Teeth Pain

We all know stress creates tension. Muscular tension can lead to trigger points (TP). Some people are more susceptible to TP's than others (but we all get them).

If you are getting pain in your teeth, it might not be a cavity. Consult your dentist and if nothing is found it is most likely muscular trigger points; referring pain to a tooth. If the symptoms cannot be reproduced in the tooth, there is no dental treatment that will result in pain relief. There are many conditions of craniofacial origin that mimic toothache pain and should be considered in a differential diagnosis if dental causes are eliminated. Muscular pain symptoms are characterized by a deep, dull ache sometimes with occasional sharp, lancinating pains in the ear, temple, or face.

Here are the most common culprits:




The masseter muscle has two heads and is very bulky in appearance it originates on the zygomatic arch and the maxilla and inserts on the coronoid process and the ramus of the mandible. Its action is to elevate and protract the mandible and the mandibular branch of the trigeminal nerve innervates it.

The trigger points refer to the upper and lower molars, into the ear and may also cause a pressure feeling into the mandible, sinus and ipsilateral eyebrow.

“The masseter muscles are among the first to contract in persons who are in a state of extreme emotional tension, intense determination, or desperation, and they remain contracted for abnormally long periods of time,” says Janet Travell in her book Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual




Temporalis originates on the temporal lines on the parietal bone of the skull and inserts on the coronoid process of the mandible. Its actions are to elevate and retract the mandible to close the jaw, and the mandibular branch of the trigeminal nerve innervates it.

Refers to the upper molars although is usually a bigger player with headache pain in to the temporal area than teeth pain.

Lateral Pterygoid

Lateral pterygoid originates on the great wing of the sphenoid bone and pterygoid plate and inserts on the condyle of the mandible. Its actions are to depress, protrude and side-to-side movement in the mandible, and it is innervated by the lateral pterygoid nerve off of the mandibular branch of the trigeminal nerve.

As for lateral pterygoid, this muscle refers pain to the ear and ipsilateral sinus area. Dr Travell says: trigger points in the lateral pterygoid are the chief myofascial source of referred pain felt in the TMJ area.”



Muscular involvment in Jaw Pain, Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction

The lateral pterygoid muscle attaches on the temporomandibular joint and can cause a dysfunction in itself if it is tight, by arcing the jaw bones trajectory when opening and closing the mouth.

Obvious causes of a hypertoned lateral pterygoid are teeth grinding at night, stress/tension, and dental work. The lateral pterygoid is where the dentist inserts the needle when they freeze the mouth.

General information on TMJ disorder


Please Click here a PDF on TMJ disorders. In this "Resource Guide for Temporomandibular Disorders" The TMJ Association, Ltd take time to explain in depth what Is the temporomandibular joint; what are temporomandibular disorders; the causes, diagnosis and symptoms.

This initial muscle information, is not talked about in this PDF, and often by releasing manually the lateral pterygoid muscle and reducing the tensions on the jaw, it will simultaneously provide more space in the joint therefore more nutrition and less stress. As you can see on this diagram some muscles attach directly on the joint. The RMT's at Equinox Health Clinic can help you reduce that tension. Please contact us for more information or book an appointment by clicking here.

Prevent. Perform. Recover.

Equinox Health Clinic