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My jaw is real tight...

About 2 nights ago I had a dream that I was loosing all my teeth. I woke up the next day fine of course. But at night, I felt a small pop in my right part of my jaw. Its been hurting and tight ever since. Would anyone know what is wrong?


  • TomsMomTomsMom Raw Newbie

    You were clenching your jaws in your sleep, I bet. You might have been stressed or maybe you slept in an awkward position or with a new pillow or something. I think that “pop” is a tendon moving over a bone.

  • Im just worried if its something I should worry about. I dont have health care or anything, so I cant really go to a doctor or dentist. I just want the pain to go away.

  • TomsMomTomsMom Raw Newbie

    I would try some gentle heat. Do you have an electric heating pad? If not, I would soak and wring out a small towel or thick washcloth, and press it to the sore spot on the jaw. I assume you don’t like meds a lot, but maybe a single asperin would be helpful for any inflammation if you don’t have any anti-inflammatory herbs available.

    Any athletes here who could help out?

  • KevlarKevlar Raw Newbie

    Have you had your wisdom teeth removed?

  • greenghostgreenghost Raw Newbie

    TMJ (tempo-mandibular joint) issues perhaps?
    Clicking and popping TMJ’s:
    Constant bruxing (teeth grinding) places tremendous pressure on the temperomandibular joint as well as the teeth. The joint contains a cartilage meniscus (called the articular disk) that lives between the ball and socket. Constant pressure on the joint due to bruxing may cause the meniscus to tear. When this happens, the ball and socket may “snap” together suddenly when the patient opens the jaws wide due to interference from the torn meniscus. This symptom is not generally associated with pain.”

  • Thanks for all your help everyone!

    I do have my wisdom teeth removed.

    I think it might be TMJ. My jaw has been feeling tight several days before this happened right when I woke up. Greenghost, do you know anyway to heal this? Just rest it a lot. Lots of smoothies? No chewy or crisp foods?

  • you also might want to wear some type of mouthguard to bed for a while to stop the grinding.

  • Ya. Im looking into the mouth guard. I have been for a while but I just never get around to actually buying one.

    I put some tiger balm around the jaw and its helping with the pain and loosened the jaw up a bit. Ugh.

  • greenghostgreenghost Raw Newbie

    Hi jkd_soccer801 – loading up on soft anti-inflammatory foods/drinks might help to ease some symptoms, but because TMJ can be very complex in nature (full textbooks are written on it… my ex-h is a dentist btw…)
    The causes/etiology are varied, as are the means of treatment.
    You should probably seek a good dentist if your symptoms persist.
    TMJ disorders can be simple, but sometimes can be nightmarish.
    I hope that you feel better soon! Good luck!

  • Thanks Green. Ill see what I can do alone, as I dont have dental insurance. If worse comes to worse I think theres a free doctors clinic here in Utah.

  • greenghostgreenghost Raw Newbie

    PS: if you have swelling – or if your face feels warm/hot to the touch – try putting an ice pack (or even a bag of frozen veggies) on it. You want to make sure that the area doesn’t get too inflammed – excess inflammation will only impede the healing process.
    Cold/ice is generally good in the acute stage.. but after 48-72 hours a moist heat compress might help…

  • Thanks :)

  • greenghostgreenghost Raw Newbie

    you’re welcome! Well-wishes to you!

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    Don’t want to scare you, but a few months ago I got some pain in my back jaw, I have a wisdom tooth about 2/3 hidden back there. I thought it was just coming up so ignored it. The pain got really bad, I couldn’t swallow or move my jaw, and we ended up calling the NHS Hotline who told me to get to hospital as soon as possible. When I got to the hospital they said that if I’d left it longer I wouldn’t have been able to breathe because my jaw was locking. Apparently it does that when you have an infection. They threatened me with an operation, but I got away with some paracetomol and anti biotics – which I didn’t take. The couple of pills they gave me in the emergency room did the trick and sorted it out more or less.

    What caused it was a flax seed that had got stuck and infected, nasty !

    So if it gets really bad, best to and get it checked out.

  • queenfluffqueenfluff Raw Newbie

    It sounds like TMJ. I have it too. I notice that sleeping on my back has helped relax my jaws so I don’t clench too much but it hard keeping that up. I used to grind my teeth – the dentist has to make a night guard especially for your teeth. I don’t wear mine anymore but still have it.

    My jaws are normally tight when I wake up – I stretch my mouth open wide to loosen the muscles. My TMJ muscles often go into spasms if I haven’t eaten in a while. For some reason, sometimes I’ll eat something and they will spasm on me. I have to just hold on until the pain goes away.

    There are some yoga positions that are supposed to help with it too.

    But yes, heat will help. Hopefully you didn’t pop a joint out of position. Does it seem to be getting better or worse now? If something was out of place I think it would get worse.

  • Zoe. Thanks for your concern. Did you have pain on your teeth, widsom area? My is stricly located where the jaw joint is, like right by the ear. I no longer have my wisdoms, at all.


    The first pain I felt was yesterday afterwork. It was painful throughout the day until I gave in and took some ibuprofen, which subsided the pain a bit. I then went to bed and woke up with a tight jaw, but no pain at all. I went to work, and being that I have to talk a lot at work, its been hurting. I put some tiger balm and it helped the pain, but its a heat source, and if it is something bad like acute injury i need cold instead, so Im a bit afraid to put more Tiger Balm on. The pain is managable, but it still hurts.

  • greenghostgreenghost Raw Newbie

    not to flog a dead horse so-to-speak, or a live one for that matter,
    jkd_soccer801 – you’re right.
    Although inflammation is a normal part of healing, excessive inflammation is not and it will only aggravate the problem. If your body is telling you that you need to use an ice pack – you might want to.
    Heat will only add more fluid and pressure to an already pressurized, unhappy area.

  • To reduce inflammation I usually use the herb Fenugreek (in powder form) and I apply it on the injured area by mixing it with some water (warm if the inflammation is internal and cold if it is rather external)..it is very cheap I usually buy it for 5-6 USD a pound. good luck! PS Horsetail aka Equisetum will do as well.

  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    if you are indeed grinding your teeth, you should consider getting a mouth guard to simply protect your teeth. if not you will end up like me and having to have the tops all replaced because of the cracks you caused over 10+ years of grinding.

    as far as the pain, there are some stretches you can do inside your mouth to help the muscles. place your finger in the gap between your top and bottom teeth in the way back of your mouth. use your finger to stretch out all muscles back there. let your jaw relax.

    zoe, sorry to hear about your infection! glad you are Ok now.

  • lzhptlzhpt Raw Newbie

    A great release for those muscles no matter the cause; You open the mouth slightly and scoop a clean finger to the far back of the top gumline, along the cheek side. to the masseter muscle. You know you’re on the muscle if you clench a little and feel it contract. Once you find it, you passively shift the lower jaw toward the painful side (the side you are on)while GENTLY applying pressure to that masseter muscle for 90 seconds.Enough pressure to not crack a raw egg is all you need. Repeat on the other side. be sure to open your mouth to assess how well you did. If done correctly the other side will be jealous! If this sounds too complicated, see a good Physical therapist who has experience with TMJ dysfunction and cranio-sacral therapy. If they don’t do regular TMJ releases with a gloved finger, keep searching. Your dentist can refer you.

  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    Izhpt thank you for explaining what i was trying to. unfrotunately i can’t see anyone for my TMJ because it is a previously diagnosed condition! grrrr….

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