Everything you need to know about jaw pain

By September 18, 2015 Jaw Tension, Your Dentist

Jaw pain is a particularly uncomfortable situation to be in as it can affect eating, sleeping, talking and every aspect of daily life. Fortunately, it’s also something a specialist dentist can help you with. Aesthetic Family Dentistry are such specialists.

Temporomandibular joint

Jaw pain can be caused by many things, so is collectively known as jaw joint dysfunction. This dysfunction stops the jaw from working as it should and causes discomfort in everyday actions. This condition is often referred to as TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder. You may also hear it called temporomandibular dysfunction.

The medical term for the jaw join where this discomfort happed is called the temporomandibular joint. This joint allows the mandible, the jaw bone, to move the way it does. It is one of the most complicated joints in the body as it needs to move up and down, backwards and forwards and left and right.

Typical symptoms of TMJ

Jaw pain can manifest in many ways but there are a series of typical symptoms that can often indicate a possible case of temporomandibular joint disorder. Those symptoms include:

  • Discomfort around the jaw, ear, neck or cheek
  • Restricted movement of the jaw
  • A clicking, popping or grating noise when moving the jaw
  • Frequent unexplainable headaches
  • Difficulty or discomfort when eating or talking
  • Swelling around the jaw
  • A perceived change in how your mouth fits together when closed

There are many more possible symptoms of TMJ but these are the most common. Unfortunately, these symptoms can also be caused by a number of other conditions. That makes it essential that you visit a dentist who is an expert in identifying and effectively treating TMJ. It is very frequently misdiagnosed, so we cannot overstate this point.

Typical treatments for jaw pain

There are as many treatments for jaw pain as there are versions of it. Many involve non-surgical, behavioral or lifestyle changes that are simple to achieve and result in no more discomfort. Some changes involve dental appliances. Only in very rare occurrences is surgery ever needed.

As holistic dentists, Aesthetic Family Dentistry can provide a range of complementary therapies such as massage or a chiropractor that can significantly help with the jaw pain. Other treatments can include some gentle jaw exercises, relaxation techniques, a realigning mouth guard or a range of other treatments. There are surgical interventions we can make but only as a last resort.

Jaw pain is something that could be easily treated as long as the causes are correctly identified. Using a dentist that has specialist training in TMJ is the first step to recovery. Aesthetic Family Dentistry is that dentist. Call us today to schedule a consultation. We’re here to help!

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