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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Jaw pain

02/10/2009

Question:

It`s been about 5 weeks that I have had a lot of pain in my right jaw. It is tender to the touch about an inch down from my ear. I cannot open my mouth wide enough to eat a hamburger, and it really hurts to try to open it far enough to eat or yawn. It is also very painful chewing hard foods like carrots. What could be causing this and how do I make it go away?

Answer:

If the pain is below your ear, most likely it is the muscle that is sore.

If the answer to any of these is yes, you may want to see a dentist to have an occlusal guard fabricated. It is painless and can take care of the pain you are having. If it does not, the muscles can be ruled out and it may be an actual problem with the joint. Typically, this pain would not be below the ear.

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Response by:

Daniel Nathan Reed, DDS Daniel Nathan Reed, DDS
Clinical Associate Professor of Primary Care Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University