Hello! I am dealing with jaw pain and often pretty severe headaches. I am wondering if it is TMJ. After reading about TMJ I feel that I may not fit the causes. I don’t feel that I grind my teeth. But, I do bite my tongue often in the far back of the tongue, which is painful. How would I know if the problem is TMJ or something else? I don’t have any specific tooth pain, but definitely jaw pain.

carlyl October 25, 2019

Questions Answered by Leading Local Doctors

Arash Asil, DMD
San Clemente, Dentistry

There is a long list of different reasons that can cause TMJ pain. Sometime the problem ccan present themselves as TMJ pain but it has nothing to do with TMJ. We have to go down the list and try to eliminate each cause. One of which is malocclusion which in turn can cause clenching and then TMJ pain. To eliminate this cause sometimes bite adjustment and a bite splint can help. Medications such as muscle relaxants and placing a warm pack on facial muscles can also be helpful. In the event the these are done and patient still experiences TMJ pain, we have to look into patients posture and head, neck and back muscles. There are physical therapists that specialize in this matter. In regards to biting tongue, I believe a dentist needs to look at patient’s teeth position and see the height of the inside cusps of the back teeth. We need more dental history to find out the reason behind tongue biting but tongue biting is not related to TMJ pain.

Arash Asil, DMD