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FAQ:  Jaw Pain

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Jaw Pain Ask The Periodontist Christopher McFarland Question:
Jaw joint lock: I am a 32 year old lactating woman who completed root canal of 2 lower right side teeth in 4 sittings with 4 dental anastheshia earlier this month.

Since my last appointment I have difficulty in opening my mouth. I can open my mouth only 5-6 cm. The dentist suggested that I do some jaw-mouth exercises with a warm compress. I was not given any medicines because I was lactating.

The dentist even tried to forcably open my mouth twice. During the following week I had unbearable pain along with severe headache for 3 hrs. Since then there has been no improvement in my condition.

I don't understand why I am having so much pain. Please suggest what can be done. ...Visitor from India

Treatments that involve keeping the jaw open or over-extended for long periods of time typically cause the symptoms you report.

Sedation medications typically help to reduce or eliminate the discomfort the associated with keeping the jaw open for extended periods of time.

TENS unit treatments help to relax jaw joint muscles in a fashion that muscle relaxants do.

Consider getting a consult with a Prosthodontist with 15+ years treatment experience. Forcing your jaw to open may not be a smart thing to do.... since it suggests that your jaw joints have been affected.

Prosthodontists are the "masters" of adult bite function.

Editorial Staff

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