The closing muscles of the jaw are some of the strongest muscles in the human body. When measured on a pounds per square inch basis, the superficial masseter is the strongest muscle in the human body. All muscles get tired and fatigued and they have tipping points when they get overworked. These are the muscle referral patterns of the muscles that close the jaw, which are activated when you are clenching, grinding, chewing gum, biting your nails, chewing any object and any other occasion when the teeth are touching. It is for all these reasons that Dr. Hirschinger invented the gentle jaw, which is a passive stretching device to help stretch the muscles that close the jaw. You can learn more at www.gentlejaw.com.
The site of the pain is in red and the source of the pain is indicated by the black "X." The more dense areas of red are not necessarily more painful that the less dense areas but they are the more common areas of referred pain.
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Pain referred to upper molars
Pain referred to lower molars
Pain referred to upper front teeth
Pain referred to upper middle teeth
Pain referred to all the upper teeth
Two of the muscles that close that jaw can cause referred pain in the maxillary (upper) molars. They are the upper part of the superficial masseter muscle and the posterior part of the trapezius muscle.
The lower part of the superficial masseter muscle can cause referred pain in the mandibular (lower) molars.
The trapezius muscle, which is the shoulder muscle can refer pain to the angle of the jaw. Although it is not a closing muscle of the jaw, the trapezius muscle must be ruled out as a source of the pain when patients complain of lower jaw pain.
The anterior part of the temporalis muscle can cause referred pain in the maxillary (upper) anterior teeth.
The middle part of the temporalis muscle can cause referred pain in the maxillary (upper) canines and premolar teeth.
When you combine the muscle referral patterns of all the fibers of the temporalis muscle, you can see that it can cause referred pain in all of the maxillary (upper) teeth.
Learn about the muscle referral patterns of the muscles that refer pain into the TMJ.
Learn about appliances for TMJ.
Learn about Botox treatment for TMJ and TMD.
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