Jaw Pain and Face Pain
There are many different types of TMJ, but the most common is myofascial pain disorder (MPD). In MPD, your jaw muscles are unable to find a comfortable resting position. This may be related to a bad bite–your teeth don’t fit together in a way that lets your jaw muscles relax.
When these jaw muscles can’t relax, they become tense and sore. They also become fatigued.
Jaw muscles are the largest muscles in the head. They extend from the bottom of your jaw all the way up to your temples, attaching behind your eyes.
If you have deep, muscle aches anywhere in this area, you may have TMJ. In addition, TMJ might cause you to experience:
- Fatigue when you chew
- Swelling of the face
- Inability to hold your jaw open for long
Depending on the nature of your TMJ, you might experience symptoms on one or both sides of your face.
Jaw Dysfunction and Neck Pain
Jaw problems can also lead to neck pain. Although your chewing muscles don’t extend down into your neck, they partner with neck muscles to support and stabilize the head. When the jaw muscles are fatigued, they can’t do their part and the neck muscles have to work harder. This causes them to get tired and sore, too.
In addition, the inability to properly close your jaw makes it harder for your neck muscles to support your head. With a closed jaw, your head is a more stable platform, easier to support. When the jaw is open, the head is less stable and requires more effort to support.
If your jaw is imbalanced, it can pass that imbalance on to your neck, pulling your vertebrae out of alignment. This can lead to poor neck posture, which can also make your neck muscles sore.
Treating Face and Neck Pain in Fort Atkinson
Fortunately, treatment of TMJ can reduce or eliminate face and neck pain along with other TMJ symptoms. If you have TMJ that is causing this or other symptoms, please call (920) 563-7323 today for an appointment with TMJ dentist Dr. Stafford at Bite Align, serving Jefferson County from our office in Fort Atkinson.