Your jaw and the muscles that attach to it is primarily for biting, chewing and talking. The masseter muscle is the main muscle of the jaw and it's very strong considering how small it is. We are not quite in the category of the crocodile but our jaw evolved to chew all sorts of things. It hasn't always been about pureed soup and gluten-free friands.
Occasionally, due to anxiety or habit, we grind our teeth, or clench unnecessarily. This can lead to 'knots' or trigger points which can lead to pain on chewing.
Irritated and tight jaw muscles can also contribute to problems that you might not even think are connected:
Headaches - You might find yourself massaging your temples when you have a headache. When your fingers are working their magic, you will be sinking your fingers into the temporalis muscle, which sits like a semi-circle over the temples, attaches to the jaw bone and works to close the mouth.
Earaches and toothaches are a bit less obvious but when there is no problem with the tooth (thank goodness). You might be able to avoid a trip to your dentist and solve the problem with a little jaw massage.
Bruxism, or grinding and cracking of molars.
Temporomandibular joint syndrome - If you hear grinding, clicking or crunching, you may have issues with the temporomandibular joint (the jaw joint).
Our Osteopaths can assess your jaw, provide immediate pain relief and teach you some effective self-massage and some simple techniques to relax the jaw.