Jaw pain is an uncomfortable problem that can typically be relieved with home care and professional, non-surgical treatments.
Jaw pain is common and most often the result of a disorder of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). It can be difficult to diagnose. The experts at Austin Clinic help patients identify the cause of their jaw discomfort and recommend the best ways to alleviate the pain.
Your TMJ connects your lower jawbone to each side of your skull. You use it when you chew and speak. If the muscles surrounding the joint become irritated or inflamed, it causes jaw pain. TMJ may also be linked to teeth grinding (bruxism), and generally affects people between 20 and 40. Jaw pain is assessed with range-of-motion tests, and x-rays. In rare cases, jaw surgery may be indicated due to structural problems and/or severe pain.
For most patients, a non-invasive medical treatment is all that is needed. A mouthguard can help relieve clenching when you sleep. If that is not effective, a muscle-relaxing injectable medicine that is popular for its use on wrinkles is now used to treat jaw pain. These injections impede muscle action, which can decrease jaw pain. Symptoms improved in 90% of patients in a study at Harvard University. The nurse injectors at Austin Clinic are experienced with muscle-relaxing medications for jaw pain and are skilled at expert placement.