Waking up in the morning with headaches, a stiff or locked jaw, or you partner complaining about your tooth grinding at night are all symptoms of TMD (Tempromandibular Joint Disorder) or other jaw joint and muscle of mastication related problems.
Causes of Jaw Pain
Tooth grinding (grinding the teeth against each other, usually subconsciously and at night) causes wear facets on the biting surfaces of the teeth, flattening them and predisposing the tooth edges to chipping. Tooth grinding may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as sore teeth, sore jaw and dull headaches. If it is severe, it results in a noticeable loss of vertical height from the teeth. Clenching of the teeth along with tooth grinding can lead to damage in the jaw joints from overloading and fatigue/aches in the muscles that are being used during clenching and grinding.
This can cause ongoing headaches, typically experienced in the morning or at the end of the day. Sometimes these headaches can be very debilitating and if acute you should seek treatment straight away. Trauma to the jaw joint either chronic, (through clenching and grinding) or acute, (injury through striking the jaw hard) can also cause the jaw to lock open or closed.
Treatment of Jaw Pain
We recommend you see a dentist as quickly as you can. In most cases, if attended to rapidly the jaw can be easily reduced and can return back to normal. Should you be suffering from Sore, Locked Jaws or Limited Jaw Movement, we recommend you see your dentist who will be able to provide you with advice on the best treatment moving forward.