2004-09-09 / Medical

My Aching Jaw

Have you ever heard someone say, “My jaw is killing me!” You might even have had the problem yourself. The pain can be excruciating, like a sharp stab, or just an ache. It usually occurs in the area just in front of the ear, and is particularly painful on opening or closing.

What is the problem? This type of jaw problem is referred to as the TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT SYNDROME. For simplicity sake, it is often called TMJ SYNDROME.

The strange aspect of this syndrome is that often aches and pains in other parts of the body are also caused by an inflamed or pathologic jaw joint. For example, headaches, earaches, ringing, buzzing, clicking, popping, and scraping noises in the ears, stiff or aching neck or upper back muscles, shoulder pains, and other upper body/neck/head problems have been traced to primary problems in the jaw joint. itself. That’s why it’s often called the “masquerader.”

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Dental Health

Gary S. Rafal, D.D.S.

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