Jaw Pain Could Be a Sign of Other Dental Problems
By Stephen Rogers on January 08, 2016
The team at Greater Long Island Dental is committed to general dentistry to address the teeth, gums, and other structures of the mouth. Holistic dentistry is very important for long-term dental health.
We've previously noted how jaw pain is related to TMJ disorders, which is the dysfunction of the joint where the mandible meets the skull. Yet TMJ disorders (which we'll go over again briefly) are just one of many issues in which jaw pain is a side effect or symptom. The structures of the mouth are interconnected, and it's important to keep that in mind.
Injured Teeth and Jaw Pain
When you have a tooth that's been seriously injured, particularly a molar, this can lead to pain in your jaw. The pain from the tooth or teeth can radiate to the jaw joint, resulting in jaw pain. This applies to teeth that are broken due to trauma as well as teeth that have been serious decayed.
Dental restorations and other restorative procedures are generally best for this problem.
Teeth Grinding and Jaw Pain
Teeth grinding (bruxism) is the gnashing, clenching, and shifting of the teeth that occurs when you are asleep. It's often the result of excessive stress and/or tooth misalignment. The stress placed on the teeth and the jaw joint can result in jaw pain.
The use of a mouth guard, orthodontic treatment, and stress management techniques are generally ideal for this problem.
TMJ Disorders and Jaw Pain
TMJ disorders (TMDs) involve some form of joint, nerve, cartilage, or muscle issues that affects the proper function of the jaw joint. When a TMD occurs, it can result in jaw pain, lockjaw, and sounds emanating from the jaw such as pops and crunches.
TMJ disorders can be treated through the a variety of therapies, from the use of a mouth guard to steroid injections to surgical treatment.
Impacted Wisdom Teeth and Jaw Pain
Wisdom teeth are the extra sets of molars that emerge during a person's early 20s. These teeth are generally unnecessary and may grow in crooked, pressing against the existing molars or pressing against the jawbone itself. The pain can be quite severe, and the impacted wisdom teeth may damage adjacent teeth and the jawbone.
Wisdom tooth removal is a common and simple treatment option for this issue, and it is fairly routine for most patients.
Malocclusion and Jaw Pain
Crooked teeth are more than just an aesthetic problem. When the malocclusion is severe, it can result in serious pain of the teeth, the gums, and even the jaw joint. This is the nature of having a poorly aligned bite.
In the vast majority of cases, the best option to consider for jaw pain is orthodontic treatment. This will improve the overall alignment of the teeth and prevent jaw pain and other serious problems.
Root Canal Infection and Jaw Pain
If you have a root canal infection, it can be quite painful. This is what happens when bacteria reaches the inner soft tissue contained inside of a tooth. When the infected tooth is one of your molars, that pain can radiate out to the jaw.
The ideal treatment for root canal infections is typically endodontic care, which removes the infected dental pulp and restores the tooth. Sometimes extraction is recommended when the tooth in question cannot be saved.
Oral Cancer and Jaw Pain
Oral cancer becomes more of an issue as people get older, and it's especially worth checking for if your family has a history of cancer or you used tobacco products. Jaw pain is one of the many symptoms and signs of oral cancer.
The best way for oral cancer to be detected is to visit your dentist regularly, which allows you undergo a comprehensive exam. Early detection is always best.
Contact Greater Long Island Dental
For more information about jaw pain and how it can be addressed and properly treated, be sure to contact our advanced dental care center today. The team at Greater Long Island Dental looks forward to your visit and helping you have the healthiest smile possible.
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