If you feel pain in your jaw joint, temples, or ear, it could be a sign of TMD, or Temporomandibular joint disorder. This can often be treated with home remedies, but more severe cases may require surgery.

The TMJ or Temporomandibular joint is what connects the jaw to the skull. Injury to this joint causes the disorder of nerves and muscles, which is diagnosed as TMD. Your TMJ may be injured because of several possible reasons, inclding:

  • Issues with bite
  • Teeth grinding
  • Bad posture
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Excessive gum chewing
  • Enduring a heavy blow or whiplash

A more comprehensive list of symptoms include:

  • Jaw joint pain
  • Ear ache
  • Head ache
  • Pain in the temples
  • Still or sore jaw muscles
  • Locking of the jaw
  • Clicking or popping sounds from the jaw
  • Popping or ringing sounds in the ears
  • Muscle spasms in the jaw
  • Blurred vision
  • Pain at the base of the tongue

The best thing to do when you encounter these symptoms is to let your dentist know so that they can examine the source of the pain and provide a diagnosis. For less severe cases, home remedies can help to treat the symptoms. These include:

  • Putting an ice pack on the area of the joint
  • Gently massaging or stretching the jaw and neck muscles
  • Taking over the counter anti-inflammatory drugs and pain-relievers, such as Advil, aspirin, or Tylenol
  • Eating soft foods and avoiding gum
  • Taking steps to reduce and avoid stress

If home remedies are not enough to ease the symptoms, more drastic measures available to provide short term and long term relief. These include:

  • Dental splint
  • TMJ arthroscopy surgery
  • Joint replacement surgery

There are many possible causes and treatments for your jaw pain. Make sure to address symptoms with your dentist to get a diagnosis and learn what treatment options are best for you.

What your jaw could be telling you

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