Jaw pain can keep you up at night and make eating and speaking painful or difficult. Our Billerica, MA, dentists, Drs. Barry and Adam Danzig and Dr. Lili Tayari, discuss several common causes of jaw pain and discuss treatments that may relieve your pain.
Problems with your bite
Your bite, the way your top and bottom teeth fit together, may be the source of your pain. Bite problems can occur even if you have perfectly straight teeth. A misaligned bite can stress your jaw joints and muscles, causing considerable pain.
Grinding and clenching
Grinding or clenching your teeth while you sleep, or even while you're awake, also stresses joints or muscles. In some cases, you may wake up with your jaw tightly clenched, but in others, you may not even be aware that you grind your teeth. Grinding your teeth not only causes jaw pain, but can also crack your teeth and damage fillings, crowns, bridges and dental implants.
Infections in your jaw or an abscessed tooth can also cause jaw pain. Infections may be accompanied by facial swelling, fever and swollen lymph glands. If you notice these symptoms, call our Billerica office as soon as you can.
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
Your jaw joints are made up of muscles, ligaments and bones. Misalignments or damage to any of these structures can cause TMJ symptoms. Symptoms of TMJ include jaw pain, morning headaches, clicking sounds when you open your mouth, jaw locking, ear pain and stiffness in your jaw, back and neck muscles.
How do dentists treat jaw pain?
Treatment of jaw pain depends on the cause. If you have a bite problem, braces will realign your bite, while grinding and clenching can be reduced by wearing a nightguard while you sleep. If you have TMJ, you may benefit from wearing an oral splint at night. The splint reduces pressure on your jaw and also helps improve alignment. Steroid injections or prescription pain medications may be helpful if you suffer from severe pain.
Thanks to effective treatment options, there's no need to live with jaw pain. If you experience jaw pain, call our Billerica, MA, dentists, Drs. Barry and Adam Danzig and Dr. Lili Tayari, at (978) 667-2741 to schedule an appointment.