If you are experiencing ongoing jaw pain, it’s probably time to see a dentist. There are numerous underlying issues that can cause a sore jaw and the only way to properly diagnose your condition and begin treatment is to be seen by an experienced dental professional.
Whether you’re diagnosed with an abscessed or infected tooth; malocclusion or misaligned teeth; gum disease; disorders of the TMJ; or suffer from symptoms related to grinding, clenching and overuse, the team of knowledgeable dentists at Kennerly Dental Group are here to help you eliminate your jaw pain and treat the root cause of your discomfort.
Are you experiencing any jaw popping, locking or stiffness?
These are common complaints of patients who suffer from disorders of the TMJ, also known as TMD. In addition to jaw popping, locking or stiffness, patients suffering from more severe TMD may also experience migraine-like headaches and/or pain in the ear or neck. Believe it or not, if you are someone who suffers from chronic headaches or any number of otherwise unexplained facial and neck pains, we encourage you to discuss your symptoms with a dentist. It is not uncommon for TMD to go undiagnosed because the pain may not be experienced directly in the jaw area.
Do you have swollen gums coupled with significant pain and/or fever?
Depending on the specific location of an abscessed tooth or gum disease, these conditions can also be causes for jaw pain. As with any bacterial infection, you do not want to let these ailments fester, because if they go untreated they can turn into much more serious or systemic medical concerns.
Do you grind or clench your teeth at night or when you’re stressed?
Teeth grinding or clenching puts tremendous pressure on your teeth and jaw joint and many people are unaware when they’re doing it, but frequently experience sore jaw muscles and joints as a result. Ongoing grinding and clenching can also lead to tooth fractures and other structural issues. However, regular dental checkups allow your dentist to identify early signs of these behaviors and provide you with preventative treatment options such as night guards.