Jaw pain is caused by many factors such as injury, and blood vessel or nerve problems, but one of the most common sources of jaw pain is temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD.
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, approximately 10 million people suffer from TMD and only five-percent seek help for the symptoms.
There are two temporomandibular or jaw joints on either side of your face that work in conjunction with each other to open and close your mouth. One of the most obvious manifestations of TMD is pain on one or both sides of your jaw, by the ear openings.
• Long dental procedures where a patient must keep their mouth open,
• Trauma to the jaw or face,
• Autoimmune disease,
• Bruxism or the grinding and clenching of teeth.
If you think you have TMD because of unexplained jaw pain, these are some of the symptoms you can look out for:
• Locked jaw when you cannot close your mouth,
• Jaw pain or discomfort when chewing, eating, or opening your mouth,
• Feeling the jaw pop when opening the mouth wide,
• Tired feeling in the jaw after chewing hard foods or gum,
• Feeling that the jaw is not aligned properly.
In most cases, jaw pain goes away on its own, with orthodontic treatment or by using a mouth guard while sleeping, but if you have symptoms that are bothersome and not improving give us a call, so we can check you out.
Our dentist will feel the painful area and make sure the jaw is positioned correctly. An X-ray of the face is ordered to rule out other problems.