If you are someone who has suffered from jaw pain, there is no need to explain how much of a negative affect it can have on your day-to-day life; from talking, to eating, to smiling, and sleeping.
Jaw pain can significantly impact your well-being, which is why looking for answers to solve it is a step in the right direction. You may be wondering, what exactly could be the cause? How can I stop the pain and how can I prevent it in the future?
The truth is that there is no straight answer to why you are experiencing jaw pain. There are multiple nerve endings connected to the jaw and pain can be triggered by something as simple as prolonged chewing. You may not even know the triggers causing the ache in your jaw; which often leaves people confused as to why it’s happening in the first place.
Experiencing jaw pain from time to time is perfectly normal. If, however, you have been experiencing jaw pain on a regular basis, it is advised to see us as soon as possible to begin the process of identifying the potential underlying cause(s). You may be surprised to learn that multiple factors could be contributing to your jaw pain.
Before your appointment with our highly rated dentists in Ferris, we will help you get a better understanding of what could be causing your jaw pain and how to relieve it in the meantime.
#1 TMD or TMJ
One of the most common causes of jaw pain is temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD), which is often also referred to as TMJ. This disorder has a negative impact on the joints that connect the jawbone and your skull. A surprising number of people live their day-to-day lives with TMD and are completely unaware of it.
This is often the case when the disorder is not severe and only results in pain from time to time. If, however, you think you might be experiencing jaw pain due to TMD, you should definitely make an appointment with our dentists here in Ferris. It is important to see an expert, as TMD/TMJ can be a result of teeth grinding; which over time and in severe cases, can completely ruin your teeth. Severe untreated cases can even result in the need for a full set of veneers. You should also know that TMJ/TMD can affect not only your jaw, but cause headaches, pain in the neck, and even cause pain up and down one’s shoulders in severe cases.
#2 Teeth grinding
As mentioned above, teeth grinding is a major cause of jaw pain. Teeth grinding is often something that goes unnoticed because it mostly happens at night while the person is asleep. It can, however, occur while the person is awake. Therefore, if you catch yourself grinding your teeth unintentionally, try and identify perhaps what the triggers may be, and how to put a stop to it.
Now, you may be wondering, why would you grind your teeth? Well, there are various reasons why people grind their teeth. It’s most often a combination of psychological, genetic, and physical factors. Stress and anxiety are one of the most common causes for teeth grinding while asleep. It can also occur due to medication side effects, misaligned teeth, and Parkinson’s disease.
If you have jaw pain and think you might be grinding your teeth, it is a good idea to consult our dentists in Ferris as soon as possible for a closer inspection. If our doctors find that you are grinding your teeth, they will likely suggest you get a mouth guard to wear while you sleep to avoid damaging your teeth permanently.
#3 Untreated cavities
Although it is not the most obvious reason for jaw pain, cavities can certainly progress to a point where they result in jaw pain. A cavity can result in jaw pain when the tooth deteriorates to a point where the tooth root becomes infected. This infection can spread to tissues in the jawbone which can cause severe pain if left untreated. To prevent this, you should be staying up to date with your dental check-ups and consult with our dentists here in Ferris to avoid letting any cavity get this bad.
#4 Gum disease
Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, can also cause jaw pain. Like an untreated cavity, gum tissue will become infected with gum disease, which spreads, causing mild to severe jaw pain. It is extremely important to monitor the health of your gums by regularly seeing our dentists. If you start to experience any symptoms of periodontitis (gum disease) it is dire to treat it as soon as possible.
#5 Wisdom teeth
Another potential cause of jaw pain is wisdom teeth. Wisdom teeth, which typically come into the mouth from ages 17 to 25, can cause jaw pain if they shift your teeth alignment or cause unwanted pressure in the jaw. If you are between said ages and can feel what might be a new tooth pushing through the very back part of your gums, your wisdom teeth could be erupting. At this point, it is best contact our office for clarification.
Final thoughts on how to relieve jaw pain
In addition to consulting with a dentist, you can also try some home remedies to relieve jaw pain. This will help in the short term, but you will ultimately need to see a dentist to identify the underlying cause and find long-term relief.
We are here to answer any questions you might have regarding jaw pain and how to get relief. If you would like to schedule an appointment with a highly-rated, trusted, and caring dental team, contact us today.