Jaw pain can be an extremely irritating, frustrating and painful condition. You cannot chew food normally, and sometimes you can hardly open your mouth to brush your teeth.
There are also several truths and myths relating to chronic jaw pain:
Some people say that chewing gum can relieve the pain. This is not true, because by chewing you are tensing your muscles in the jaw even more.
In fact, it is advisable to consume as many soft foods as possible, and avoid chewing on hard foods that will put more pressure and strain upon your jaw. Patients with jaw pain because of a condition called bruxism (teeth grinding) should definitely wear special night mouth guards or “bite block” devices during nighttime.
Jaw pain is not caused only by the condition known as bruxism. It can have many underlying conditions such as jaw muscle disorders, facial nerve problems or different TMJ disorders.
Common signs of TMD problems include jaw pain, jaw locking, or painful popping and clicking sounds in the jaw. Sometimes, even jaw stiffness might occur, migraines and pain in the neck area.
There is a misconception according to which TMD joint problems occur because of arthritis, joint & jaw injury or even stress. It is important to know that there is no single clear cause of TMD problems. You always need to go through medical investigations to see what exactly is causing the pain. Until now, studies weren’t able to pinpoint an exact link between stress and jaw pain.
Women are the ones more likely to develop jaw pain and jaw complications. Women in the age range 20-40 are the ones exposed at the highest risk for such conditions. Moreover, current research is undergoing to see whether the female hormones are somehow linked to these jaw disorders.
When you grind or clench your teeth for long periods of time, this might have an adverse effect on overall health. Besides the pain that you feel in your jaw, you might also damage badly your teeth (worn enamel), and you might also end up with tooth sensitivity. Moreover, patients who grind their teeth a lot have reported frequent earaches and headaches.