According to the American Academy of Orofacial Pain, Temporomandibular Jaw Disorder (or TMD) “usually involves more than one symptom and rarely has a single cause.”
Sufferers of TMD often show many different symptoms including pain at the jaw joint area in front of the ear particularly when chewing or yawning, headaches, clicking or popping of the jaw, ringing ears, painful and sudden spasms of the jaw, as well as issues with the jaw “locking”.
When dealing with TMD, less treatment is often the best treatment. If you are experiencing TMD-like symptoms, first try some self-care by eating soft foods for several days, limit opening the mouth wide while yawning or laughing, use a warm compress on the site of the pain for 15 minutes each day.
Stress can be a cause of TMD as many people clench their jaw during stressful periods. If you are aware of that behavior, try yoga or relaxation exercises to decrease stress. If you tend to sleep on the side where you notice the most pain, try sleeping on your back or on the other side.
If, after trying the suggestions above you are still experiencing pain, contact Physical Therapy & Wellness Center; our physical therapists can analyze the mobility of your jaw and help relieve the pain and release muscle tension with stretching exercises or low-level electrical current treatment to relax the jaw joint and facial muscles.
For more information please contact us today at 530.529.3636.