Pain in the jaw can occur for any number of reasons, some of which can be readily explained away and will dissipate in a couple of days. However, some jaw pains don’t dissipate and can actually worsen over time, causing you to desperately look for any solution that will get rid of the pain. Thankfully, this abnormal pain is typically easy to diagnose. Once diagnosed, there are several treatments available for you to choose from.
Causes of Abnormal Jaw Pains
There is a wide range of causes of abnormal jaw pains, primarily due to the fact that movement of the jaw involves a variety of muscles, bones, joints, and tendons. Since these movements include so many different parts, there are numerous problems that could occur for any number of reasons. Basic overworking of the joints inside the jaw is one of the most common and least severe causes of jaw pain. If this is the cause of your pain, the problem will go away after a short period of time. However, other causes are more serious and may require orthodontic treatments.
Constant Grinding of the Teeth
One of the more common causes of abnormal jaw pain is teeth grinding. Though it’s relatively common, it can also be difficult to identify. In many cases, teeth grinding occurs when you’re sleeping at night. Not only does this condition cause you to experience a substantial amount of pain, your teeth will also wear down if the condition is left untreated. When teeth grinding subsists, abnormal bites and misaligned teeth are likely to occur.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, is a disorder that exists between the jaw and temporal bones. The disorder itself can be caused by any number of issues, such as crooked teeth, muscle tension, malformed joints, and a lot more. TMJ is typically accompanied by a clicking or popping sound each time you open or closes your mouth. Additional symptoms include dizziness, tinnitus, and a general stiffness of the jaw.
Fractures and Disorders
Whether due to an accident or some separate disease, fractures and basic structural disorders can also cause abnormal jaw pain. These issues lead to changes in the alignment of your jaw. The pain caused by these changes is usually on the milder side but is also constant. If you experience one of these fractures or structural disorders, immediate treatment is necessary to ensure that the issues don’t worsen.
Stress can adversely affect the body in many different ways. One of these ways involves the presence of pain in the jaw and can be triggered by a variety of stressors. These stressors can be anything from a lack of sleep to working too much. This stress causes tension in the muscles. Over time, this tension leads to pain in the jaw and even around the neck. Pain caused by stress will usually be dull, though sometimes resulting in severe headaches.
Arthritis is a common disorder caused by the inflammation of joints within your body. This inflammation can occur in any joint, including the joints within the jaw. Inflammation within the jaw is immediately noticeable due to swelling. Over time, the temporomandibular joints will deteriorate, causing large amounts of pain. If left untreated, the jaw bone can eventually be fused to the skull, therefore eliminating movement in the jaw.
How to Treat These Pains
No matter the cause of your abnormal jaw pain, it’s essential that you seek treatment immediately. While some pains do dissipate in time, others will worsen in severity. The treatment solution provided to you largely depends on the cause of the pain in the first place. If the cause is the misalignment of your teeth, then braces may be necessary. Some causes require multiple treatment methods.
If the pain you’re experiencing is mild to moderate, the treatment you need may involve some simple lifestyle changes. Try talking less for a day or two, while also reducing the amount you chew. Resting the joints can provide some much-needed relief. Massaging the area that’s affected by pain is another easy treatment method.
If your teeth have become crooked or misaligned due to the presence of arthritis, teeth grinding, or any number of additional conditions, you may want to consider scheduling an appointment with an orthodontist in order to treat your pain. Braces can move your teeth back to their natural position and relieve the pain you feel. If you’re an adult who is wary about what it would look like to wear braces at an older age, consider Invisalign. Invisalign straightens your teeth, but without the metal wires. Instead, clear aligners are used, allowing you to keep your natural smile.
While basic painkillers can reduce the amount of pain you feel, it won’t usually provide a lasting remedy to that pain. There are some medications, however, that can actually treat the underlying cause of the pain. To find out if there are any medications that can specifically target the pain you’re experiencing, make sure to speak with an orthodontist. If the problem is structural in nature, surgery may be necessary.
Schedule an Appointment Today
To learn more about orthodontic treatment, contact McDermott Orthodontics in Minnesota to schedule an appointment. Dr. Michael McDermott offers free consultations at several locations, including:
• Delano – 763-972-4444
• Pequot Lakes – 218-568-5600
• Brainerd – 218-829-1630
• Baxter – 218-829-1630
Our orthodontist has been providing examinations to adults, teenagers, and children for over 15 years, using these devices:
• Damon System – made with self-ligating brackets
• Ceramic Braces – color-matching brackets
• Invisalign – aligners made from durable clear plastic
At our orthodontic office, patients are fitted with aligners after we use the iTero scanner to create molds. Our patients can also request an Acceledent Aura device to use at home to reduce their treatment time. Call us today to schedule your free consultation at McDermott Orthodontics.