|Muscle Group:||Face & Throat|
|Symptoms and Referred Pain:|
|The masseter is divided into two layers, a superficial layer and a deep layer.
The superficial layer refers pain to the lower jaw, teeth, gums, and sometimes into the maxilla.
Trigger points in other areas of this layer of the masseter will refer pain to the upper molar teeth, gums, and maxilla. Pain may also be referred in an arc shape above the eyebrow and may appear in the lower jaw.
Trigger points in the masseter, or temporalis, may cause tooth hypersensitivities to heat, cold, percussion, or occlusal pressure.
The deep layer may refer diffuse pain to the mid-cheek area and sometimes to the area of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). Pain may be referred deep into the ear as well as tinnitus (ear ringing). The tinnitus is usually described as being “low roaring”.
A person with TrPs in the masseter, particularly the superficial layer, will most likely complain of restriction of jaw opening. Most are unaware that their jaws do not open sufficiently, especially if eating food is not difficult. Pain is very common and usually occurs as described above in the “pain pattern” section.
Unilateral tinnitus may be associated with the upper portion of the deep masseter as well as earache of unexplained origin.
|Muscle Description:||The masseter functions to elevate (close) and retract the jaw.|