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Dental Anesthesia

Jaw Pain

12/09/2010

Question:

Had bottom right tooth filled and got novocane shot now my jaw hurts when I open to far

Answer:

This can occur with a local anesthetic injection for the lower teeth. The needle must pass through one of the main jaw closing muscles. Minor injury to the muscle leads to pain when it is stretched, i.e., opened. Rest and chewing on the other side of the mouth will help. Jaw opening should gradually return to normal. If the muscle is very sore, an anti-inflammatory should help. You should check with your dentist to ensure this is the proper diagnosis and before you take any medication. 

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Response by:

Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS
Formerly, Clinical Professor of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University