My Jaw is Sore When I Chew

If your jaw is sore when you chew, or when you open your mouth wide to yawn? Do you have soreness in your ear, jaw muscle, cheek, or teeth? Does your jaw ever make a popping noise when you talk, or does it get stuck when you’ve opened it wide?

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you may have temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD, a condition that effects your jaw joint.

Signs of TMD may include:

  • Pain in the face, neck, or shoulders that radiates outward;
  • Trouble moving your mouth or locking of your jaw;
  • A clicking or grinding sound or sensation when opening or shutting your mouth;
  • A noteworthy change in the way the upper and lower teeth fit together;
  • Recurring headaches, ear infections, wooziness, hearing issues and trouble swallowing.

Most people experience some temporary discomfort in their jaw that regularly happens in cycles. Some people have persistent TMD pain however. Your dentist can help determine if your issue is truly TMD and can develop a plan of treatment especially if your are constantly saying ‘My jaw is sore when I chew’.

TMD Diagnosis and Treatment

To diagnose TMD, your dentist may ask you to put three fingers in your mouth and bite down on them. You will also be asked to open and close your mouth and chew more than once while the specialist checks the jaw joint and the surrounding muscles. If you have no trouble doing these two things, your issue is probably not caused by TMD. Your dentist will then look for other causes, such as pain, infection, or other anomalies.

If you do have TMD, your dentist may suggest some special exercises, as well as de-stressing techniques such as massage or meditation. If you have TMD, you will want to avoid activities such as chewing extremely crunchy foods, or taking overlarge bites. Perform TMD-particular exercises. Your dentist may prescribe exercises that stretch and loosen your jaw muscles.

About James Kline DDS

My name is Dr. James Kline, and it has been my pleasure to serve the South Bay for 38 years in the same location at Manhattan Beach Dental Center. A California native, I received my pre-dental education at Pasadena Nazarene College. At the age of 21, I started Dental School at the University of Southern California where I was graduated in 1973. As a result of their excellent training, I am very comfortable performing more involved procedures like Root Canal Therapy and Oral Surgery such as Wisdom Tooth Extractions. Continuous training allows me to provide Cosmetic and Restorative Dentistry. For your convenience, I have a Dental Laboratory on the premises. This allows me to work closely with the Dental Technician to fabricate the most functional and esthetic Partials and Dentures. I am also able to accommodate emergency Denture Repairs on the spot.As your General Dentist, I care about your dental conditions as it relates to your overall health and well being. Your comfort during dental procedures is my highest concern. I work at your pace and offer free Nitrous Oxide Gas. I remain committed to giving you a healthy and attractive smile with honest and conservative treatment while developing a long term relationship.My hobbies include traveling, fishing, Texas Hold’em, Swimming, and Singing. My passion is Barbershop Quartet Singing which I started at age twelve. It has allowed me to perform in concerts around the world for 40 years. Ultimately my Quartet won the coveted International Barbershop Quartet Championship in 2004. I have two children, both married, and a beautiful baby granddaughter. I have been blessed to serve this community and look forward to doing so for many years to come. I enjoy coming to the office everyday and I’m encouraged the company of my wonderful staff and patients. I look forward to meeting you. At our office, we have a relaxed atmosphere. There’s a open reception area that allows me meet, greet and answer any questions that our clients may have. We have a great play area for kids and many of our adult patients have a great time in our waiting room. On any given day, a spontaneous “party” can happen in the front area while serious dentistry is getting performed. We take pride in getting to know our patients and making them feel comfortable, like family, and not just an anonymous face off the street. This is what sets us apart from any other practice in the area.
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