Can Rifle Recoil Cause TMJ?

lewwetzel

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Been bothered by a sore jaw the last few days. Now it's the weekend and no docs or dentists open.
Racking my brain trying to trace a possible reason and can come up with two: 1. Mon. PM, chewed on a very tough overcooked sirloin at a greasy spoon. 2. Tue., I tried about 25 fairly hot loads in my .243. Certainly not a bone-crushing caliber and not a lot of rounds, but I did do one thing differently by using one of those one-piece red plastic rests instead of my usual Caldwell front with a rear bag, in a somewhat-failed attempt to limit movement of the rifle from recoil. By Tuesday evening I noticed a soreness at the rear of my jaw, with a noticeable "hitch" in movement. Thought at first in was a damned abcessed tooth forming, but the symptoms aren't quite the same (no swelling or fever - yet). In no way a debilitating situation - more annoying than anything, at least at this point.
With no dental insurance and one who hates dentists' offices, I was kind of hoping it might be a displaced jaw if it would turn out to be either of those. But, after remembering the obvious misery my retired cop brother went/goes through with his occupation-induced TMJ and associated tinnitus, a root canal might preferable in comparison.
Guess I'm thinking the sharp blow to the cheek from even a medium-recoiling rifle could possibly jar a person's jaw out of joint. And, could a stock with a cheek piece make the impact worse or lessen it? Or am I grasping at straws?
 
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MountainMariner

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Fire off a couple rounds of 460 Weatherby Mag, that should realign things quite nicely. That or the shoulder pain will make you forget the jaw.
 

Dosh

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Lew, I am by no means a Orthodontist, but I asked my niece who works for one. She thinks it would be a stretch acquiring TMJ from 25 shots. Perhaps give the jaw a few weeks and see a Dentist if it persists is her comment. Good luck
 

J E Custom

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Been bothered by a sore jaw the last few days. Now it's the weekend and no docs or dentists open.
Racking my brain trying to trace a possible reason and can come up with two: 1. Mon. PM, chewed on a very tough overcooked sirloin at a greasy spoon. 2. Tue., I tried about 25 fairly hot loads in my .243. Certainly not a bone-crushing caliber and not a lot of rounds, but I did do one thing differently by using one of those one-piece red plastic rests instead of my usual Caldwell front with a rear bag, in a somewhat-failed attempt to limit movement of the rifle from recoil. By Tuesday evening I noticed a soreness at the rear of my jaw, with a noticeable "hitch" in movement. Thought at first in was a damned abcessed tooth forming, but the symptoms aren't quite the same (no swelling or fever - yet). In no way a debilitating situation - more annoying than anything, at least at this point.
With no dental insurance and one who hates dentists' offices, I was kind of hoping it might be a displaced jaw if it would turn out to be either of those. But, after remembering the obvious misery my retired cop brother went/goes through with his occupation-induced TMJ and associated tinnitus, a root canal might preferable in comparison.
Guess I'm thinking the sharp blow to the cheek from even a medium-recoiling rifle could possibly jar a person's jaw out of joint. And, could a stock with a cheek piece make the impact worse or lessen it? Or am I grasping at straws?


I'M sure it could if the stock or cheek piece does not fit you well.

When shooting hard kicking rifles it is common to end up with a sore check. I prefer a Monty Carlo
cheek piece that Is higher in the back than the front so that when the rifle recoils the cheek piece
disengages from my check for the big bores.

If your jaw is getting sore while shooting a 243. ether the stock does not fit or the rifle is very light
increasing the recoil velocity (The speed that the rifle recoils) Even though the recoil energy is not very high, recoil velocity can be very violent in a light rifle/pistol.

Also you might look at a muzzle brake if nothing can be don't to stop it from making your jaw sore.

J E CUSTOM
 

Lefty7mmstw

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Dakota del norte
Fire off a couple rounds of 460 Weatherby Mag, that should realign things quite nicely. That or the shoulder pain will make you forget the jaw.

I was thinking my 8# [email protected] might help a bit too....


Seriously, even a 357 mag. can sprain a wrist if held wrong. I'd look at what is contacting you during the recoil cycle as JE has alluded too. I've seen guys with sore faces from shotguns, but a 243 is usually a bit mild for that sort of thing.
 

J E Custom

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I was thinking my 8# [email protected] might help a bit too....


Seriously, even a 357 mag. can sprain a wrist if held wrong. I'd look at what is contacting you during the recoil cycle as JE has alluded too. I've seen guys with sore faces from shotguns, but a 243 is usually a bit mild for that sort of thing.


This post shows a 416 with a #8 taper that has a cheek piece like I was talking about that rises in the back to minimize check bruising. after 20 or 30 shots the fun is gone but my check is not sore.

There is a good view of the cheek piece 5 or 6 pictures down.

http://www.longrangehunting.com/forums/f28/416-buff-21003/

A well designed cheek piece can make a world of difference.

J E CUSTOM
 

lewwetzel

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Nov 21, 2009
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Location
Central OH
Fire off a couple rounds of 460 Weatherby Mag, that should realign things quite nicely. That or the shoulder pain will make you forget the jaw.

Already have that distraction......four months out from shoulder surgery after an accident, and looks like it'll never move/feel like a healthy one again. :rolleyes:
 

lewwetzel

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Central OH
I have no idea yes or no, but sitting here wondering "IF" a mouth guard would help?
Might be worth a try. I'll ask the dentist I just got a recommendation for in my area who specializes in TMJ and other facial problems; he also shoots (at least handguns, maybe an AR).
Thanks, all.
 

J E Custom

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Already have that distraction......four months out from shoulder surgery after an accident, and looks like it'll never move/feel like a healthy one again. :rolleyes:

Just a side note about your shoulder surgery; I had a fall in Colorado (about 65 feet) and really messed up my right shoulder. after extensive surgery it took about 1 year before I could use it,
and in fact I became left handed and had to brake my self of using the left hand.

I shot left handed for 2 years and finally with the aid of a muzzle brake I was able to switch back to my right hand.

It has been 4 years now and I have 98% use of the shoulder.

The point is = It just takes time to get back from something like that so don't get discouraged.

J E CUSTOM
 

jfseaman

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Apr 8, 2012
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4,171
Location
California Central Coast
While it is certainly possible, I don't think the recoil caused the condition. It could have aggravated it though.

TMJ from that steak is certainly suspect but I am also inclined to think cracked tooth from nawin' on that tough old steak could be in there as well. Either way, the slow onset leads me down the sore muscles or mandible route rather than the cracked tooth route. A couple things you can think about or do to check.

Does hot or cold cause more tooth discomfort now than before the steak? If so, cracked tooth is possible.

Hold a piece of ice between your teeth but don't chew it. If it hurts or is more uncomfortable on a certain tooth, time to see the tooth grinding person.

Take "advil", if the muscles stop hurting or hurt less, more likely TMJ as "advil" relieves muscle soreness.

Other possible causes are teeth clenching (or grinding, my own issue), look to the stresses of life there. The "advil" can relieve the discomfort there too.

If you did pop your jaw out of alignment on that ol' steak, getting it back into place before it finds it's new location easier is a good idea.

I ain't a doctor but I play one on TV. LOL. Seriously, been there before. Don't have the TMJ anymore but I still clench/grind my teeth.
 

lewwetzel

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Messages
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Location
Central OH
JE: Just happened to go to the doc today, and he told me the same thing, give the shoulder a year.
Also, I'm basically a lefty although I do some things right-handed. Have been meaning to try more left-handed rifle shooting and study up on the eye-dominant thing anyway.

jfs: I did a couple days of the trusty anti-inflammatory n-saids (Aleve, not Advil though) and that helped until things started feeling better on their own. A toothach probably would have just gotten worse, although TMJ can lead to a plethora of dental problems.Dr. Oz has nothing on you. :)
And, I know what you mean about teeth-gritting stress. For example: I just found out that the clown of a fellow employee who caused the accident that resulted in the shoulder injury above, has received a huge raise!
 

hunterbob

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Oct 19, 2011
Messages
387
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Montgomery TX
Already have that distraction......four months out from shoulder surgery after an accident, and looks like it'll never move/feel like a healthy one again. :rolleyes:

Been bothered by a sore jaw the last few days. Now it's the weekend and no docs or dentists open.
Racking my brain trying to trace a possible reason and can come up with two: 1. Mon. PM, chewed on a very tough overcooked sirloin at a greasy spoon. 2. Tue., I tried about 25 fairly hot loads in my .243. Certainly not a bone-crushing caliber and not a lot of rounds, but I did do one thing differently by using one of those one-piece red plastic rests instead of my usual Caldwell front with a rear bag, in a somewhat-failed attempt to limit movement of the rifle from recoil. By Tuesday evening I noticed a soreness at the rear of my jaw, with a noticeable "hitch" in movement. Thought at first in was a damned abcessed tooth forming, but the symptoms aren't quite the same (no swelling or fever - yet). In no way a debilitating situation - more annoying than anything, at least at this point.
With no dental insurance and one who hates dentists' offices, I was kind of hoping it might be a displaced jaw if it would turn out to be either of those. But, after remembering the obvious misery my retired cop brother went/goes through with his occupation-induced TMJ and associated tinnitus, a root canal might preferable in comparison.
Guess I'm thinking the sharp blow to the cheek from even a medium-recoiling rifle could possibly jar a person's jaw out of joint. And, could a stock with a cheek piece make the impact worse or lessen it? Or am I grasping at straws?

Take a couple shots of wiskey before you go to bed..... The 243 is not the problem as my 8 yr old grandson shoots his all the time. It's obvious you had done something to cause your problem... maybe you racked your head against the door of the truck getting in it? Don't know, but that will do it... sorry I can't help you more ,,,
DR. Bob

Proctologist.
 

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