Does eating, speaking or yawning cause facial or jaw pain?
You’re not alone – it’s estimated that between five and ten percent of people experience pain caused by joint or muscle dysfunction of the jaw.
Jaw pain may present as pain felt directly around the jaw joint, the lower or upper parts of the jaw bone, the ear, the face, and into the head.
Other symptoms often associated with jaw dysfunction include:
- Locking or clicking of the jaw, making it difficult to open or close your mouth
- Discomfort or pain in the jaw especially with chewing and eating
- An uncomfortable or uneven bite
- Headaches and/or neck pain
Common musculoskeletal causes of jaw pain include: weakness of the muscles that control jaw function, restricted mobility of the jaw joints and/or the vertebrae in the upper neck, tightness of the jaw muscles due to clenching the jaw or grinding the teeth, trauma to the head and neck, and side effects from dental and orthodontic work.
Our osteopaths are trained to examine for and treat dysfunctional movement patterns of your jaw, head, neck, and upper back, as well as assess the muscles of the jaw for weakness or tightness.
Treatment may include massage and stretching to the tight muscles, joint mobility to increase range of motion in your neck and jaw, and gentle techniques known as craniosacral therapy to assist in balancing the ligaments, muscles, and bones of the jaw, face, and skull.
We will also provide advice on self-management strategies, which may include stretching and strengthening exercises, advice on posture and work or home ergonomics, and stress-management strategies to reduce clenching.