Jaw pain, jaw joint pain, face pain

Posted by Dental News Team On June - 28 - 2010

Jaw pain-jaw joint pain, what is to be done?

It happens unexpectedly while talking, yawning, or chewing-suddenly you recognise a stitch and the mouth opening area starts hurting and is often restricted. What is to be done?

First of all: Keep calm, cause like every other joint, the jaw joint can be strained. It often happens during mountain hikes with ankles. If it happens in the jaw joint, affected people are more worried about!
Moreover it doesn´t have to be the jaw joint, since muscle pain imitates tooth,- and jaw joint pain very well.

You can start with the most important thing, rest and keep calm!

No chewing gums, no chew-intensive dishes, cool it and use pain medication. Moreover you should find a treating person, who is good with face pain. If this person uses the term “craniomandibular dysfunction“ –CMD-forget this person.
The appropriate term is Myoarthropathy-MAP. Through clinical examination the medicating person differentiate between jaw joints and muscle joints and will then start a proper therapy.

What to expect from the therapy? Nothing and everything!

•    Frequently a good clarification and rest are sufficient
•    Optionally physiotherapy
•    Optionally mouth opening practise
•    Optionally a splint therapy-the Michigan splint is well established

Braces, crowns, bridges are not indicated and are useless-except for the dentist!

The jaw joint is able to adapt to changed loads-e.g. after tooth loss, new dentures,… it just takes a short time since the biological process is not that fast as the dentist.-
Please don´t get insecure by imaging diagnostics such as MRT, statements such as  “displacement without reduction”. This has nothing to do with your problems…a lot of people suffer from disk displacement without having problems, some have a “broken joint” as per MRT and have no problems, many have picture-book joints with lot´s of problems!

Today we know that those things are not in relation to eachother and are irrelevant on MAP!
Get well!

jaw joint

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Jaw pain – what now?

Posted by Dental News Team On March - 8 - 2010

Jaw cracking, jaw noises, and arthrosis of the jaw are all common occurences, but if you do not have any serious comlaints, they do not require therapy!

Earlier, any problems you had with your jaw were categorized as „ cranio-mandibular dysfunction“ – or CMD, for short. But since there have been changes in the way the jaw is treated in recent years, the term commonly used now is myoarthropathy – or MAP.

It has been found that the jaw is perfectly capable of adapting to a new set of teeth, this just takes some time. So nowadays doctors like to wait before starting any treatment. Only one device has been found to help in the acute phase of jaw pain –  the Michigan rail.

This is used as an aid to therapy in acute cases. Arthrocentesis, or washing out the joint, has not really been scientifically proven to work, but even University clinics use this method generously.

No real connection has been found between malocclusion and jaw problems, although for some reason patients with an overbite – Class 3 patients – tend to have less jaw problems.

Summing up:

In the acute phase:

  • Going easy on the jaw, no gum, jelly beans or foods requiring intensive chewing
  • Opening the mouth carefully (no yawning, oral sex, biting apples, …)
  • Pain medication
  • Using the Michigan rail

In the painless phase:

  • Correcting a malocclusion
  • Mouth-opening exercises
  • Waiting

Other types of therapy are simply overdoing it! An MRT will not help much, good x-rays and a proper check-up are more than enough for a diagnosis! Good luck!

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