Jaw pain is discomfort or soreness in the jaw that can be caused by a number of different things, from teeth grinding to TMJ disorders. Learn about the different causes of jaw pain, as well as their symptoms and treatment options in this article.
There are many possible causes of jaw pain, including teeth grinding, TMJ disorders, cavities, and gum diseases. Teeth grinding (bruxism) is a common cause of jaw pain. It can occur during the day or at night, and it can cause headaches, earache, and neck pain in addition to jaw pain. In addition, TMJ disorders refer to problems with the temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull. TMJ disorders can cause pain in the jaw, face, neck, and head, as well as clicking or popping sounds when you move your jaw.
Moreover, cavities are another common cause of jaw pain. When a cavity forms, it weakens the tooth and can cause pain when you bite down or chew. Cavities can also lead to abscesses, which are infections that can cause even more severe pain. Finally, gum disease is an infection of the gums that can cause redness, swelling, and bleeding. If left untreated, gum disease can damage the gums and teeth and lead to jaw pain.
In addition to the pain that ranges from a dull ache to a sharp, stabbing sensation, other symptoms of jaw problems can include clicking or popping sounds when you move your jaw, difficulty chewing or biting, jaw locking or stiffness, swelling around the jaw, headaches, earache, dizziness, and neck pain. Complications of jaw pain can include ear pain, emotional distress, infections, headaches, and neck pain. In addition, if the underlying cause is not treated, it can lead to more serious problems such as tooth loss or damage to the temporomandibular joint. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor or dentist so that the cause can be properly diagnosed and treated.
The treatment for jaw pain will depend on the underlying cause. For example, teeth grinding can be treated with a mouth guard, while TMJ disorders may require exercises or stretches to help relieve pain. Cavities and gum disease can be treated with fillings, root canals, or surgery, and ear infections can be treated with antibiotics.
In addition, over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help relieve pain from teeth grinding, TMJ disorders, and minor infections. There are also some home and alternative remedies that you can do such as adopting a soft diet to prevent excessive jaw movement, trying massage, and even trying acupuncture. Finally, there are a few things you can do to prevent jaw pain such as wearing a mouthguard at night if you grind your teeth, avoiding gum chewing, eating softer foods, not chewing hard objects such as ice or candy, and practicing good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing regularly.
Jaw pain can be a nuisance, but fortunately, there are many treatment options available. If jaw pain is keeping you up at night, or making it difficult to enjoy your favorite foods, contact us by giving us a call today. We’d be happy to help get you on the path to relief.