Jaw problems

The Clinique Dentaire Hakim located in the Anjou-Mercier neighbourhood of Montreal, offers a wide range of dental services for patients of all ages.

The temporomandibular joints (TMJ) are the joints attaching your jaw or mandible to your skull. They allow the mandible to open and close, move side to side or forwards and allow jaw movements such as chewing, speaking, yawning etc.

TMJ problems can stem from masticatory muscle imbalances or from the joints themselves. Symptoms may include the following:

  • Jaw pain, ear pain, neck pain and headaches that are usually worse upon awakening.
  • Difficulty opening your mouth or restricted movement of your jaw.
  • Cracking, crackling or clicking of the TMJ when opening your mouth.
  • Jaw that gets stuck or locks when opening your mouth very wide (such as yawning) or opening for a long time.


TMJ problems affect between 20 to 30 % of people and are the second cause of orofacial pain, the main cause of pain being toothache. It usually concerns people between the ages of 20 and 50 years old.

If the pain’s origin is an inflammation, treatment includes an anti-inflammatory with or without muscle relaxants as well as physiotherapy.

If the pain’s origin is linked to a parafunctional habit (grinding or clenching) or poor jaw alignment, an acrylic bite splint or night guard is custom-made to fit your top or bottom teeth and adjusted to restore optimal bite balance. This bite splint or night guard is worn at night and allows to reduce grinding and clenching while placing your TMJ in a comfortable position. Your jaw can then relax and your teeth are protected from premature wear or damage.



If you think you might have TMJ issues, here are few tips to follow in order to prevent further discomfort, pain and damage:


  • Avoid opening your mouth too wide which requires a lot of effort on behalf of your joints (TMJ) ;
  • Avoid eating very hard foods or those that require a lot of chewing ;
  • Choose softer foods when you are experiencing pain ;
  • Avoid chewing or nibbling objects like pens and nails ;
  • Discuss with your dentist if you think you grind your teeth or clench your jaw at night (bruxism) ;
  • Be careful when you yawn not to open too wide and to hold your jaw to support it if needed with your hand.


Do you have TMJ issues? To determine where the problem is coming from or for more advice, book an appointment with Clinique dentaire Hakim’s team.

Clinique dentaire Hakim: your dentist in Anjou-Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve.