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Are you wondering whether the stiffness you are experiencing in your jaw is something to worry about? In this short read, we state three common reasons for stiffness in the jaw.

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Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Do you feel a tight sensation in your jaw and around your neck on a daily basis? This is a common symptom that a lot of people live with, but many of us ignore it because we just get used to it. The tightness in the jaw becomes the norm and, after a while, we don’t even notice it unless we make a conscious effort to relax it. 

The thing is, you shouldn’t ignore this because it could actually be a symptom of a wider problem that needs to be addressed. So, what causes tightness in your jaw, and should you feel worried?


One of the most common causes of tightness in the jaw is anxiety. Many (highly sensitive) people struggle with stress, worry, and tension on a regular basis. This can manifest itself in physical symptoms. Muscle tension caused by anxiety may cause the tightening sensation that you feel around your neck and jaw area.

If you experience regular headaches as well as a tight jaw, it’s probably stress-related. So, find ways to manage your anxiety and if the problem is getting out of control, you need to seek advice from a doctor.

Dental Issues

There are a number of dental issues that can cause stiffness in the jaw. TMJ is one of the most common, and it occurs when the jaw lacks mobility because there is a blockage in the temporomandibular joints, which connect to your lower and upper jaws.

If you don’t treat TMJ, you could experience long-term unpleasant symptoms such as pain, restricted jaw movement, headaches, and even problems chewing. 

Bruxism (teeth grinding) is another dental issue that can cause tightness in the jaw. This occurs when you grind your teeth so much that it actually damages them, wearing down the enamel and leading to a number of additional problems.

It’s essential to seek professional dental services if you think this is happening because teeth grinding can do a lot of long-term damage. The health of the jaw often relates to dental problems, so a dentist is usually the best person to speak to if you are experiencing issues.


There are a number of medical conditions that can cause tightness in the jaw and around the neck, including arthritis. Arthritis is a condition that causes inflammation and stiffness in the joints, leading to pain and discomfort.

If you suffer from this problem, it’s likely that your jaw will feel sore after periods of stress or overuse; this means you should make changes such as avoiding specific foods. You may even need to take medications or seek medical advice about possible procedures.

If you have arthritis in the jaw, the problem will continue to get worse as you age. However, if you speak to your doctor, they can help you find ways to manage it so it doesn’t impact your life too much. 

Tightness in the jaw is one of those symptoms that people often ignore. However, it may continue to worsen. Also, it may signal a more serious health issue, so try to see a doctor right away. 

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