Recent Blog Articles
Why all the buzz about inflammation — and just how bad is...
What’s the right way to brush your teeth?
Want to stay healthy over the holidays?
How to help your preschooler sleep alone
21 spices for healthy holiday foods
New guidelines on opioids for pain relief: What you need to know
Should you get an over-the-counter hearing aid?
Shortage of ADHD medicines: Advice on coping if you are affected
When replenishing fluids, does milk beat water?
Melasma: What are the best treatments?
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.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Free Healthbeat Signup
Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!