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Why Does My Jaw Hurt When I Chew or Yawn?

That sudden pain gets scary because you don’t know exactly what’s causing it. Whether it’s a sharp pain or a mild discomfort (e.g. mild facial pain, clicking sounds when you open or close your jaw), the problem could be serious and requires urgent professional diagnosis and treatment.

Why does my jaw hurt when I chew or yawn

One common cause is temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). The temporomandibular joint is what connects your jawbone to your skull. The pain you’re feeling might come from that joint and/or the surrounding muscles, which in turn can be caused by a jaw injury, arthritis or genetics. No matter how careful we are, many of us will have TMJ.

Millions of people actually have TMJ but only a few of them get diagnosis or treatment. In most cases it’s tolerable and manageable but the pain and discomfort can distract you from your work, sleep, exercise and leisure. For example, you’re in an important gathering or business presentation and you don’t want the jaw pain to distract you. It can also be a constant burden because in the back of your mind you know you have to do something about the pain.

Here at Wellers Hill and Woolloongabba Physiotherapy we could do a proper diagnosis and design a tailored treatment for you. Dentists and ENT surgeons send their patients to us when it comes to TMJ. Also, many patients now recognise how physiotherapy helps in effectively managing the pain and improving the range of motion of the joints.

It starts with a thorough diagnosis to figure out the root cause. This thorough diagnosis also helps in designing a tailored treatment perfectly suited for the patient. The treatment program may involve the following:

  • Soft tissue releases plus massage and trigger point therapy (for decreasing the tension in the jaw)
  • Joint mobilisation to decrease pain
  • Relaxation and active exercises
  • Correction of the movement pattern
  • Postural guidance for proper alignment

It’s an integrated approach because patients who experience jaw pain also often feel pain in their necks and lower backs (dizziness and ear blockages are also common). In addition, these patients may have been prone to stress or were involved in a vehicular accident. They feel the pain and discomfort in different parts of their bodies. Perhaps the jaw pain is just one of the symptoms.

You could have sleepless nights because of those worries. It’s crucial to face them head on so that you could focus again on your career or home living. It’s about being proactive and not waiting for the condition to get worse. Also, it’s about reclaiming your peace of mind.

Contact us here at Wellers Hill and Woolloongabba Physiotherapy if you require a thorough diagnosis and tailored treatment. We only use science-backed techniques and strategies in helping patients get back to an active and worry-free lifestyle.