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Face and Jaw Surgery

Jaw pain

10/26/2007

Question:

it started a couple years back with some popping noise now its not making any noise for the past year Im in so much pain I can`t move my jaw to the left anymore, I feel a fullness in my right ear, stabbing feeling constant pain, can`t open my jaw, having difficulty eating when I tilt my head back or move my head to the left it hurts. Been to the dentist had a mouth piece made been on anti inflamatory meds nothing helps. I can`t even kiss my husband because I am in so much pain, at this point I just dont know what to do or who to see anymore. Please help!!!

Answer:

The jaw joint has a cartilage disc between the articulating surface of skull bone and the lower jawbone. This small piece of cartilage acts as padding between these bones (the disk) can wear or displace due to use. This disc can be displaced when the mouth is opened very wide, when there is injury or force to the jaw, and sometimes due to excessively hard food. The location of the popping noise during the mouth opening movement can provide information regarding the type of disc displacement.

Your descriptions suggest you have, disk dislocation without reduction is commonly referred to as a "closed lock" dislocation. This condition results when the anterior disk dislocation progresses to the point where the lower jaw bone (condyle) is unable to glide onto the disk during opening and the disk now interferes with anterior translation of the condyle during movement. The can cause tissue inflammation, proliferation and remodeling leading to a state of chronic inflammation.

This can be diagnosed only by examination and imaging such as MRI of your joints. I suggest you visit an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon who deals with management of such issues.

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Response by:

Likith V Reddy, MD, DDS, FACS Likith V Reddy, MD, DDS, FACS
Formerly:
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati