A tight jaw can cause pain or discomfort in many parts of your body, including your head, ears, teeth, face, and neck. The intensity of the pain can vary, and may be described as achy, throbbing, tender, or severe. These feelings may become worse while chewing or yawning. The exact location of the pain can also vary. If you have a tight jaw, you may feel discomfort on one or both sides of your face, jaw, nose, mouth, or ears.
Mostly everyone has soreness or tightness in the jaw from time to time. Usually, these symptoms go away within a few days and are not cause for alarm. But sometimes, the pain can linger and get worse — becoming so intense that chewing, smiling, and even breathing is difficult. When kids have symptoms like these, they're likely to have developed a TMJ disorder, which may require treatment. TMJ disorders are medical problems related to the temporomandibular joint TMJ , the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull. You can feel your TM joints and their movement by placing your fingers directly in front of your ears and opening your mouth. What you're feeling are the rounded ends of the lower jaw as they glide along the joint socket of the temporal bone, which is the part of the skull that contains the inner ear and the temple.
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Myoclonus is a symptom of a disease in which a muscle or group of muscles suddenly starts twitching or jerking. Some common examples of myoclonus are:. These types of muscle contractions tightening are normal. However, when muscle jerks or twitches happen frequently or affect more than one area of the body, they may cause problems with ordinary activities, such as walking, talking, or eating. Myoclonus may be categorized according to the part of the brain or central nervous system that is involved, or according to its cause.