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Jaw Pain May Be the Sign of Serious Dental Problems

By Steven Kail on November 30, 2015


An x-ray of an impacted wisdom toothIf you have a toothache, sore gums, or any sort of pain in your mouth, it's worth it to take these issues seriously. A little bit of pain may actually be the sign of a serious dental health problem. That's especially true of the jaw. The team at Premier Dental Center has helped many patients around Jackson address jaw pain issues thanks to advanced approaches to general dentistry.

About the Jaw Joint: Understanding the TMJ

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the jaw joint, and it's one of the most complicated joints in the entire body. This should come as no surprise given the various kinds of jaw movements and motions required for people to just bite, chew, speak, and make facial expressions. Below we've outlined some of the most serious kinds of dental health problems related to the jaw joint.

Jaw Pain and TMJ Disorders

A TMJ disorder (aka TMD) refers to the clicking, locking, popping, and pain in your jaw when you yawn, bite, or speak. Some people refer to TMJ disorders simply as "TMJ" for short. The condition may be the result of jaw injury, strain on the jaw, or arthritis. If it goes undiagnosed and untreated, it can lead to a number of serious problems going forward.

Treating TMJ disorders typically involves treating the root cause of the problem. For issues with arthritis, cortisone injections may be recommended. For severe cases of TMJ disorders, the last resort is typically surgery.

Jaw Pain and Teeth Grinding (Bruxism)

Another potential cause of jaw pain is teeth grinding. The gnashing, clenching, and shifting you do to your teeth when you sleep can result in tooth damage, gum recession, and pain in the jaw. In fact, teeth grinding is a common cause or contributing cause of TMJ disorders. Stress and tooth misalignment can also cause the condition.

To address teeth grinding, patients are often instructed to wear a mouth guard, which keeps the upper teeth and lower teeth from making direct contact. Stress management techniques and orthodontic care may also be recommended.

Jaw Pain and Poor Dental Alignment

When your teeth are not properly aligned, it can actually lead to pain when you bite or chew. Proper dental alignment means that your teeth are optimally positioned and will not cause undue strain on the jaw. Malocclusion is a common cause and contributing factor in many TMJ disorders and cases of teeth grinding.

When it comes to improving dental alignment, the best options tend to be orthodontic care. Getting braces can work wonders for the health and wellness of your smile.

Jaw Pain and Major Oral Pathologies

Finally, jaw pain is sometimes the sign of serious wellness problems, such as abnormal growths around the neck and jaw. In some cases, jaw pain is the first warning sign of oral cancer. Early detection means that proper treatment can be administered as soon as possible, which is why talking about any kind of oral pain you experience is crucial.

Contact Our Practice to Learn About Jaw Pain Treatments

If you suffer from jaw pain or other issues affecting the overall health of your mouth, it's a good ideal to contact our advanced dental care centers today. The team at Premier Dental Center will help you achieve excellent dental health and wellness and have a beautiful smile as well.

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