What do we need to know about the jaw muscle pain?
The jaw is one of the most complex bones in the human facial skeleton. Movement of the lower jaw opens and closes the mouth and also allows for the chewing of food. The lower set of teeth in the mouth are rooted in the lower jaw.
What are the most common symptoms of masticatory problems?
Muscle pain: Muscle pain and tension around the jaw is usually the result of muscle strain, often due to poor fit of the upper and lower dentures, irreplaceable teeth, or a blow to the joint.
Headaches, sometimes migraines
Gnashing of teeth at night
Toothache and facial pain without a dental problem
Tinnitus, imbalance, ear pain
Chewing, cracking when opening the mouth, clicking (crepitation)
Gnashing of teeth due to stress can also cause pain and tension.
Joint pain: In the case of joint dysfunction, the disc in the joint is more advanced than normal. In some cases the disc is only advanced when the mouth is closed, but the disc may also never return to its normal position so that the mouth can only be opened to a limited extent.
Traumatic arthritis: Inflammation of the jaw joint can be infectious or traumatic. The traumatic form often occurs in slap-cut patients.
Infectious arthritis (inflammation of the joints) is the result of an infection that spreads from the surrounding parts of the joint or circulates from another part of the body.
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How can the masticatory problems be fixed or eliminated?
A few simple exercises and attention can eliminate, or at least alleviate, jaw problems. Some good advice:
It’s very important to exercise regularly to help avoid unnecessary squeezing of your teeth during the day. Under stress, you can grit your teeth practically without noticing. From certain typical postures, we can infer with good enough accuracy the relative position of the jawbones. Lip biting, forced chewing of chewing gum, nail biting can all mean unnecessary increased muscle work, which can lead to overload of the muscles of the jaw joint. If you are aware that you are squeezing or gnashing your teeth at night, if the opening of your mouth after waking up in the morning is painful, or it’s difficult to start using it, make sure to tell your doctor. Symptoms may even include post-awakening temporal pain (of the temple) or pain in the masticatory muscles of the lower jaw.
The most important thing is to try consciously to keep your mouth muscles at rest during the day. You can achieve this position of rest by touching your lips without tension, so that your teeth do not touch. It’s important that even posterior teeth do not come into contact at rest. Breathing through the nose is important too. Breathing through the mouth leads to muscles (breathing auxiliary muscles) working harder in the neck and shoulders. Overloading these muscles can also cause inflammation of the joint through increased activity in the masticatory muscles.
General cervical spine and shoulder exercises
The shoulder girdle and neck muscles are in close functional and innervated contact with masticatory muscles. Cervical spine problems and the consequent increase in muscle tone can by itself cause inflammatory changes in the masticatory joint. This is why it’s also recommended to do general exercise on a daily basis, regardless of whether you feel pain or not.