Do you frequently encounter soreness or pain in your jaw or face? In many cases, this discomfort may be related to a jaw joint issue, such as TMJ disorder or bruxism. Understanding why your jaw hurts can allow a dentist to prescribe the most appropriate treatment options and restore your smile to full function and health.
When patients have TMD, also known as TMJ disorder, their jaw joints undergo excessive amounts of strain, making opening and closing the mouth difficult. Causes of the strain may include injury to the teeth or jaw, tooth loss, bruxism, and malocclusion. Symptoms of the disorder may include popping or clicking in your jaw, headaches, earaches, or pain in the face, neck, or shoulders.
Bruxism is a disorder that occurs when the patient grinds his/her teeth or clenches the jaw on a regular basis. Stress, tooth loss, injury, TMJ disorder, or misalignment can all cause a patient to grind his/her teeth. Warning signs may include jaw pain, as well as headaches or facial discomfort. Over time, teeth grinding can wear down enamel or even crack/chip the teeth, increasing the risk of tooth decay or infection.
Treatment will depend on the severity of the disorder. In some cases, a restoration or possibly orthodontics can help address the issue. We may also prescribe a custom-made oral appliance. The appliance address TMJ disorder by repositioning the jaw to ease strain on the joints. For bruxism, the device places a barrier between the upper and lower teeth, which prevents further damage to the teeth during grinding episodes. If you have any questions about TMD or bruxism, or treating the causes of jaw pain, then please contact our office today.