TMJ trigger

The sensory nucleus of the trigeminal nerve is in the neck.

The sensory nucleus of the trigeminal nerve is in the neck.

I have noticed that when I speak with my head turned to the left; this triggers TMJ pain on my right side. So, I have avoided speaking with my head turned that way. Unfortunately this has caused a lot more problems, neck pain, a very unnatural feeling of turning my head to the left and anxiety and fear of even speaking with my head turned.

Any advice?

Good evening,
That's an interesting and unusual question. To be quite honest, I'm not sure, without a thorough examination.

My initial thoughts are that, you presumably then always turn your whole body to the left so that you can speak directly to someone; but that obviously hasn't fixed the problem.

Also, turning your head to the left shouldn't directly affect the jaw joint, although the neurology is complex, so I wouldn't entirely rule that out.

So the question is whether this is primarily a neck problem, or a condition of the TMJ, or both. The sensory nucleus of the nerve supply the jaw joint is in the neck, so the pain is often also felt in the neck.

If you press just in front of the tragus of the ear, do you get tenderness in the jaw joint; open and close. Any popping or clicking sounds?

If you turn your head, right and left, up and down, sideways, do you get neck pain?

Headaches and facial pain?

These are all important questions to think about, but over and above that there's nothing like a thorough clinical examination. See if you can find a chiropractor in your neck of the woods who also treats the TMJ.

I'm sorry not to have contributed more.

Dr B

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