Jaw pain is one of the most common complaints heard by dentists. While “jaw pain” is a good enough way to explain to your family dentist that something is bothering you, it’s important to realize that jaw pain can be caused by anything from a simple sinus infection, to severe cavities, through to TMJ or other conditions.
It’s important to note that if you’re experiencing pain that lasts longer than a few hours or recurring pain, it’s best to seek medical attention as soon as possible for treatment. However, for less severe situations, there are several different avenues of treatment that can be offered depending on the cause of the jaw pain.
When you’re experiencing pain, the first step is to visit Dr. Reed to find out what is causing you pain. At this point, we’ll perform an exam of your mouth and will determine where the pain is coming from.
Below, we’ll go over a few of the most common causes of jaw pain:
Bruxism is a condition in which patients involuntarily clench their jaw or grind their teeth. It can be caused by several factors including a misaligned bite, psychological stress or anxiety, and even genetics. Most cases of bruxism only cause minor jaw pain, however, in severe cases, patients can damage their teeth and wear away their enamel causing headaches and intense jaw pain.
- Gum Disease
Periodontal disease is an infection of the gum or bone tissue. It can be caused by things such as hormonal changes (during puberty, pregnancy or menopause), diabetes, smoking and even just poor oral health care. Gum disease does not typically affect the jaw, however, the pain that it causes can radiate into the surrounding area and feel like jaw pain.
Allergies, sinus infections, and common colds have all been known to cause jaw pain. This is due to the proximity of your sinus passages and your jaw. Be sure that you’re not just sick with a sinus infection before making an appointment with Dr. Reed.
- Untreated Cavities
At first, the pain of a cavity can be felt as more or less localized. However, when left untreated, the decay can eat its way into the root of the tooth and from there, it can spread to the surrounding bone tissue. At this point, the cavity has become an abscess and will likely be causing you a significant amount of jaw pain.
TMD is an acronym for a condition called temporomandibular joint disorder. TMD affects the joints connecting the jaw to the skull. It is not a life-threatening condition; however, it can be quite uncomfortable and is often characterized by restricted movement and jaw pain.
- Impacted Wisdom Teeth
When wisdom teeth begin to erupt and there is not enough room in a person’s mouth, the teeth are said to be impacted. This can cause all sorts of complications, especially if they become infected. Aside from infection, an impacted wisdom tooth may push against your other teeth, causing them to shift and in the process, causing pain in your jaw.
If you’re feeling any pain in or around your jaw area, it’s important to visit your Huntsville AL dentist, Dr. Reed, so we can find and create the best treatment for you. Call us today at (256) 533-6006 and we’ll help pick the best date and time for your appointment.