When to See a Dentist About Your Jaw Pain

Dec 01, 2022
When to See a Dentist About Your Jaw Pain
Is your jaw causing you constant pain daily? Keep reading to learn how the dentist can help improve your quality of life.

Is your jaw causing you constant pain daily? Maybe you experience painful flare-ups that go away, only to return again in a few days. Jaw pain can make eating, speaking, and sleeping difficult.

Our experienced team at TLN Family Dental wants everyone to enjoy their life free of pain and can provide treatment for some causes of jaw pain, including temporomandibular joint disorders or TMJ.

Causes of jaw pain

Some causes of jaw pain can go away independently, while others require a dentist to treat the problem. Common reasons for jaw pain include:

  • TMJ disorders
  • Dental problems such as toothache, cavities, or gum disease
  • Trauma from a blow causing swelling or bruising
  • Overbite
  • Heart attack
  • Sinus problems
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia
  • Cysts or tumors
  • Osteomyelitis 
  • Tetanus
  • Mumps
  • Cluster headaches

When jaw pain requires special care 

While most jaw pain will go away on its own after a few days, you need to contact a dentist if it becomes a chronic, long-term problem. Our team considers your concerns, looks at your mouth, and, if required, performs tests and x-rays to discover the underlying issue. 

The most common cause of long-term jaw pain is temporomandibular joint disorders, which affect the jaw joints and surrounding muscles and ligaments.

TMJ causes

In addition to jaw injuries causing TMJ, you may also have TMJ as a result of: 

  • Illness or disease
  • Clenching or grinding your teeth
  • Misaligned jaw
  • Inflammation around your jaw
  • Arthritis

TMJ symptoms

TMJ typically causes the following symptoms:

  • Jaw locking
  • Pain or ache around the face, jaw, or ears
  • Clicking sound when you open your mouth
  • Ear ringing
  • Vision problems
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Pain while chewing

How TMJ is treated

The team can treat TMJ several ways, depending on the severity and what is causing it. Before scheduling surgeries or discussing implants, we look to fix the problem with less invasive methods, like bite guards, braces, or anti-inflammatory drugs that relieve jaw pain. 

Bite guards are custom-fitted to your mouth and help to gently guide your teeth to their proper positions, elevating jaw pain and quickly addressing the symptoms caused by TMJ. If bite guards and pain relievers aren’t enough, we may recommend TMJ surgery to repair or replace your damaged temporomandibular joint.

Enjoy a pain-free jaw again

Jaw pain can cause varying problems, and it’s not something you just have to power through. Our dentists address this kind of pain regularly and can help you enjoy a pain-free jaw.

To learn how we can help you, call TLN Family Dental or schedule an appointment online to get started at our Pearland or Houston, Texas office.