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What Causes Abnormal Jaw Pains and How to Treat It
Jaw pain is a very common condition that you could be affected by for a variety of reasons. This pain can range from mild to severe. While jaw pain is common and typically goes away on its own, the presence of abnormal jaw pain that actually subsists means that you will likely require some form of treatment to get rid of the issue, most options of which can be sought by visiting an orthodontist.
Common Causes of Abnormal Jaw Pain
When it comes to abnormal jaw pain, there are many possible causes for the pain you’re going through. The jaw itself consists of various muscles, bones, tendons, and joints. An issue with any one of these portions of the jaw can cause the pain that you’re experiencing, which is why it’s important to focus on the more common causes of abnormal jaw pain. You could be suffering from this pain because of teeth grinding. This condition is present only when a person is asleep, so you likely wouldn’t even be aware that you’re grinding your teeth. In fact, this stands as the single most common cause of jaw pain. If you can’t identify the cause yourself, it’s likely that you’re grinding your teeth in your sleep.
It’s also possible that the pain you’re experiencing is due to an injury derived from an incident you’ve recently been involved in, which can include anything from a car accident to an assault. The structural fractures and other disorders that could be caused by these injuries can cause the development of pain in the jaw. If this is the cause of your pain, the pain itself will be almost constant. You’ll also experience some inflammation in the area until the pain gets treated. The cause of your pain may also be due to a disorder is known as the Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMJ. This disorder can be brought about from crooked teeth, muscle tension, or even malformed joints. In most cases, the presence of TMJ will be accompanied by a clicking sound when opening your mouth, so it’s readily noticeable.
Large amounts of stress could be the cause of your jaw pains as well, though this cause is much harder to diagnose. Stress can actually cause you to experience pain in many different areas of your body. If you’ve been fatigued lately, haven’t gotten a lot of sleep, and are suffering from issues in your work or personal life, this could indicate that your jaw pain is caused by high levels of stress. Stress invariably causes muscle tension, which is one of the foremost ways in which your jaw could be pained. You could even clench your teeth together because of this stress, worsening the pain in your jaw. If stress is the root cause of your abnormal jaw pain, it will likely be accompanied by headaches on a regular basis, especially during times when you’ve just been heavily stressed out.
Lastly, abnormal jaw pains can be caused by arthritis. While arthritis is usually limited to the legs or fingers, it can spread to any region within the body, which means that it’s possible your jaw pain has been brought about by arthritis. Arthritis in the jaw typically affects the temporomandibular joints, causing large amounts of inflammation. This inflammation is exceedingly painful and should be treated immediately upon detection. If left untreated, the jaw bone could actually fuse to the jaw. If such a thing occurs, it would become nearly impossible to even move your jaw.
How to Effectively Treat These Issues
No matter the cause for your abnormal jaw pain, it’s essential that you seek some kind of treatment to alleviate the pain that you’re feeling. There are several different forms of treatment that can be used for jaw pain. The type that you’re administered with largely depends on the cause of your pain and the severity of it. The orthodontist you meet with could simply prescribe you with medication to alleviate the pain for the time being. However, medications are unable to directly attack the source of the pain and merely act as a remedy for some of the pain you’re going through. Medications are only meant to be used on a short-time basis. You’re going to want to have the cause of the pain fixed so as to ensure that it’s gone for good.
For certain types of jaw pain, basic lifestyle changes may be all that you need to do in order for the pain to dissipate. This is especially true in the event that overuse of the joints and muscles within your jaw has caused the area to become inflamed. If this is the cause of your pain, avoid chewing a lot for several days by mostly eating soft foods and try to massage the inflamed area. It’s also possible that the treatment you’re provided with involves an orthodontic solution like braces or Invisalign. Each of these remedies can target specific causes for the pain such as crooked and misaligned teeth. Whether you select braces or Invisalign for your teeth straightening option, these orthodontic solutions will get your teeth into their proper position and help keep the abnormal jaw pain at bay.
If you’ve been suffering from pain in the jaw and are searching for the right solution for this pain, call us now at McDermott Orthodontics to set up an appointment with our orthodontist.
What Causes Abnormal Jaw Pains and How to Treat It
13046 Falcon Drive
Baxter, MN 56425
Dr. Michael McDermott earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in both Chemistry and Biology from St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN. He followed his undergraduate degrees with a doctorate in dental surgery at the University of Minnesota, where he graduated with highest distinction.
Dr. Mike then furthered his dental education by earning a masters and certificate in Orthodontics at the University of St. Louis in Missouri.