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Q: Apparent jaw injury and subsequent soreness/improper bite resulting from chewing ( No Answer,   5 Comments )
Subject: Apparent jaw injury and subsequent soreness/improper bite resulting from chewing
Category: Health > Conditions and Diseases
Asked by: wishwash-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 12 Jul 2006 11:15 PDT
Expires: 11 Aug 2006 11:15 PDT
Question ID: 745654
Approximately four days ago I was chewing somewhat tough food with
normal vigorous strength and felt tremendous temporomandibular joint
pain on one side of my face when actually biting down. I
optimistically awaited healing, however the pain level hasn't improved
and, additionally, I seem to experience difficulty in bringing my
teeth together to bite properly, especially on the affected side. 

I already have an understanding of TMJ or TMD and respective symptoms
and treaments, therefore here I am looking for an entirely different
answer--one I've been unable to find through rudimentary searches. Is
it possible that simple mastication can cause injury and prolonged
soreness? If so, what does one do to promote/speed healing? 

One of my cheif concerns is that my chewing misaligned my jaw in an unnatural
way and I need to somehow realign everything in order to discontinue
the pain. Is this feasible, and, if so, who would one see in the
professional field? You may note that this pain is an ache which is
minimized when movement is minimized and I'm able to open my jaw wide
without strongly enhancing it. The most painful act is biting down,
although, at it's sorest, it hurts my jaw to even talk normally. 

I expect any answer to avoid mention of TMJ or TMD disorders; plenty of
that information is available to me through search engines. Also, I
don't grind my teeth, hear clicking noises, experience headaches or
have a history of jaw discomfort. I understand that disc displacement
is a possibility and have read about joint displacement here and these are things I can research
myself.  Thank you.
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Apparent jaw injury and subsequent soreness/improper bite resulting from chewing
From: apoptosiss-ga on 12 Jul 2006 17:26 PDT
I think he specifically asked the answer NOT be focused on TMJ/TMD...

Please consult an OMFS Doctor because, besides TMJ.. there is only the
nerve damage scenario left..
Subject: Re: Apparent jaw injury and subsequent soreness/improper bite resulting from che
From: alowl-ga on 07 Aug 2006 12:27 PDT
I have the same TMD condition and it was also caused by an eating
accident. Web research has been very unrewarding. Apparrently all the
experts think the condition is caused by nocturnal teeth grinding. The
Merck Manual was particularly  dissapointing in its lack of
information and website functionality.
Subject: Re: Apparent jaw injury and subsequent soreness/improper bite resulting from chewing
From: boquinha-ga on 07 Aug 2006 13:45 PDT
A note to researchers--in order to better assist this customer, please
know that the following answer was rejected for mentioning TMJ at all.


Hello wishwash-ga!

Thank you for your specific directions in this question. It sure made
finding the details you need that much easier. I have compiled some
information that you should find helpful, and per your instructions,
I?ve skipped over the rudimentary background information with which
you seem to be quite familiar. I?ve also asked my husband (who is a
physician) to look over the information and give an ?unofficial?
opinion. In no way does this answer substitute for an in-person
evaluation of your pain and condition, but I hope to give you a good
starting point. Here we go.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


In addition to what you?ve mentioned (like teeth grinding and
malocclusion of the jaw), there are other causes of TMJ.

?Injury can also cause TMJ. This can be from an accident where the
face is inured, or from a punch to the jaw. Even chewing or biting on
something hard, like a pen can cause TMJ, as can continuous gum

The medical community agrees that significant injury is a legitimate
cause of TMJ dysfunction, but is reluctant to identify definitively
any other causes. Some recent studies dispute some classically held
ideas, such as malocclusion and chewing as causes of problems, but
current medical research is not conclusive on the many proposed causes

?We know that severe injury to the jaw or temporomandibular joint can
cause TMD. A heavy blow, for example, can fracture the bones of the
joint or damage the disc, disrupting the smooth motion of the jaw and
causing pain or locking. Arthritis in the jaw joint may also result
from injury. Other causes of TMD are less clear. Some suggest, for
example, that a bad bite (malocclusion) can trigger TMD, but recent
research disputes that view. Orthodontic treatment, such as braces and
the use of headgear, has also been blamed for some forms of TMD, but
studies now show that this is unlikely.?

It does seem likely that muscle cramp and spasm in the TMJ area
contributes to the pain associated with TMD.

?TMJ disorders often result when the chewing muscles and the
temporo-mandibular joint do not work together correctly. When this
occurs, the muscles often cramp. This spasm can then become part of a
cycle that results in tissue damage, pain and muscle tenderness. . . .
Improperly aligned teeth can sometimes place the chewing muscles under
stress and cause them to go into spasm, thus setting off the harmful
cycle described above.?

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Dr. Steven Pohlhaus, a dentist familiar with TMJ and its treatment,
lists some initial things that you can do to help in getting some
initial relief.

* Jaw Rest: avoid gum chewing, hard foods, biting your nails, and
?non-functional jaw habits? (like pencil chewing). Try to stick to
soft foods, avoiding chewy and crunchy foods.
* Medications: over-the-counter anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen
(Advil or Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve) can help initially. Muscle
relaxants are sometimes prescribed for a short period of time.
* Moist heat: this helps improve blood flow, aiding healing and
relaxation of the muscles.
* Exercises: Dr. Pohlhaus has a list of exercises designed to help
correct the jaw problems leading to the pain (see
* Physical therapy: this can be recommended by a health professional who sees you.
He also mentions surgery as an eventual solution, but this will not be
helpful for rapid relief.

Here is a link to one therapist?s notes about a patient who presented
with TMJ dysfunction. She received massage therapy and Reiki as part
of her initial treatment. This along with a dental device fitted by a
neuromuscular dentist helped her obtain significant relief. You can
read more details here:

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


OMT is a series of techniques used by Osteopathic physicians (D.O.s)
as part of a complete treatment program. They are sometimes described
as ?manual medicine? since the therapies are performed by the
practitioner?s hands. Here is a page from the website of the American
Osteopathic Association (AOA) that explains OMT and its uses.

?Some cases of TMJ syndrome respond very well to osteopathic
manipulative treatment; so, if your physician is a D.O., you might ask
if this manual medicine technique might be effective in your case.?

Craniosacral therapy is a particular form of OMT with a wide range of
uses. TMJ dysfunction is one of them.

?A specialized form of OMT, called Cranial-Sacral manipulation, can be
beneficial for patients with headaches, TMJ syndrome, tinnitus, sinus
problems, deviated septum, and other facial problems.?

The AOA has a ?Find a D.O.? tool on its website designed to find
osteopathic practitioners in your area. You can search generally or by
specialty. To find a D.O. that routinely uses OMT, I would suggest
searching initially in the following specialties:

* Family/General Practice
* Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment
* Physical/Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation
* Internal Medicine
* Pain Management

You can also try searching the American Academy of Osteopathy (AAO)
database for a D.O. Members of this organization tend to be more
dedicated to the unique qualities of Osteopathy, and also are more
frequent practitioners of OMT.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I hope that you find this information useful. If you have further
concerns or questions be sure to discuss them with a qualified health
professional that you trust. If you have need of any further
clarification, please let me know how I can help.


Search terms:

TMJ healing
chewing cause TMJ

Dear wishwash-ga,

As for the comment posted below, I want to clarify the answer I've
given you. I took your question to mean that you did not want any
basic information on TMJ/TMD, but rather you were looking for novel
solutions to your current jaw problems (whatever the cause or
diagnosis). Clearly through your own research you are quite familiar
with the basics. Whatever label your jaw pain ends up receiving, the
solutions that I've posted are likely to be beneficial, especially
with regards to "realignment."

I hope this information sheds additional light on the answer I've
provided and my thoughts behind it. Again, if you have need of further
clarification, please let me know how I can help.

Subject: Re: Apparent jaw injury and subsequent soreness/improper bite resulting from chewing
From: hnsbiosafe-ga on 30 Sep 2006 13:27 PDT
How do you know you are not a bruxer? PSG test, BiteStrip?
Subject: Re: Apparent jaw injury and subsequent soreness/improper bite resulting from chewing
From: wishwash-ga on 07 Oct 2006 16:27 PDT
In the following months the pain slowly improved although it revisits
occasionally in the same situation (during mastication). At this very
moment I've thought of something of possible consideration here. I
wore braces around the age of ten and my orthodontist did attempt to
realign my jaw with connective bands as I had a slight crossbite --
presumably as a preventative measure.
Good luck to you alowl.

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