Quiz: Is Your Jaw Pain Normal?

Do you find yourself waking up with a sore jaw? Sometimes, when you’re asleep, you may grind your teeth or clench your jaw consistently which could cause your muscles to be sore and tired. There are several problems you could be experiencing; temporomandibular joint disorder, bruxism, etc. Is your jaw pain normal?

  1. My jaw gets tired after chewing for an extended amount of time.
  2. My jaw is only sore when I wake up in the mornings, it usually fades by lunch time.
  3. Somedays I can barely open my mouth to be able to eat. My jaw tends to lock and it makes a popping sound.

Answer Key:

  1. This isn’t completely abnormal but it also isn’t completely normal. If your jaw can’t handle chewing after several seconds, you are probably clenching your muscles and wearing them out. Typically if you’re experiencing excess stress, you tend to clench your jaw more leading to soreness in your muscles.
  2. Even though the soreness isn’t lasting throughout the day, the fact that you are feeling pain when you wake up in the mornings could indicate that you’ve been grinding your teeth or clenching your muscles throughout the night. To prevent it from becoming worse, you should make a visit to your dentist.
  3. This could be TMJ disorder, or temporomandibular joint disorder, which affects the joint that connects your jaw together allowing you to chew, yawn, and talk. If this joint becomes inflamed, it can be painful and can restrict your jaw from performing its daily functions.