Find out the common causes of jaw pain and what you should do about it.
While we might not think about our jaw joints at all, they do a lot for us day in and day out. In fact, the jaw joints are responsible for every jaw movement we make, from talking and swallowing to chewing. When pain sets in it can make it difficult to chew or talk without experiencing discomfort. Discover what might be going on and how our Denver TMJ dentist Dr. Steven Wilk can provide you with relief.
Your Jaw Pain Could be a TMJ Disorder
There is a temporomandibular joint on both sides of the jawbone. This joint connects the jaws to the skull. Joint dysfunction can lead to a TMJ disorder, which results in symptoms such as,
- Jaw pain and stiffness
- Swelling of the jaw
- Tenderness to the touch
- Painful popping or clicking when opening your mouth
- A change in how your teeth fit together
- Pain when chewing
- Pain in and around your ears
If you are experiencing these symptoms our Denver dentist will examine your mouth and talk to you about your symptoms to figure out whether or not you have a TMJ disorder. Treating a TMJ disorder includes,
- Taking anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain
- Eating soft foods and avoiding wide jaw movements
- Performing jaw stretching exercises (your doctor can show you)
- Wearing an oral appliance during sleep to reposition the jaw during sleep
Other Causes of Jaw Pain
While TMJ disorder is often the cause of jaw pain it isn’t the only cause. In fact, jaw pain may also be the result of,
- A bad bite (malocclusion), in which the upper and lower teeth don’t fit together properly, which can result in a lot of wear and tear of the muscles and joints of the jaws. Orthodontic treatment is usually recommended to fix a bad bite.
- A cavity could also be to blame for your jaw pain. If the cavity is minor our dentist will remove the decay and restore the tooth; however, once the cavity has reached the inside of the tooth you may require a root canal. Once the decay is deep enough the pain can radiate to the jaw.
- Teeth grinding, or bruxism, may also be to blame. If you are under a lot of stress you may find that you grind your teeth. If your jaw pain is worse in the morning it could be because you’re grinding your teeth at night.
Are you living with jaw pain? If so, it’s time you found the solution you need to get rid of your pain. Call Dr. Steven Wilk at the Center for Headache, TMJ, and Sleep Disorders in Denver, CO today and let us help you.