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FAQ:  Jaw Pain



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Question:
Physical Impact Trauma: The other day I fell and hit my chin on the concrete. Now my jaw really hurts but the doctors at the hospital said that there is nothing wrong with my jaw.

I cannot open it alot and sometimes it hurts to talk. What could it be and how do I fix it? ...Visitor from NY

Answer:
A fall and a strike to the jaw can create problems for the many systems that comprise normal jaw function.

These are the muscles of mastication (the muscles which make the jaw move), the upper and lower jaw bones themselves, and the articular disc (a cushioning device for the bones which lies between them) that exists at the hinge points of the upper and lower jaw.

Often the muscle will get sore and limit the motion. This is similar to working out in the gym too long and the next day your muscles are stiff. Moist heat, massage stretching will help along with some healing time.

The other common problem is having the articular disc slide out of place. This would present as either a new clicking sound in the ear or a loss of an old clicking sound. The disc slides forward and is blocking the jaw from fully opening. This may require being seen by a dentist who concentrates in TMJ treatment.

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