Pain in the lower jaw joint is called Tempromandibular Joint Disfunction or TMJ. Symptoms vary and may include headaches, neckaches, backaches, ringing of the ear, ear aches, blurred vision and numbness in the extremities. The most common symptoms involve headaches, soreness of the facial and neck muscles and pain upon opening and generalized hypersensitivity of the teeth. The cause is usually grinding or clenching of the teeth.
The most common treatment is construction of a night guard which is an appliance worn mainly during sleep. It is designed to not allow the teeth to grind and thus discomfort is minimized or eliminated in most cases. Other treatment may require equilibration of the bite, the use of anti-inflammatory medications, referral to a TMJ specialist, or rarely, joint surgery.