Do you have neck, shoulder or back pain? Do you feel tired when you wake up? Sleeping during the day? Your mouth can play a small or major role in how you feel. The arrangement of your head, back pain can reduce pain and fatigue naturally. The temporomandibular joints connect your lower jaw to your skull.
The muscles connected by these organs allow you to talk, chew and swallow. Because these joints connect the neck with your jaw, muscle tension from your jaw can move down to your neck. This tension can manifest itself in pain, spasms, strong muscles and reduced flexibility. To put it more simply, jaw pain can be a pain in the neck.
Who’s at Risk for developing TMJ disorder?
No one knows the exact cause of TMJ disease. However, TMJ disease affects women twice as often as men. Jaw injury to the jaw or jaw joint can sometimes play a role in the development of the problem, but in most cases the cause of the problem is unknown. However, stressful situations can exacerbate symptoms.
The discomfort you experience is caused by overuse of the jaw muscles, especially if you are clenching or grinding your teeth. These excessive behaviors can strain the jaw muscles and cause pain and discomfort associated with the head and neck.
How TMJ cause neck pain
TMJ is connected to a muscular, vascular, and vascular system that allows you to move your jaw to talk, eat, and swallow. There are many ways to promote tension in this system. For example, if your bite is not right, your jaw may not reach the intended destination, thus putting emphasis on TMJ.
Alternatively, the link may have received some type of injury (such as a disk transfer) that prevents it from working properly. Frequent grinding and grinding of teeth, whether during the day or while sleeping, can also lead to TMJ disease.
The muscles in our neck and jaw are very active. If you think that the muscles letting your jaw and mouth move are only involved during eating, think again. These muscle groups are used in almost every movement of your skull, such as when you talk, smile, laugh or even when you move your mouth in thought.
Symptoms TMJ that cause neck pain
In addition to jaw and neck pain, symptoms of TMJ issues may include:
- Discomfort in the ear, face and shoulders
- Pain when chewing, swallowing, yawning and opening your mouth
- Clicking or grinding sound when opening your mouth or chewing
- Limited mouth opening
- Locking of the jaw joint so you are unable to fully close your mouth
- A change in the way your upper and lower teeth fit together
Causes of jaw neck and shoulder pain on the right side
Bone spurs; bone spurs are a physical cause of neck and jaw pain that will require more invasive treatment. Bone spurs is the growth of bones that take up residence in your joints or bones. The bone spurs in your neck will require surgery, most likely arthroscopically.
Misalignment; Whether it is a ‘modern neck’ or a well-known diagnosis of scoliosis, a misalignment of your spine, neck, or other organs such as your jaw can cause neck and jaw pain.
Stress; The pain you feel in your jaw or neck may be your stress and other psychological issues that manifest themselves in a physical way. Medical experts report that most of the common pain that patients report is actually a symptom of a mental disorder that manifests itself through pain.
Temporomandibular joint damage (TMJ); TMJ dysfunction is one of the most common culprits of neck and jaw pain occurring. You have TMJ on each side of your jaw under the ear. These are the tiny joints that connect your jaw to your entire skull. Irritation due to an injury or permanent condition can cause pain in the TMJ joints
Neck tension; Tension in the neck muscles feels more normal than ever due to a phenomenon known as a text neck. We spend so much time looking down on our smart phones that it causes tension in the neck muscles. Tension in the neck can cause pain to spread to the jaw as well and cause headaches.
Sinusitis; Inflammation in the nasal cavities can lead to sinusitis. This is likely to happen if you have a cold, but loads and other medical conditions may also contribute to sinusitis. If the sinuses in the back of your cheeks, known as the maxillary sinuses, are inflamed, you may feel pain in one or both sides of your jaw.
Trigeminal neuralgia; This chronic condition is usually caused by abnormal pressure on the trigeminal nerve. This pressure can prevent the nerves from working properly, causing severe pain. An injury or abnormal brain condition can also cause the condition.
Osteomyelitis; Osteomyelitis is a rare but serious form of bone infection that develops when bacteria enter a bone. Your jaw can be infected after dental surgery, if you have a serious dental health problem, or if your mouth is injured in some way.
If you have mild or temporary pain in your jaw, you may not need treatment. If the cause is not serious, the pain usually improves once the issue is resolved.
- Use ice or cold compresses; These can help with numbness and can be especially helpful if you also have swelling.
- Try to reduce non-medical pain; Acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), and other over-the-counter pain medications can help reduce pain over time. Be sure to follow the dosage instructions on the package.
- Relax your jaw whenever possible; Choosing foods that do not require much chewing can help prevent you from overworking your jaw muscles.
- Try massage; A health care provider, physical therapist, or massage therapist may use massage therapy to help relieve pain and tension in your jaw. You can also learn how to use some techniques on your own. They can be especially helpful for TMJ problems.
- Try to relax; If your jaw pain is caused by grinding or clenching your teeth, relaxation techniques can help you avoid using this as a stress response. Relaxing your muscles can also help reduce pain.
- Change your sleeping position; If you sleep all the time on one side or lie with your hand under your jaw, this can put pressure on your muscles. Changing the sleeping side can help ease your pain.
- For neck pain; slowly, gentle neck exercises can help relieve tension and discomfort, as well as using a warm compress. Intensive massage or physical therapy may be necessary for more severe pain.
- For tinnitus; removing excess ear wax can help reduce tinnitus. For louder ringing, the use of hearing aids also helps to reduce noise.
The pain and discomfort due to TMD jaw problems is not permanent and can even go away on its own. When not done, there are many treatments available to help control your specific TMD condition.
There are two primary symptoms of TMJ disorders: pain and decreased jaw mobility. Physiotherapy treatments have been reported to be effective in bringing about a significant reduction in the severity of these symptoms.
In addition, treatment of trigger points and release of soft tissue can help reduce tension in the jaw, neck muscles and facial muscles. These techniques use mobilization techniques to reduce pain and facilitate movement.
Combining manual therapy with jaw massage has been proven to be effective as well. A professional clinical massage can promote jaw flexion and increase blood circulation in the area.
2. Stress Management
TMJ disorders are known to cause stress and anxiety. When pain is in your mind all the time and you do not know when it will arise, it becomes a factor contributing to your stress.
Unfortunately, stress can also exacerbate TMJ symptoms and cause you headaches. Many people grind and grind their teeth during stress, which can strain your jaw or cause severe pain. Tension from your jaw can tighten the neck and shoulder muscles and cause pain and stiffness.
Managing your stress with simple stress reduction techniques can help you manage your TMJ pain. Similarly, treating a debilitating condition such as TMJ may help you to reduce your stress.
3. Stretches and exercises
Many exercises can help your jaw, but it can take a test and error to find the right one for you. If you experience severe pain with any exercise, stop and consider contacting your healthcare provider. Here are a few to try:
- Strengthen your neck and shoulders by hugging the back of your head and pushing it back into your arms. The difference is that you push the side of your head against one of your hands as if trying to touch your ear with your shoulder but withholding yourself.
- Stretch your jaw as wide as you can while holding the tip of your tongue touching the roof of your mouth.
- Slowly turn your head to each side, holding for a while at a high degree of rotation. Repeat several times, each time trying to increase the range of motion. Make sure you breathe deeply and keep your jaw steady at all times.
Apart from any specific techniques or exercises, try to find ways to reduce your stress. Do not take things so seriously. Enjoy and interact with positive people who care about you. Do good to others and help them feel good about themselves. These simple ways of life can do wonders for your mind as well as for your jaw.
See a doctor
Although the jaw pain is not always severe, the pain that accompanies certain symptoms may indicate a serious medical condition. You may consider seeing your healthcare provider or dentist if the pain persists for more than a few days or seems to subside.
Here are some signs that it might be time to get a medical professional’s opinion:
- You have trouble eating, drinking, swallowing, or breathing.
- The pain makes it difficult to move your mouth as usual.
- You have a swelling or fever that does not go away.
- You have severe pain that goes away suddenly after a salty liquid breaks down which has a bad taste and odor.
- A high fever, severe pain, or swelling that affects your ability to breathe and swallow are serious symptoms that need immediate medical attention.
If you have jaw pain with these symptoms, it is best to go for immediate care instead of waiting for an appointment with your healthcare provider.