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Stewart Shernan
Stewart Shernan,
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 373
Experience:  Owner, Practitioner at Stewart D. Shernan, DMD
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Ananda - I'm just googling about my jaw pain. Jaw is sore on

Customer Question

Customer: Ananda - I'm just googling about my jaw pain. Jaw is sore on right side & I can't open my mouth all the way or close all the way & it's painful to try to do both. This started several days after I woke with a kink in my neck - my neck is better but still sore - but the pain & stiffness seems to have shifted into my jaw -- same side.
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: I suspect I'm tensing up at night maybe grinding my teeth - I'm not sure.
JA: OK got it. Last thing — Dentists generally expect a deposit of about $18 to help with your type of question (you only pay if satisfied). Now I'm going to take you to a page to place a secure deposit with JustAnswer. Don't worry, this chat is saved. After that, we will finish helping you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dental
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I want to add that it's been a week an a half since my neck started hurting & it is still sore -- my jaw has been hurting for almost a week.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have limited movement in my neck as well.
Expert:  Dr. Hegland replied 1 year ago.

Hello! Sorry to hear about your jaw pain. The good thing is it is likely muscular tension is all, that's also the bad thing! Sometimes muscles take a long time to relax. Are you taking any NSAIDs? I would strongly recommend a 2-3 days course every 4-6 hrs.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No, just a daily dose of turmeric. Are ibuprofen & Aleve about equal?
Expert:  Dr. Hegland replied 1 year ago.

I would take 400 mg ibuprofen for 2-3 days and do that every 4-6 hours. That will alleviate the inflammation faster. Until that time do not try to open mouth extra wide or force yourself to eat crunchy or really chewy foods. These type of muscle spasms can take 1-2 weeks to resolve, however yours sounds like it may take at least that amount of time.

Expert:  Dr. Hegland replied 1 year ago.

Aleve is also useful, but first attempt I would recommend ibuprofen.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ok, thank you - will give that a try. I iced & heated during the first week or so - I quit when the progress plateaued.
Expert:  Dr. Hegland replied 1 year ago.

Yes, it ice/heat isn't helping then discontinue for now. Also if at all possible do not sleep on your stomach, that may cause further aggravation. Any other jaw concerns/questions? If jaw isn't getting progressively better in next 7 days I would make an appointment with a dentist.

Expert:  Dr. Hegland replied 1 year ago.

Hopefully you will get relief in the upcoming days, good luck!

Expert:  Dr. Hegland replied 1 year ago.

If you could please rate your experience it would be appreciated for the site to maintain quality assurance.

Expert:  Stewart Shernan replied 1 year ago.

Hi Amanda,

If you feel you may be grinding your teeth at night your jaw and neck pain and your inability to full open or close your mouth is probably due to a syndrome known as Temperomandibular Dysfunction, or TMD. Hopefully you currently have relief from your pain and symptoms. But the underlying cause remains and will likely cause a recurrence at some point. You might want to have your dentist determine whether or not you have been "bruxing" (grinding your teeth) at night. This can cause the symptoms you described and worsen over time. If you do have TMD your dentist may suggest a "night guard" - a small appliance to be worn while sleeping. The nightguard will help minimize damage caused to your teeth and Temperomandibular joint caused by the bruxing.

I'd be happy to answer any additional questions you may have.

Hope this helps,

Dr. Shernan

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you - I have an appointment in March. I'll ask.
Expert:  Stewart Shernan replied 1 year ago.

Glad to help. I've treated countless patients with symptoms like yours - including my wife. TMD can be very unpleasant. But treatment is often simple and relatively inexpensive. If you have dental insurance, perhaps have your dentist predtermine your benefits for a night guard. This might help avoid a situation where your symptoms recurr but a waiting periodof weeks is required by your insurance company while you are in pain (unless you elect to pre-pay your dentist). The predetermination of benefits will be free of charge in all likelihood.

Hope you're feeling better.

Dr. Shernan