What Causes Abnormal Jaw Pains and How to Treat It
Hundreds of people around the world suffer from abnormal jaw pains every day. This type of pain can by created by a number of reasons, however, it’s important to know what to do when you have this condition. Unfortunately, much jaw pain doesn’t only occur at the jaw but also affects other areas of the face as well.
If you find yourself experiencing abnormal jaw pain, you should consult an orthodontist for a better evaluation. They are experienced in these conditions and can prescribe a treatment plan. However, if you cannot make it to the orthodontist’s office, this guide can help serve to identify the main causes of abnormal jaw pains and how you can treat it yourself.
Common Causes of Abnormal Jaw Pain
There are a variety of different factors that can cause abnormal jaw pain since your jaw is composed of multiple bones, muscles, joints, and tendons. Although the most common cause is simply overusing your jaw, sometimes there are more severe factors at play, which can damage your jaw more than you’d think.
General Teeth Problems
Teeth complications are one of the leading causes of jaw pains. Since younger children are more prone to oral health diseases, they are more common among this age group. These complications include wisdom teeth, abscessed teeth, and cavities. The more oral health problems occur, the higher risk you are for jaw pains.
Another highly common cause of jaw pain is from grinding your teeth.Teeth grinding is also called bruxism, and occurs when your teeth are clenched together and move back and forth. However, since this can occur when you are sleeping, you may not even notice you’re doing it. Unfortunately, however, the more often you grind your teeth, the more intense your jaw pains can become.
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction
Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction is a disorder that occurs between your temporal bones and jaw, caused by an overuse of your mastication muscles. This disorder usually occurs if you over chew gum or over eat harder foods such as apples or hard candy. It results in a variety of symptoms such as dizziness, tinnitus, and jaw stiffness.
Fractures and Structural Disorders
Fractures and structural disorders can result in your jaw becoming numb, swollen, and deformed. Plus, it can cause a constant dull pain in your jaw. Although, these conditions can be hard to control, preventing stress to your jaw can greatly reduce the tendency of you getting fractures or structural disorders.
The term arthritis is used to refer to any joint inflammation. While most commonly this inflammation takes place in the hands, it can also occur in the jaw. This arthritis causes swelling in the temporomandibular joint which creates an extreme amount of pain for those with this condition. This condition can become an even more serious issue as, if it is not treated, the jaw can fuse to the skull and become impossible to move.
Although stress is often seen as a mental issue, it can cause physical symptoms, like jaw pain. Stress and anxiety often cause people to clench their teeth, which causes the muscles around the jaw to always be tense. Jaw pain occurs as a result of this tension. The pain can begin as dull and throbbing and turn into a shooting pain when the jaw is moved. It can also cause headaches.
How To Treat Jaw Pain
Though it may be tempting to swallow a few Advil every time your jaw starts to bother you, it would be in your best interest to find a more permanent solution. The first step to treating your jaw pain is to find out what is causing it. The best way to determine this is by setting up an appointment at your orthodontist’s office. Here are a few ways they may suggest you use to treat your pain.
A lot of the time, jaw pain can be treated at home with a few basic lifestyle changes. Try the following techniques:
- Rest your jaw by limiting the time you spend talking, chewing, and moving it
- Apply a hot or cold compress to the afflicted area
- Ask your orthodontist about getting a night guard to help you relax your jaw at night and prevent you from grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw
Your orthodontist may also prescribe you an over the counter medication to help you manage the pain. The majority of medications work by simply numbing the pain. However, there are some that can actually help your jaw muscles to relax, which can prevent the pain altogether. You will have to speak with your doctor to determine which, if any, medications are right for your situation.
If your jaw pain is caused by a serious case of TMJ or arthritis, surgery may be the necessary treatment plan for you. This course of action is only recommended when all other forms of treatment have been unsuccessful or when the jaw is severely degraded.
Trip to the Orthodontist’s Office
Tooth problems like crooked teeth can put unneeded pressure on the jaw and cause pain. If this is the case, the course of treatment may be Invisalign or braces.
If you are experiencing jaw pain, do not hesitate to contact us today! We can help you find the right treatment plan, whether it may be a lifestyle change, braces, or Invisalign.
Contact Childers Orthodontic
At Childers Orthodontics, we have multiple offices where you can have an examination from our orthodontist. Dr. Kyle R. Childers accepts appointments at these facilities in Illinois:
• Benton – 618-438-2815
• Harrisburg – 618-252-0770
• Herrin – 618-997-1800
Our patients are able to have customized orthodontic treatments with devices that include:
• Invisalign – clear aligners that you can remove from your mouth
• Braces – traditional metal, color-matching ceramic or Damon System
• Retainers – used after regular orthodontic treatment ends
To straighten your teeth faster, we can also perform a Propel procedure to stimulate your alveolar bones.
Call us to schedule your first orthodontic evaluation.
What Causes Abnormal Jaw Pains and How to Treat It
201 West Washington
Benton, IL 62812
Phone: (618) 438-2815