Dr Carole Goldsmith





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Dr. Carole Goldsmith

Jaw Pain





Each patient has his or her own unique kind of pain. Some patients have joint pain and/or dysfunction only, while others have muscle pain only. However, most patients present with some combination of joint and muscle pain and dysfunction.

Symptoms arising from the jaw muscles

"Toothaches" can be caused by trigger points in the jaw muscles, and pain may be felt in any tooth.
However, when a trigger point causes a "toothache", there is actually nothing wrong with the tooth!
Frequently, unnecessary root canals and even tooth extractions are performed in an attempt to help a suffering person with TMD-related toothaches. What is worse is that after these invasive and non-reversible procedures, patients still have their original pain!

Headaches and pain behind the eyes
Headache is one of the most common symptoms of a problem with the muscles of mastication (chewing muscles). Often, the headache is located in the temples and behind the eyes. These headaches are sometimes so severe that they may be confused with migraine headaches.
Jaw stiffness and pain
Jaw stiffness and pain come from tight jaw muscles, often the big jaw muscle in the cheek, called the
masseter muscle.
Earache, stuffy ears, ringing in the ears
Because the jaw joint (TMJ) is right in front of the ears, problems in this joint may be felt as an earache,
fullness or stuffiness, and even a loss of hearing.
Neck stiffness and pain
Neck stiffness and pain arise from tight neck muscles/or and trapped nerves in the neck, both of which
cause neck, shoulder and/or upper back pain that may also be felt in the face and jaw.

Symptoms arising from the temporomandibular joint, jaw joint, TMJ

Localized pain over the joint and in the ear.
Clicking, popping, grating sounds
There may or may not be pain in the joint itself with the sound of a click or pop.
Jaw locking open or closed
The jaw may be "stuck" intermittently or all the time.
Change in bite
A dislocated TMJ may first be noticed by due to a change in the dental occlusion, or bite. If the TMJ disc dislocates (goes out of place), the bones and disc do not fit together properly and therefore, the bite of the teeth changes.