Jaw pain is a common problem people experience, and it could occur for a number of various reasons. Sometimes, it is difficult to detect the actual cause of the pain and the main agent that triggers it. That is when it becomes imperative for patients to seek the help of experts, who have completed orthodontic training programs. This is something that should assure you as a patient about their experience and the knowledge they have in treating different conditions.

Sometimes, people complain about tightness, soreness or a clicking/popping sensation when they try to speak or eat, but they are not sure of the cause of the pain. The jaw joint, or the Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) refers to the joint in the mouth, which is responsible for the jaw movement. In case something isn’t right with this joint, it will lead to other health problems that interrupt the person’s lifestyle on a daily basis.

How It Feels

People who struggle with jaw pain often describe it as pain that is uncomfortable and a persistent throbbing one that starts mild and becomes intense eventually. However, the symptoms of this problem are not entirely clear and finding the root cause may be a problem. If you try to identify the underlying cause of the pain, you need to know about some of the causes to determine the cause of jaw pain.

Frequent Grinding of Teeth

A problem that most people aren’t actually aware of (since it occurs during sleep) is the teeth grinding. When this happens, your jaw moves and clenches tightly. The cause of the problem may often include stress, anxiety, and specific side effects from medications or some oral diseases. In case you are suspecting that you have this condition, you need to use a mouth guard when sleeping, which should help the condition.

Temporomandibular Disorder

Disorders that people often refer to as TMD, affects the temporomandibular joint in the jaw. A prominent feature of this type of disorder is the pain that usually tags along with it, causing the jaw to make a pop or clicking type of sound when opening the mouth, or chewing. However, in severe cases, the jaw often remains stuck or closed permanently in an open or closed position. This type of joint then acts as a hinge, connecting jaw and skull. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) reports, similar to the other parts of the body, the joint may act up.

Although there are several other TMJ disorder types, each one shares jaw pain, which is the most common symptom of jaw pain.  As you consult a specialist who has gone through Gerety Orthodontic Seminars, they will perform a thorough examination of the problem and run some tests to get an idea of what is happening. They would also perform complete checks to diagnose the problem with tests to see what happens and whether the pain will fade away on time or not. Doctors also recommend the intake of anti-inflammatory medicines, such as ibuprofen and application of ice packs to control swelling from the pain, and advice to avoid opening their mouth too wide or eating soft foods and reducing stress or jaw pain through some exercises that they suggest.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Another cause of jaw pain could be because of wisdom teeth erupting between the ages of 17-25, which causes troubles in the jaw and impacted teeth. If this happens, the wisdom teeth would have an infection and this will bring acute swelling and pain.

Malocclusion or Bad Bite

If you have misaligned teeth, and your jaw moves forcefully in ways that aren’t appropriate, especially when chewing and speaking, this can cause some form of wear and tear to the jaw joint. This results in pain eventually. Orthodontic treatment is the most suitable way to encounter this problem and fix it.

Oral Health Conditions

At other times, the jaw may experience some problem like gum disease, abscess, or even cavities. Although these issues would not have an effect on the jaw directly, the pain often radiates into the jaw area. In addition, those individuals who have teeth gaps may experience some form of jaw pain, especially when they put some form of stress on their jaw like biting or chewing. Practicing good oral health care routine at home will reduce the possible risks of you encountering such oral conditions.

In case you are ignoring oral hygiene and healthcare, it is time that you consider this as a serious problem since it could lead to other health-related problems that are no joke at all. In case you have oral health issues, you should fix an appointment with your orthodontist. Take your time to clear any concerns you have and let them address the problem for you.