Pain in my jaw

by Tonya
(Bedford, TX, USA)

I went to the dentist last Monday. It was my first visit to this dentist. They did xrays, an initial eval, then I chose to do a filling. First of all, she had problems getting the site numb & got my mouth numb, but once she started drilling on the tooth, I could feel everything & she could never fully numb the site. My jaw was getting tired, so they used one of those black rubber blocks to prop my mouth open. The shots in the jaw always hurt, but for some reason that night & ever since, I have had a horrible pain in my jaw. I am not able to fully open my mouth to take bites of food. I can hook my finger onto my lower teeth to pull my jaw down & open my mouth wider, but cannot do it on my own. As I do that, there is a horrible pain in my jaw. What can I do??? This pain is awful & I just want it to go away. I do have a past of TMJ, but hasnt really given me trouble since my teens/early adult hood. Did I have too much trama to my jaw last week? Did the shots effect it? HELP!!!!

Thanks!
-In Great Pain

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Can't open without pain
by: Dr. Spainhower

Hello Tonya,

When we give shots in the mouth to work on the bottom teeth, the needle goes through two sets of muscles. This sometimes causes too much trauma to the muscles and Trismus results. Trismus is a condition where you are unable to open your mouth completely.

It should eventually go away after a week or two, but sometimes it doesn't. You need to relax the muscles for most of the day, and TMJ exercises help when not relaxing.

The smartguard should help your jaw unlock within a day or so. The SmartGuard relaxes your jaw muscles so the lock jaw goes away easier and faster.

Sincerely,
Dr. Spainhower

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