Our jaws help us in speaking, biting, chewing and handling of food. Any pain in your jaws should not be neglected, especially, if it keeps coming back. It can be a symptom of underlying issues with your teeth or overall health. Painkillers may give you temporary respite but it won’t eliminate the root cause. Understanding the probable reasons for the pain will help you to get the right treatment in a timely manner. The orthodontic treatments atDr. R. Wilczek Inc. will prevent and correct any irregularities with your jaw alignments.
Our jaws help us in speaking, biting, chewing and handling of food. Any pain in your jaws should not be neglected, especially, if it keeps coming back. It can be a symptom of underlying issues with your teeth or overall health. Painkillers may give you temporary respite but it won’t eliminate the root cause. Understanding the probable reasons for the pain will help you to get the right treatment in a timely manner. The orthodontic treatments at Dr. R. Wilczek Inc. will prevent and correct any irregularities with your jaw alignments. The Causative Factors Behind It There can be different reasons for your jaw pain some of which are mentioned here: • Stress – Stress or anxiety can sometimes cause a person to develop parafunctional habits like grinding teeth in sleep, also known as bruxism. Such habits refer to actions where you use your mouth or teeth in an irregular way, harming the jaw structure. Grinding or clenching teeth without realizing creates tension along with the muscles, tendons and ligaments supporting your jaw. Rampant bruxism can cause significant damage, even leading to the loss of teeth. You can get help through night-guards, which act as a protective layer between the top and bottom teeth. You can also work on ways to reduce your stress. • TMJ Disorder – Temporomandibular joints on each side of your jawbone act as hinges connecting the jaw to the skull. Jaw stiffness, difficulty in opening your mouth or a change in the way the upper and lower jaws fit together can be a symptom of TMJ disorder. Your doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory medicine like ibuprofen and you can apply ice packs for further comfort. Eat only soft foods and don’t open your mouth widely until you heal. • Problem with Upper and Lower Jaw Alignment – When the lower and upper jaws align properly, it is termed as a ‘good bite.’ Bad bites can happen when the upper teeth overlap the lower teeth or vice versa. This doesn’t allow the teeth to function normally, leading to pain in joint muscles. Initially, you can try orthodontic treatments like wearing braces to fix the issue. If it doesn’t work, surgery may be necessary. • Untreated Cavity – Cavity occurs when you don’t clean your teeth regularly, with bacteria developing on the food particles stuck between your teeth. Cavity typically causes pain when it has corroded the enamel and has reached the layer below it or the pulp of the tooth. This indicates the infection has become extreme and needs urgent attention. You may also feel a radiating pain around the jaw. Our dentist can fill the cavity to help you if it’s a small one but you will need a root canal treatment if it is in an advanced stage. • Impacted Wisdom Tooth – Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars, one in the top jaw and one below on both sides, which erupts during late teens or early 20s. Some people don’t have sufficient space in the jaw to accommodate the new teeth which then get stuck in the jaw bone or muscles causing immense pain. An x-ray procedure can help diagnose the impacted tooth and the exact position. Your dentist can then surgically remove it through a simple procedure. Although you can get back to your regular lifestyle after 24 hours, certain precautions need to be followed for about 7 days. It is important to remember that jaw pain, along with other symptoms, can be a marker of other problems like: • Heart attack – Sudden pain in the lower-left section of the jaw and in the left arm can be a sign of heart attack. You should contact your doctor immediately. • Tetanus – A bacterial infection, tetanus makes opening your mouth and swallowing very difficult. The toxin spreads throughout the body very fast and needs urgent medical attention. • Jaw cancer – Cancerous cells in the jaws can result in sores or lumps and immense pain. • Nerve Damage – The trigeminal nerve can get compressed due to factors like injury, obstructing sensation to the face, resulting in pain. You can discuss with us your financial options for your treatment. Our friendly staff will provide you with personalized assistance and required orthodontic care. Contact us anytime to identify the right reason for your jaw or tooth pain.