How To Get Rid Of Bad Jaw Pain From Chinese Medicine | AC Punc Acupuncture

Satoru Ozawa, DOM, L.Ac, ATC
5 min readMay 1, 2021

The jaw is also known as TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint), is like a sliding hinge that contributes to opening and closing or grinding your mouth like speaking or eating something. I think you have felt the Bad Jaw Pain before, and you know how it feels.

I want to talk about the mechanism of jaw pain and how to manage one of the most bothers of pain in a lifetime.

Anatomy of the jaw

The TMJ is between the temporal bone and the mandibular bone, lower jaw bone.

There is an articular disk in the joint that works for the cushion and the prevention of friction.

And, there are ligaments and muscles around the joint such as temporal, lateral pterygoid, SCM, and masseter muscles.

The TMJ is a joint that moves back and forth. When you open your mouth is closed, the disc is between the mandibular condyle and the mandibular fossa.

However, when you open your mouth, the disc moves anteriorly with the mandibular condyle.

What causes TMJ pain?

If there is an abnormality in the articular disk, such as pain when you open your mouth is opened, difficulty opening the mouth wide, and a clicking sound when the jaw moves, it is caused by muscle stiffness in the neck.

Because of this, there is a massive amount of pressure goes to the joint and causes inflammation and pain.

Neck tightness is related to stress, which is one of the primary reasons you get jaw pain.

When you live your life, you will face many difficulties, for example, job interviews, important presentations, or even relationships, and so on.

Sometimes, you feel overwhelmed and stressed out. Sometimes, you might not be able to sleep well the day before the event.

Stress comes at such times. Pressure like this and the autonomic nervous system are highly related to each other.

The autonomic Nervous System & Stress

The autonomic nervous system is associated with the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves, which activate when stressed out and relaxed.

Significantly, the vagus nerve is attached to internal organs like the stomach, heart, lung, and neck.

When you are stressed out too much, it gets overactivated and sympathetic dominant.

You will get stomach upset, raise the heartbeats, sometimes have difficulty swallowing, and neck stiffness.

Neck stiffness

From a traditional Chinese medicine standpoint, stress & digestion and neck are highly related to each other.

The right side of the neck is associated with the Liver organ related to Stress, which is called Liver Qi Stagnation.

The other possible symptoms of Liver disorders are irritability, anxiety, rib pain, menstrual disorders like cramping, irregular periods, etc.

The left side of the neck is Spleen and Stomach, which are the digestion systems.

What can you do to get rid of Bad Jaw Pain?

  1. Try putting on a mouth guard at night.
  2. Press Acupuncture points that release jaw pain. WHO recommends acupuncture treatment for Bad Jaw Pain.
  3. Try putting a heat pack on your neck for about 20 mins 2–3 times a day.
  4. Try natural Chinese herbs. Here is the link that you can try and prescribe the right Chinese herbs

1. Wear a mouth guard at night

When you are stressed out, you might grind your teeth at night, which is one of the symptoms of the Liver disorder (Liver Qi Stagnation).

So, a mouth guard helps to reduce the tension on the jaw.

2. Press Acupuncture points.

There are Acupuncture points that you can press by yourself to reduce the tension on your neck and jaw.

SJ 5

San Jiao 5 is the point to release the SCM muscle, which is attached from behind the ear to the collar bone.

San Jiao 5 is 2 inches away from the dorsal side of the wrist, and you can find the tender spot. Press and hold the area and try to open and close your mouth.

If you feel the release, the point is the right spot.


Liver 3 is an excellent point to alleviate the tightness of the trapezius muscle between the big toe and 2nd toe. Again, you can press and hold for 20 seconds.

3. Apply a heat pack to your neck

Heat alleviates the tension because it increases blood flow. There is a microwaveable heat pack. So, apply it for 20 minutes twice or three times a day.

4. Try natural Chinese herbs to reduce stress and Bad Jaw pain

There are natural Chinese herbs to release muscle layer, joint pain related to stress.

Chai Hu Gui Zhi Tang is a traditional formula that treats muscle tension, joint pain associated with the digestive system, and psychological issues like irritability.

Ingredients: Chai Hu, Dang Shen, Zhi ban Xia, Gui Zhi, Huang Qin, Bai Shao, Shang Jiang, Da Zao, and Gan Cao


In conclusion, this jaw pain can be from the autonomic nervous systems and neck tension.

Firstly, please understand the mechanism of jaw pain.

Secondly, please try these four health tips if you have such symptoms.

Finally, I hope it helps those who are suffering from annoying symptoms.

Please feel welcome to comment if you have any questions about this post.

Sayonara till next post.

About Author: Satoru Ozawa, DOM, L.Ac, ATC — Doctor of Oriental Medicine, an acupuncturist, and a Chinese herb specialist. With his ten years of experience in Oriental Medicine, he will recommend the best natural Remedies, including Acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and health tips to relieve your suffering.

Originally published at on May 1, 2021.



Satoru Ozawa, DOM, L.Ac, ATC

Satoru is a doctor of Oriental medicine, an acupuncturist, and a Chinese herb specialist. He has treated various kinds of patients in Los Angeles and New Mexico