Jaw pain refers to the pain felt in the mandible (lower jaw), temporomandibular joint (jaw joint) and the soft tissue surrounding the jaw. Jaw pain differs from person to person – it may be extremely painful for some and just a mild ache for others. It can also build up over a period of time or be sudden.
What Causes Jaw Pain?
Stress to the temporomandibular joint is the most common reason for jaw pain. This leads to TMD, i.e., temporomandibular joint disorder, which results in pain on the sides of your head in front of your ears. TMD can be a result of misaligned teeth, infections, or wear and tear of the jaw joint.
Jaw pain can also be a symptom of other diseases, such as neuralgia, thyroiditis, sinus problems, and arthritis. It may even be a result of common habits such as teeth grinding and clenching your jaw, or everyday occurrences like headaches. Issues with teeth can also cause jaw pain. Impacted teeth, tooth decay, and tooth abscess are all examples of conditions that can lead to jaw pain.
Other conditions that may be responsible for jaw pain are life-threatening, and thus, jaw pain should always be taken seriously. Jaw pain can be a symptom of both, heart attacks and oral cancer.
How Do You Treat Jaw Pain?
In addition to over-the-counter painkillers, heat and ice packs can be used to treat jaw pain. However, these are short-term solutions. Long-term solutions include lifestyle changes such as avoiding caffeine and chewy food. Medical treatment is required for severe cases and can range from being given a mouthguard to undergoing jaw surgery.
If you are experiencing jaw pain, make sure to reach out to a professional immediately. At Mid Valley Dental, Michael J. Wockenfus, DDS and Dr. Wockenfus are more than happy to answer all of your questions regarding jaw pain – call (920) 215-4160 to make an appointment.
Dental Blog • Menasha, WI • Mid Valley Dental, S.C. Michael J. Wockenfus, DDS created a blog to educate the community. It is your resource for all dentistry questions. Learn and read topics in the blog here! Mid Valley Dental, SC, 903 E. Airport Road, Menasha, WI 54952 ^ (920) 215-4160 ^ midvalleydental.com ^ 9/19/2023 ^ Associated Words: dentist ^