The pie hole, the trap shut, laughing gear, the chops… however you refer to it, your jaw goes through a lot more than just name-calling. From early morning breakfast to work meetings, repetitive lazy adjustment of your mask, talking and laughing for hours with a friend over the phone, your jaw is often taken for granted until it becomes tender and sore, and jaw pain is definitely not funny!
The Jaw is a bi-arthrodial hinge joint located below your temples on either side of your head. This joint can become dysfunctional due to overuse such as excessive chewing, teeth grinding, blunt trauma or overstretching such as that in dental procedures.
Jaw dysfunction can present as clicking or popping either side of the jaw, locking or grinding of the jaw, deviation of the jaw when opening or facial pain experienced either side of the face. A dysfunctional jaw can also attribute to headaches called cervicogenic headaches which present at the back and the sides of the head.
Many muscles attribute to jaw function from the temporalis muscle either side of your skull, the masseter muscles located either side of the jaw, hyoid muscles located at the front of your neck, pterygoid muscles located inside your mouth and even a large muscle such as platysma which extends down to your collarbone.
As Osteopaths we take a detailed history and assess the jaw for function, assess the attaching muscles, and biomechanics to come up with reasoning as to why your jaw may be sore or tender.
As osteopaths, we are also able to provide a large range of techniques which may help to reduce your jaw discomfort and also give advice & exercises as to how best manage your jaw pain.
As a clinic, we do support multidisciplinary care for every one of our patients, so if you are experiencing mouth or teeth pain please do not hesitate to go to the dentist to have a dental checkup as well! Contact us today to get the ball rolling on your recovery. As soon as we understand why you have joint pain, the sooner we can help!