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Jaw Pain After Dental Work

Updated on October 19, 2011

Following a tooth extraction or even a filling, it is not unusual for people to complain of jaw pain after dental work. It may simply be that the dentist has had to use a certain amount of force to remove a tooth and may have caused some bruising perhaps. This type of jaw pain should subside within a short period of time.

However, others experience a much longer period of pain after dental work and this may well prove to be TMJ or Temperomandibular Joint. As well as causing pain of the jaw, this can also lead to neck pains and also headaches. Some people also experience a difficulty in chewing.

This joint is essentially where the skull meets the jaw and is the hinge that we use to move our mouths when we chew. For some, this pain can be relatively mild and simply inconvenient, whilst for others; it can be a very painful experience.

Chiropractors Can Relieve Jaw Pain After Dental Work

Whilst it is common for people to put this pain down to some dental work they have had done, the reality is that it is unlikely to be the dental work itself which has caused the problem, but many people will return to the dentist who will suggest a (fairly expensive) mouth guard to be fitted. Whilst this may offer some relief, it is unlikely to be the solution to the problem.

A more likely cause of TMJ is that during the dental procedure, you were forced to open your mouth wide for a significant period of time, perhaps for example when having dental implants fitted. This is obviously not a natural position for the human jaw and as the muscles tires, it can react by becoming tight or it may even spasm. As the muscle tightens it makes it very difficult to chew or even in some cases, to yawn.

Avoid Chewing Gum

If you have continuous jaw pain after having dental work done that doesn’t go away after a little while; rather than re-visit your dentist, it may be worth considering seeing a chiropractor who specialises in muscular skeletal problems.

A chiropractor will be able to diagnose the problem of your jaw pain after dental work correctly and suggest exercises to do that will help to relieve the condition. He is also very likely to suggest that you stop chewing gum as this is likely to exasperate the condition.


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    • charliegrumples profile image

      charliegrumples 5 years ago from UK

      Interesting article but thankfully I've never had this problem. However, I did try some regular dental braces once and they made my jaw ache like crazy. Eventually I switched to this method though ( ) and it's been fine since. It may well be because these don't affect the back teeth, I'm not sure, but it works for me anyway.