Diagnose: uncomfortable holding jaw shut

So, for the last few weeks my jaw muscles have felt really tense; a bit like the feeling after you’ve inflated several balloons.

And my jaw is not comfortable in any position. If I have my mouth open, it wants to close. If I close it, it feels like my muscles are straining to hold it shut. And if I have my mouth open just a few millimetres, my jaw shakes with the effort of holding that position.

From googling, I can’t find exactly this set of symptoms anywhere. And I’m not even sure if I should go to my doctor or dentist about this. Thoughts?

This can be a sign you’re grinding your teeth while you sleep. I’d see your dentist just in case.

Or we could do the self diagnosed WebMD paranoia answer: clearly you have tetanus. :stuck_out_tongue:

You should go to your doctor or dentist about this. The SDMB is not a licensed practitioner and can’t examine you in person.

(Somebody has to say it.)

Well, overall - no to the first. But theoretically we could all examine Mijin. But perhaps temporarily housing several thousand members and tediously waiting while we each examine the jaw then consult with each on our several thousand mostly uninformed opinions seems like more trouble than it would be worth :).

I concur that this sounds like a doctor/dentist visit if it has been lingering this long. I’d be inclined to call whichever you have a better relationship and ask for a recommendation on who better to see.

Yep: my final question was meant to be “Doctor OR Dentist” not “(Doctor OR Dentist) OR SDMB”.

And yeah, maybe I shouldn’t have started the thread with “Diagnose” when of course that is not possible. What I was fishing for was: “Oh, I had something just like that, it was called X. Have you tried the Y exercise to relax that muscle”?

Could be something TMJ related, but I have this symptom with ear infections too. Just speculation, you’ll need to see your doctor.

Does the situation improve when you take a NSAID? (My doctor always seems to ask that)

I had a friend who described similar symptoms. When she went to the dentist and opened her mouth as wide as she could, she felt her jaw pop, and the discomfort stopped. Turned out she’d managed to dislocate her jaw. Not that she had any idea how she’d done that.

dentist here. I’d say a dentist, but make sure it is one with knowledge of TMJ issues. Many dentists don’t. If NSAID’s and heat wont help it I refer it out.