Types of Jaw Pain in TMJ

TMJ is a complex condition that causes derangement in the jaw joint and disorder among the many systems that are involved in the smooth functioning of the jaw. As a result, you might experience several types of jaw pain, including pain in the:

  • Muscles
  • Bones and teeth
  • Joint
  • Nerves

Depending on the nature of your TMJ, you may experience one or all of these types of jaw pain, which are distinct in character. Understanding them will help you understand how TMJ treatment can provide relief.

Jaw Pain in the Muscles

Muscular jaw pain is the most common type of jaw pain in TMJ. No matter what is going on with the rest of your jaw, your muscles are involved, and if they’re not functioning smoothly, they will feel it.

This type of jaw pain is like sore muscles anywhere else in your body associated with chronic fatigue. It’s a dull, aching, throbbing pain that follows the affected muscles up and down your face. It will often get worse after eating a chewy meal, talking more than usual, or exercising (especially lifting weights). It can affect one or both sides of the face. It is commonly associated with headaches, neck pain, and upper back pain.

Jaw Pain in the Bones and Teeth

If your muscles are working hard, they are probably putting excess pressure on your bones and teeth, which can make them hurt.

Like muscular jaw pain, this is a dull, throbbing pain that can get worse after muscles have been especially active. You may not experience muscle pain even though the muscles are the cause of your pain in the teeth and bones. It is commonly associated with teeth wear and damage.

Jaw Pain can be a symptom of TMJ

Jaw Pain in the Joint

The cushioning disk in your jaw is designed to take the punishment of the temporal and mandibular bones pushing together. But if the disk is displaced, pressure is being put on tissues that aren’t designed to take it, like the ligaments that are supposed to hold the disk in place, or the bones themselves. This can lead to pain and swelling, which leads to more pain.

This pain is localized to the jaw joint. It can affect one or both sides. It’s commonly associated with jaw popping or clicking, irregular jaw motion, and sticking jaw.

Jaw Pain in the Nerves

Technically, all pain is felt in the nerves, but when the nerves are involved directly and aren’t carrying pain from other tissues, the pain is different. If your nerves are being pinched in TMJ, you may experience a sharp, electric pain. It may come and go or may be constant. Other times, though, pain in the nerves may not feel like pain. It can be numbness or even other sensations like ringing in the ears or dizziness.

If you are experiencing jaw pain you think might be related to TMJ, please call (910) 392-6060 or email Kuzma Advanced Dentistry.