Jaw Pain




Bruxism: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Bruxism is the act of gnashing and grinding the teeth. Bruxism is common in children and adults of both sexes, affecting about 25-30% of children and roughly one in twenty adults. There is no significant difference between males and females [1].

Bruxism is divided into two main types- Nighttime grinding and daytime grinding. Nighttime grinding (nocturnal bruxism) is a back and forth, side-to-side motion where the lower teeth rub against the upper teeth, creating a characteristic grinding sound. Daytime grinding (clenching) is a rocking motion of the lower teeth against the upper teeth without the teeth actually making the side-to-side motion. While bruxing only happens during sleep, clenching can occur both during the day and at night [2]. Both nocturnal bruxism and clenching are “parafunctional activities,” as they are not part of normal chewing and swallowing.

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Temporalis Muscle: Location, Action and Trigger Points

The temporalis muscle is a large, thin fan-shaped muscle located in the side of the skull above and in front of the ear. It is a muscle of mastication and its role is similar to the masseter, which is to elevate the mandible (lower jaw) and so close the mouth. Although the masseter is the more powerful muscle the temporalis is an important chewing muscle. It starts at the temporal bone of the skull but passes all the way down beneath zygomatic arch (cheek bone), attaching to the mandible, enabling it to assist the masseter in closing the jaw but also to retract the mandible.

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Masseter Muscle: Location, Actions, and Trigger Points

The masseter is a jaw muscle that gets its name from the Greek work "to chew". It is the major muscle of mastication (chewing) of the human jaw and serves primarily to elevate the mandible (lower jaw) while the deep tissues help to protrude (protract) it forward. Although we rarely think of it, the mandible is the only bone of the skull that is actually moveable. The upper jaw is fixed. There is a lot of moving for the mandible to do, therefore, and the masseter is the primary worker. Located on each side of the face in the parotid1 region at the back of the jaw, these muscles are easily visible or palpable when you clench your jaw, as they contract strongly just in front of the lower ears.2

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Sternocleidomastoid Muscle: Location, Action and Trigger Points

By Eric Troy, Ground Up Strength

The sternocleidomastoid (SCM) is a muscle of the neck so-named because it originates on the sternum (sterno) and the clavicle (cleido) and inserts on the mastoid process1 (mastoid) which is an easily located bony prominence behind the ear. The muscles pass diagonally across the front and side of the neck beginning at the top of the sternum and ending behind the ear. This two sided muscle is large and ropy, making it the most prominent muscle visible at the front of the neck.

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TMJ Or Jaw Pain: How it Happens and What You Can Do to Make the Pain in Your Jaw Go Away

Having a forward head posture puts a lot of strain on the muscles of your neck and jaw. Having a "forward head" means that your head (and often one or both shoulders, too) are in front of your body.

Where should your head be instead? Well, when you were a toddler, it was pretty much directly over your body and that's still where it should be. Due to habits, furniture, car seats, work and life, sometimes our head moves out in front of us. That causes a lot of symptoms and TMJ pain, or pain and difficulty moving your jaw, can be one of those symptoms.

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© 2016 by Eric Troy and Ground Up Strength. All Rights Reserved. Please contact for permissions.