up, clench your teeth, chew your food or yawn.
  • It may be hard to open or close your jaws all the way, or your jaws may lock open or closed.
  • Severe headaches.
  • You may hear strange noises in your jaw joints, such as clicking or popping when you open your mouth, or crunching and grinding sounds when you chew.

Cause and Effect:

  • The cause of temporomandibular is not always clear, but in most cases stress is a major factor. Here are some of the things that might cause it:
  • Clenching your jaw muscles can cause them to ache. Some people grind their teeth or clench their jaw muscles when they are under stress.
  • Broken, or fractured, jaws or a jaw joint that has been knocked out of place or dislocated
  • Some diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, may affect the jaw joints and muscles.

What you can do:

  • Be aware of when you are clenching your teeth and try to relax your jaw muscles.
  • Stay away from hard or sticky foods. Do not chew gum. Eat a soft diet and cut food into small pieces. Try not to open your mouth too wide, even when you yawn.
  • Rub or massage and stretch your jaw muscles.
  • Put a cold or warm compress on your sore jaw muscles to help ease tense muscles. For a cold compress, use ice cubes wrapped in a towel, for a warm compress, use a hot water bottle or a hot, damp cloth.

It can sometimes be annoying when you eat and your jaw pops or it can be painful, just remember the saying, “Lips together … teeth apart.” when you are relaxed, this will ease the tense muscles. If the pain gets to intense, go and see your dentist.