Jaw pain can be bothersome for several reasons due to its impact on daily life and overall well-being. It’s especially annoying when you’re not certain of the underlying cause, but deal with any number of symptoms along with the pain, such as difficulty eating and speaking, trouble sleeping, chronic headaches, and other issues. Put an end to the suffering by scheduling a consultation with an experienced dentist who can determine the source of the pain and develop a comprehensive treatment.
Top Causes of Jaw Pain
There are many reasons for jaw pain, and it's essential to identify the underlying cause to receive appropriate treatment. Here are just a few.
Bruxism (Teeth Grinding)
One of the most common and easily treatable contributors to jaw pain is teeth grinding and clenching. These actions place excess strain on the jaw joints and muscles, resulting in soreness and pain.
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder refers to a range of issues that can afflict the temporomandibular joint(s), which connect the jawbone to the skull and allow for a full range of motion. TMJ trauma, bite misalignment, hereditary conditions, and simple overuse can all contribute to pain in the jaw region.
Dental issues such as cavities, dental abscesses, infected or impacted wisdom teeth, and gum disease can cause localized jaw pain. Dental infections or inflammation can spread to the jawbone and surrounding tissues, leading to discomfort.
Just like other parts of the body, your jaw joints can develop arthritis. This is typically a degenerative condition and without treatment, it can lead to increased pain, swelling, and even bone deterioration in the affected joints.
Sinus infections create referred pain, leading to discomfort in the upper teeth and jaw area. The pain is often more noticeable when bending forward or lying down.
As we grow, allergies, adenoids, tonsils, and breathing all affect how our face develops, so in some cases, the causes of jaw pain can be anatomical in nature.
Sometimes, diseases or other issues relating to the ears can cause jaw pain. Dr. Mazhari will likely encourage you to visit an ear, nose, and throat specialist to verify whether or not you are experiencing a specifically ear-related condition.
These issues typically need to be addressed with either a chiropractor or physical therapist for orthopedic treatment.
Sometimes, facial trauma can result in jaw pain, even years after the incident occurred. If the jaw is knocked out of alignment, the temporomandibular joints can be forced to work harder than necessary, leading to pain from overwork.
Achieve Jaw Pain Relief With Treatment From a Skilled Alexandria Dentist
It's important to consult with a dentist or dental specialist to accurately diagnose the cause of the jaw pain and determine the most appropriate treatment plan. Self-diagnosis and self-treatment aren’t recommended, as they may not address the underlying issue effectively and could potentially lead to further complications. For dental-related jaw pain, treatment is specific to the condition. For example:
- For TMJ disorders, the treatment may include custom-made oral appliances that can help stabilize the jaw and reduce pressure on the TMJ, or orthodontic corrections in more severe cases.
- In cases of teeth grinding, the recommended course of action could include wearing a nightguard while sleeping can help protect the teeth from grinding and reduce jaw pain caused by bruxism. If the problem is more intense, dental treatments such as orthodontics or restorations may be suggested to improve the bite and reduce grinding.
- Depending on the specific issue, treatments like fillings, root canals, or extractions may be necessary to address other dental problems and alleviate jaw pain.
Bottom line: timely intervention and appropriate dental care can help alleviate dental-related jaw pain and improve overall oral health.