Does biting into crusty New York bagel make your jaw ache and /or feel pain in and around the ear? Is your jaw making a clicking sound as you painfully chew? You might be suffering from a Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, better know as TMJ.
This joint acts as a hinge that connects your jaw to your skull and lets you move your jaw up and down and side to side so you can talk, chew and yawn. But sometimes the joint gets out of wack, causing pain and discomfort. People who clench or grind their teeth can develop this disorder; arthritis or a jaw injury can also be the culprit.
What to do? Remedies include the following:
-Don’t clench, grit or grind teeth
– Switch to a soft diet
– Ibuprofen 400mg/4X day if you can tolerate
-Apply a warm moist compress
Most TMJ problems will go away in a couple of weeks with minimal treatment. If pain persists see your dentist. He can prescribe light mouth stretches or may decide a bite appliance is necessary.