I woke up with pain in my jaw on the left side a week ago. The pain is getting worse. I cant open my mouth more than half way without very bad pain. Its aching all the time now, and is very stiff feeling. I've never had a problem with grinding my teeth. I'm not sure what it could be. I lost my job and insurance last month and haven't found new work yet. I'm not sure i can hold out untill I have insurance again. What should I do?
I am really sorry to hear about your pain. Try ice on it during the day to stop inflamation and then heat at night to relax the muscles. You could be clenching or grinding your teeth and you just don't realise it so heat at night can help your muscles relax.
Also take Ibuprofen for pain and inflammation and don't eat hard food. And keep the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth (palate) all the time during the day. this really helps.
And hopefully with all this after a couple of days or weeks it should feel better. In most cases with TMJ problems they get better with just a few of my tips. Even if you read stuff online where people complain about having it for ages these are the minority of cases.
If you don't see an improvement after like a a month or two, hopefully your insurance will be through and you can see a dentist who could make you a mouth guard. These can help reposition the jaw and relax it or you can get ones that stop you from clenching or grinding.
When I got jaw problems I was convinced it wasn't from clenching or grinding. But I have finally started to realise it is.
Anyways good luck. There are also jaw exercises online you can find to help re-strengthen and relax your jaw. And make sure your not low in Vitmain D, Magnesium and calcium as they all are linked to the joint, muscle and bone.