The jaw joint is located just in front of each ear. It is a complex joint and has many muscles controlling it. For various reasons, many people develop the habit of grinding or clenching their teeth. These parafunctional habits are often times related to stress. Correcting a poor bite and reducing stress in our lives would be ideal options, however, we often need relief immediately.
Basically grinding, clenching and a bad bite cause the muscles that control the jaw to be overworked, they get fatigued and go into spasm. That is when the pain begins. An appliance can be made to wear over the teeth that will allow the muscles to rest and reduce the symptoms. Various medications can also help reduce the pain, as well as massage of the muscles, moist heat, and even physical therapy can help.