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Avatar universal

Jaw pain on first bite!

I have searched the internet for any other post with a symptom similar to mine but can find nothing at all, so I am here to ask for help.

I suffer from a sharp 'cramp like' pain that kind of fades in and out just as quickly when I take my first bite of food, be it morning afternoon evening etc. This can happen several times a day.

The pain is pretty severe, yet only lasts a few seconds and extends from under my ear down across the front of my jaw and up the other side symetrically.

This ONLY happens on the first bite of food (when I havn't been eating for a while). It feels like my jaw has a reaction to food being put into it initially but then is completely free of pain for the rest of the time i'm eating.

Wait a few hours... Next FIRST bite, same pain few seconds gone...

Anyone have any clue what on earth that may be?

Thanks in advance,

16 Responses
1775664 tn?1314313647
I'm having the same problem but when i shift my jaw or even open my mouth wide to eat it very painful, sharp and sore I can't really enjoy my foods anymore have to open my mouth very carfully and can't open very wide either :(  only small little bites.

But i think it could be TMJ ? (Temporomandibular joint disorder ) Or signs of it. Hopfully you go see a Pysiotherapist and get it looked at..

My husband had it before and doing physio therapy and accupunture seemed to help him.

Best of Luck!
I recently had some oral surgery and this started happening to me. Severe pain on first bite. I have quickly learned that after not eating for a while, once I put food in my mouth to suck on it for a few seconds and then bite... really reduces the pain for me. It seems the sucking on the food gets the saliva juices flowing and tricks the mouth into thinking it is after first bite.
Avatar universal
I have had what you are describing my entire life. My mom also has it...so I think it may be hereditary. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find out why this happens. The pain is fleeting...it doesn't continue with each bite...only the very first bite after a long period of not eating in between. I think it may have something to do with salivary glands...man does it hurt bad to bite down that first time!
Avatar universal
Try searching for Sjrogen's Syndrome.
5020741 tn?1362437056
I am a dentist and limit my practice to Orofacial Pain Management.  What you probably have is something generally called First Bite Syndrome.  It is considered a neuropathic pain disorder and treated with medicnes that control nerve pain.
Avatar universal
I have this too, intense pain on the first bite of food.  I also, all my life that I know of, grind my teeth at night when stressed, and the muscles around jaw get really tense and in some cases I have even had trouble opening my mouth to bite an apple.

Right now we are moving and changing careers, so my stress is higher even though I have been doing my natural stress relievers, of walking every day, taking some quiet time every day to read etc., so I think I may be grinding my teeth/clenching/tensing, more than usual, and the first bite this morning for breakfast really hurt!  

In the past, I have massaged my jaw muscles, gently, or pressed firmly on a particular sore spot on the jaw for 10 seconds, then released, and that would take away much of the tenseness so I could open my mouth again properly for eating apples etc.

What I am going to try, is doing this massage, and press and release technique, again, and see if my first bite for breakie tomorrow can be actually enjoyable, like it should!  

Synthetic medicines for this? No thank you! There has got to be a natural treatment for this... not medicines that will then in turn hurt my liver and other internal organs, plus side effects, plus cost.... etc. etc. etc....  
Do you understand the difference between a natural compound and a synthetic version of that compound? The synthetic version has taken the active ingredient and removed other unhelpful or counter-productive things. Then they test it in ways that "natural" products never get tested.

Bottom line: any "natural" compound WILL give you the same side effects as a synthetic version. In fact, it will likely give you more, because the active ingredient(s) hasn't been isolated, and so there are tons of other ingredients in there getting in the way and interacting.

People won't report side effects of "natural" things because nobody things they could possibly be the cause. It's the naturalistic fallacy.

Your distrust of modern medicine is only possible because modern medicine has improved mankind's quality of life so much that you don't really have to worry about getting the best treatment - chances are you'll be fine either way. That allows you to be ignorant without suffering the consequences it would have given you in the past.
Avatar universal
I've suffered from TMJ for my entire life (as far back as I remember) and my teeth chatter at night (constantly biting in my sleep, not because I'm cold lol)

I tried everything,  even had my chiropractor stretching out a muscle either side INSIDE my mouth, which helped the pain and discomfort but didn't help the cause.

I spoke to my dentist and he suggested Botox. I thought he was kidding to start with but he gave me the Botox injections directly into the muscles on either side of my jaw (obviously he was trained in this)

My life has literally been saved! I was going thru so much pain, so many headaches and migraines,  just constant, awful pain that was impossible to ignore. I suffer from depression also (I know, right?) And my TMJ added to that because I just never felt rested or even able to function day to day. I was considering taking serious steps.

The Botox saved my life! (That and a bite splint) I can sleep, I can eat, I can function like a normal person now. It's expensive and only lasts for 6 months or so but I don't care because I feel better than I ever have before.

Okay enough rambling but really, if you suffer as badly from TMJ as I do, and you've tried massage, chiro etc. Ask your dentist about Botox. Best decision I ever made!
Avatar universal
Today marks one week that I have been dealing with this pain in the jaw and ear. Every time I try to eat it hurts so bad. And only on the first bite. This first entry describes exactly what my symptoms are. Can anyone point me in the direction on what specialist I need to see in order to make this pain stop?? Im seriously down to an all liquid diet because I fear eating and feeling that pain.....
Avatar universal
It sounds like yall are speaking of two separate things.  TMJ pain is different than this sharp to tingle/pain when eating food.  It's more like a taste bud pain she is speaking of.  I have the same thing..  when I eat mustard or berries...  as well as my 'first' bites.  ESPECIALLY when I have not eaten in a long time.  I started putting gum in my mouth, mouth rinse, brushing teeth.. do more during the day it it seems to help with this weird happening. It is almost always there in the morning, even if I have plain oatmeal but it is considerably better. This pain happens even if I am sucking a smoothy through a straw.  I am from the dental field.  
Avatar universal
Seen sound pretty similar but my case is kind of different, yes its only with the first bite but I'm pretty shure its anything that's solid. I've never felt this with normal soft food like right now I ate like three peanuts in one bite and got an intense what I like to call it "shocking pain" but only in the back bottom of my jaw and only for a couple seconds, the only way I can describe it as if you got a ball of foil and chewed it at the back of your jaw or even biting into icecream
I too have this same pain. it started a little over a month ago. I initially thought it was a tooth, so i went to a dentist. nothing on the x ray. went to a doctor, explored the possibility of a blocked salivary gland, ultrasound showed no stone. Back to another dentist, saw a small crack in the last upper molar ...root canal...pain from that has gone, same symptoms. Does anyone else have sharp pain in the ear about 5 minutes after eating that last s minute or two? i do. No idea what this is, but I really want it fixed.
Avatar universal
Here's the usual definitioon: "First bite syndrome is characterized as pain in the parotid (salivary gland) gland or lower jaw area (mandibular region) at the first bite and, subsequently improves with each bite. The cause is unclear but, may be related to nerve impairment from surgery or other conditions." (I'm sorry I don't have the source for the quote.)

I inherited it, too. Father, me, my son. At its worst, it bends me over double and has me clutching my jaws and silently screaming. But that's rare after many decades. Now, it's still painful, but I've learned to cope and take precautions, by which I mean taking the very tiniest of first bites, and also the next few.Esp. in public, I'll start a meal by trying water first, or coffee (not juice!), then something very bland, like bread (not sourdough!), and only then carefully dipping a tine of my fork into the other food. If it's bad, I conveniently drop my napkin so I can silently scream under the table. : )

I'm in my seventies now, and after all these years of it, I guess my best advice would be--try not to take it too seriously (there are worse things!), and get used to tiny bites.

Good luck! It has never kept me from gaining weight, lol.
Haha you're the best!
Avatar universal
  I get the same pain. On, and only on, the first bite after having not eaten anything for awhile. It doesnt happen  every time though. Usually only if i take a big bite where i have to open my mouth wider than normal, like a sandwich.  Not sure what its called but i think its maybe a combination of the salivary glands beginning to function and the jaw muscles stretching and being used after not being used for awhile.  I didn't have it as a kid but am just hoping its not a vitamin deficiency or something.
  I just deal with it lol.  Its painful but mainly more annoying than anything.  When it happens i just pause mid chew and let it pass.
Avatar universal
Oh wow! I seriously looked this up because i have the same thing only the first bite. And after long periods of not eating. Always.i searched initially because i wondered if something was wrong. But i honestly think its hypersensitive taste buds. That initail taste overloads the tounge, im mot gonna lie i kinda spaz out and tap my foot or like shake my hand sometimes because its intense af.
I am suffering from the same pain also. I have had radiations therapy on my throat and lost my taste buds so hypersensitive taste buds don't seem right. in my case if started before  radiation therapy on the right side and now has moved to the left side. what ever this is, I am glad I am not the only one to suffer with it! Good Luck.
Avatar universal
I get this same sensation myself, especially when it comes to sour foods. I’ve been told that it’s actually just the salivary glands creating more saliva in response to the food. It really does hurt, though.
Avatar universal
Sorry bit late to add to this thread! This is very bizarre and I couldn't find anything online too. This is been happening to me for about two years now. Like you guys, when. I take my first bite, usually first thing on the morning but it could be anything.. happens when I haven't eaten or drank in a while. The side of my neck, under my hears, both sides where the jaw meets the ear kill and I have excruciating pain. It feels like I am being injected into the neck on both sides at the same time. Sometimes it's so bad I have to spit it out as the pain is continuous and doesn't stop. I massage it for a bit and drink water to test it before started again. It defo feels like saliva glass. I got my dentist to check, she said you have no slaiva glands there! Hmmz maybe it's more of a doctor thing..
Avatar universal
I get the same sensation.  Never talked about it with anyone until recently.  My mom said my grandmother used to say it “Ungs” her, whatever that means! Lol!  This post is the only information I have found online about it.  I am also curious what it is.  
Avatar universal
Just found this on another forum: “What is first bite syndrome?
First bite syndrome is characterized as pain in the parotid (salivary gland) gland or lower jaw area (mandibular region) at the first bite and, subsequently improves with each bite. The cause is unclear but, may be related to nerve impairment from surgery or other conditions.“
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