Jaw pain can be a real nuisance, sometimes coming and going for no clear reason. If you have been dealing with jaw discomfort, it is important to know that there are many potential causes of this symptom in order to get the help you need. From grinding your teeth at night to arthritis in the joint, understanding why you may be experiencing this issue is essential in having successful treatment. Keep reading to learn more about some of the most common causes of jaw pain and how they should be addressed by your doctor or dentist.
Jaw pain can be caused by several different things, and if you’re experiencing jaw discomfort it is important to seek medical advice. Determining the cause of your jaw pain can help ensure that you receive the appropriate treatment. Jaw pain can indicate more serious underlying health issues such as heart problems, temporomandibular disorders, or even cancer.
TMD stands for temporomandibular disorder, which is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) located in front of each ear. The TMJ connects the lower jaw to the skull and it’s responsible for all movement associated with chewing and speaking. TMD can be caused by a variety of different factors such as arthritis, injury or trauma to the area, stress, teeth grinding, or poor posture while sleeping. Symptoms of TMD include pain when opening or closing your mouth, difficulty chewing food, headaches/migraines, neck pain, tenderness around your jaw joint(s), clicking/popping sound in the jaw joint(s), and a locked jaw.
Treating TMD involves identifying and addressing the underlying cause, as well as managing the symptoms. Your dentist or doctor may recommend various tests to determine the cause of your jaw pain. For example, they may take an X-ray of the area, use ultrasound imaging or CT scans to view the inside of your mouth and teeth, or perform a physical exam and ask questions about your symptoms. Additionally, blood tests may be used to check for any signs of infection.
If your jaw pain is caused by TMJ disorder, treatment may involve physical therapy to help you improve the way you use your jaw and to reduce inflammation, as well as custom-made mouthpieces or splints to help reduce tension in your jaw joints. In extreme cases, surgery may be necessary for severe TMJ problems.
In other cases, dental care such as extractions or orthodontic treatments can help correct misalignments that are causing discomfort and pain. If the pain is from an infection, antibiotics may be prescribed. Your doctor will work with you to determine the best course of action based on the cause of your jaw pain.
It is important for anyone experiencing persistent jaw pain to seek medical attention as soon as possible in order to diagnose and treat any underlying conditions that may be causing it. Your doctor will conduct an examination of your jaw and mouth, take x-rays if necessary, review your medical history, and discuss your symptoms with you. With the right treatment, jaw pain can be successfully managed and the underlying cause can be addressed. Ultimately, seeking professional help if you have been experiencing jaw pain for more than a few days is key – so do not hesitate to contact us today at Herndon Dental Arts. Our top doctors will examine and recommend you a treatment plan for your specific needs.