6 Causes of Jaw Pain

Tightness in the “Jaw Joint” (TMJ), is very common.

The symptoms of a tight Jaw can present in many different areas of the body. Head pain, neck pain, ear pain and facial pain can all come from referral of the TMJ joint. How the pain presents at the jaw can also vary, it can give a clicking noise with pain, the pain can be sharp, achy or throbbing. In addition to pain around the jaw or face, TMJ problems can come with reduced range of movement, clicking and locking of the joint.


1. Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJD) 

A TMJ joint that is not moving properly can result in pain in the jaw and surrounding muscles. This can happen on one side or both. Chewing will usual exacerbate the pain associated with the TMJ joint. 

2. Stress

Times of pressure or stress can often lead us to tightening of the TMJ unbeknown to ourselves. This very often occurs at night time. You may also be holding tension in your jaw while awake, this can very often be on a subconscious level. Stress can also lead to other related symptoms such as tension headaches. 

3. Teeth grinding (bruxism)

Grinding of teeth is not always as a result of stress. It can be due to dental problems such as misaligned teeth. Bruxism may occur at night while asleep. This type of teeth grinding can again be associated with headaches or facial pain. 

4. Excessive Chewing

This is usually associated with fatigue in the chewing muscles. Chewing gum for long periods of time can cause tightness in the lower jaw.

5. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

While not that common, RA is a painful cause of jaw pain. RA is an autoimmune inflammatory disorder. RA can damage the jaw joint itself and the surrounding tissues and cartilage. Occasionally it can lead to loss of bone around the joint. 

6. Tetanus

Tetanus in an infection. If left untreated this can lead to “lockjaw”. Lock jaw is caused by a bacterial invasion of the joint. While pain at the jaw is present, it may also present with pain in the abdomen, pain or issues while swallowing and pain in the muscle of the neck or jaw. 

Here at the Johns Green chiropractic clinic, Kilkenny, our chiropractor will perform a full assessment of your TMJ function and take a detailed history. Based on this, a treatment plan will be outlined to remove the cause of your jaw pain. If you would like to speak to our chiropractor, then please call us on 0567715775 or email us at info@chiropractorkilkenny.com