Many of our patients experience jaw pain during some point in their lives. It’s a common dental concern that we treat in our dental office. As your trusted restorative dentist in Bradenton, FL, we wanted to provide you with some additional information on your jaw pain. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions regarding this topic:
Why does my jaw hurt?
There are many reasons why someone could be experiencing jaw pain. For many patients, jaw pain is stress related. They either grind their teeth together at night or clench their jaw throughout the day, adding tension to their facial muscles. For other patients, something could be throwing off their bite pattern and causing jaw pain. Missing teeth, broken teeth, or misalignment all apply added pressure to your dental structures and can potentially cause jaw pain.
What is a TMJ disorder?
When it is determined that your jaw pain is the result of damage or irritation to the temporomandibular joint of your jawbone, you will likely be diagnosed with a TMJ disorder. Symptoms of a TMJ disorder include jaw pain, tension headaches, earaches, facial soreness, or a clicking noise when you open or close your mouth. This disorder is a catch-all term for a wide variety of potential issues affecting the jaw joint, muscles in the face, neck, and surrounding nerves.
Are TMJ disorders treatable?
Yes, there are a wide variety of treatment options available for patients with TMJ disorders. As a conservative option, Dr. Patel often recommends the use of a mouth guard or dental splint to alleviate specific symptoms of TMJ disorder. This oral appliance helps hold your jawbone in a healthy resting position while you sleep. Our practice also offers bite correction therapy, restorative dentistry options, and orthodontics as methods of treating TMJ disorders once the underlying cause is determined.
My jaw hurts right now. What should I do?
If you are currently experiencing jaw pain, a cold compress to your jawbone can help reduce inflammation and facial swelling. Additionally, we recommend patients take several breaks throughout the day to consciously relax their facial muscles and stretch out their jaw to reduce the amount of tension held in the facial muscles. Avoid eating cruncher foods until your jaw pain subsides. Above all, if you are currently experiencing jaw pain, please schedule an appointment with us. Dr. Nish Patel is an experienced dentist who has helped many of his patients relieve their jaw pain. We look forward to helping you soon.