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Having jaw pain especially while yawning. Underlying cause?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2011
Answered : 1561 Questions
I'm new at this. It pertains to my niece. She is 50 years old and is in good condition - she is not overweight. Recently, her left jaw is giving her pain - especially when she yawns.
She said it is not a tooth that is bothering her -- she thinks it is TMJ.What can she do for the pain?
Posted Sun, 8 Sep 2013 in Women's Health
Answered by Dr. Vidya KR 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
NSAID (anti-inflammatory-drugs/0000" >Non Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs), Calcium, Hot compression, Look for ear problem.

Detailed Answer:

Be relaxed. Being a GP, if someone comes to my clinic with such complaints I will first rule out following in the order of priority with examination and investigations.
1. Muscle spasm at the TMJ. This is one of the common causes for pain during yawning. This may occur due to any injury or due to any external force applied around the joint. Give hot compression and NSAID like Ibuprofen 400 mg for pain.

2. Pathology in ear: Kindly look for any ear symptoms like discharge, inflammatory signs in the ear like redness, raised temperature etc. If any infection, then this need to be treated using antibiotic with anti-inflammatory drugs.

3. At this age, look for calcium levels, as there is a chance of hypocalcaemia and this can cause pain. For this, ask her to take daily calcium supplement.

For now give rest to the joint, have only soft food. Do salt water gargle to prevent if any inflammation due to dental cause.

If you are not relieved of the pain with analgesic and above measure then consult your doctor for further examination and management. Hope this answered your question. Feel free to ask me if you have any further queries.
Wish you good health. Take care.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Having jaw pain especially while yawning. Underlying cause? 13 hours later
Thank you for your diagnosis. I relayed the information to my niece.
My niece said that when she chews, she gets a "clicking" sound on both sides
of her jaw. She said there is no pain in her ears.
I do not know what is causing the clicking sound.
What do you think?
Answered by Dr. Vidya KR 56 minutes later
Brief Answer:
TMJ arthritis, Advice- TMJ X- XXXXXXX

Detailed Answer:

Its good she is not having any ear symptoms.
Clicking sound while chewing could be due to TMJ arthritis. Get an X-ray of TMJ done. You can ask her to consult an oral surgeon for further management.

Hope I have answered your query.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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