Oh, my aching jaw

Diagnosing the underlying cause of jaw, mouth, and face pain is crucial to getting relief.

Sometimes, it's a dull painful ache on the side of your face. In other cases, you may feel a sharp pain accompanied by a popping or clicking noise when you chew. Or you may have a problem biting down.

While these various symptoms were once commonly grouped together under the umbrella of temporomandibular joint problems, casually abbreviated as TMJ, today we know that there are different underlying reasons for mouth, jaw, and face pain — what doctors call orofacial pain — and not all of them are caused by problems with the temporomandibular joint itself.

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