Jaw pain while yawning

Do you have jaw pain while yawning? About 15% of Americans suffer from severe facial pain? Our team has found that over half of our patients exhibit symptoms of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. TMJ dysfunction disrupts the natural and harmonious movement of the facial bones, muscles, and ligaments. Dr. James Fondriest holds extensive experience with diagnosing and treating TMJ dysfunction and TMJ disorders. His education includes TMJ related-training at the prestigious L.D. Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, Florida.

What is a TMJ Dysfunction or Disorder?

TMJ stands for “temporomandibular joint”. Each person has two of these joints located just below the ears, near the lower jawbone. The joints connect the lower jaw to the temporal bone in the face.  The TMJ moves rotationally and transitionally which allows for opening and closing the mouth and many other daily functions such as chewing, biting, or yawning. TMJ dysfunction is a catch all description of many different problems of the lower jaw and joints.

Why does TMJ disorder cause jaw pain while yawning or chewing?

TMJ disorder disrupts the harmonious flow of movement between the muscles, bones, and tissues of the face. This dysfunction can manifest problems and painful sensations when opening the mouth, chewing food, and closing the mouth. In addition, the muscles around the TMJ area become strained because they are trying to correct the misalignment of the jaw. The medical community attributes many causes to this disorder. Some TMJ disorders may be caused by traumatic injury to the face or joints, bruxism, stress, or arthritis. It is trauma or damage to the joints that will cause jaw pain while yawning. Generalized arthritis will also affect the jaw joints.  Arthritis can affect TMJ joint health.

Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

  • Headaches
  • Clicking or popping sounds when the jaw moves or opens
  • Facial pain, especially near the jawbone
  • Teeth wear
  • Gum recession
  • Clenching of the teeth
  • Grinding of the teeth
  • Earaches or ringing in the ears
  • Toothaches
  • Inability to open the mouth fully
  • Neck pain
  • Jaw pain while yawning, chewing, or biting

Learn more about jaw pain while yawning

If you have jaw pain while yawning and are concerned that you may have TMJ disorder, consider seeking treatment with Dr. James Fondriest. He will help determine the cause of your problem and provide you with treatment options that will address your individual needs. To schedule an appointment, call our Chicago dentist office at (847) 234-0517. We serve residents of Chicago and the surrounding cities.