Recurrent pain is more than simply an annoyance — it’s your body’s way of telling you something isn’t right. Pain varies widely in intensity and duration, but no matter how minor it might seem, you shouldn’t ignore it.
Jaw pain is a common complaint, but it has many possible causes. The pain itself might be mild discomfort when you open your mouth wide, or it might be so severe that it affects your ability to chew and speak.
Miguel A. Casañas Jr., DDS, Publio Silfa, DDS, and our team at Meadowbrook Dental Care specialize in oral and maxillofacial services, including the diagnosis and treatment of jaw pain. When you experience pain in your jaw, it’s time to make an appointment with a professional.
Recurrent jaw pain could be a sign of …
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder
You have two temporomandibular joints, one on each side of your face. These joints connect your lower jaw to your skull, and TMJ disorders are one of the most common causes of recurrent jaw pain.
TMJ disorders cause pain, restricted motion, and sometimes an audible clicking sound in the jaw. They may develop if the joint gets damaged, either from injury or overuse. Along with jaw pain, you might experience difficulties opening and closing your mouth.
Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding and teeth clenching. It’s the involuntary grinding or clenching of teeth, and it can happen while you’re awake or while you’re sleeping. The exact cause of the condition is unknown, but it’s believed to be linked to stress.
Bruxism is a very common problem, with an estimated 13% of adults experiencing it regularly. If left untreated, it can cause tooth damage like worn down enamel and chips, but another common symptom is jaw pain. Keeping your jaw clenched unconsciously can lead to muscle fatigue and pain.
Toothache or infection
Toothaches are characterized by pain within a tooth, but severe toothaches can cause radiating pain that spreads to your jaw. An abscess, or pocket of infected pus, may develop in or around a tooth and also cause jaw pain.
Infection elsewhere in your maxillofacial region may also cause jaw pain. Sometimes, pressure from sinus infections can cause radiating pain that reaches your jaw.
Treating recurrent jaw pain
With so many possible causes of jaw pain, our team is here to find the treatment that works for you. We begin with a comprehensive dental exam and a review of your symptoms, and then develop a treatment plan that’s right for you.
If you’re diagnosed with a TMJ disorder, we may recommend exercises, lifestyle changes, and medication to ease symptoms. A few different treatment options for bruxism are available, including muscle relaxants and mouthguards to protect teeth.
Toothaches, abscesses, and other infections are addressed based on their severity. They may require antibiotics, tooth extraction, or a root canal procedure, depending on the severity of your condition.
Find relief from your recurring jaw pain at Meadowbrook Dental Care. Call our office at 516-231-1742 or book online now.