The joint between your upper and lower jaws, just in front of your ears, is called the temporomandibular-joint ("TMJ" for short). Cartilage (a gristly substance) separates the bone surfaces. The jaw joints can occasionally cause problems, which your dentist can help diagnose and treat.
Clicking or grating noises when you move your jaw.
Difficulty opening or closing your mouth.
Swelling or tenderness over the joint.
Pain in the face, neck and chewing muscles (some people also have pain in the shoulders and I or back).
Headaches or migraine, especially first thing in the morning.
Pain in your ear, possibly with ringing noises.
Clicking or grating noises are usually down to the cartilage jumping when you open your mouth.
The problem can be addressed by:
Jaw joint pain is usually the result of increased tension in the jaw muscles. Factors involved in this include:
These are often related to fatigue-stress and anxiety. Painkillers and sedatives can relieve symptoms in the short term.
Possible solutions to the underlying problem include:
Some people may be experiencing jaw joint problems due to the way their teeth or dentures meet when they bite. This can be resolved by adjusting the position or the shape of some teeth, by replacing missing teeth with dentures or implants, or by making a new denture, as necessary.