When you experience jaw pain, it can affect you so much that you might not be able to function correctly and fail to complete your responsibilities, whether at home, in school, or at work. Jaw pain can be a debilitating condition that affects your ability to eat, speak, and perform daily activities.
Your jaw is intricately connected to your neck and shoulders, so sometimes the pain can travel to various body parts and not just concentrate on your mouth. What's worse is it could even cause piercing headaches that could give you so much stress.
A dentist like Hollidaysburg dentist Dr. Bozek or one from your area can diagnose the cause of your jaw pain and provide the necessary treatment to alleviate your discomfort. Ignoring your jaw pain may lead to further damage and more costly treatment. By seeking help from a reputable dentist, you can prevent this and improve your quality of life.
Aside from these, here are five more reasons to see your dentist for jaw pain:
1. To Diagnose The Cause Of Jaw Pain
The first step to finding a solution to alleviate discomfort is to find the root cause of your jaw pain. When you visit a dentist for jaw pain, they will examine your teeth, gums, and jaw. A thorough examination may include taking x-rays or other imaging tests to closely examine your teeth and jaw structure. With these, they will be able to determine the cause of your jaw pain and provide the necessary treatment options you can take.
2. To Treat Dental Problems
Dental problems can cause jaw pain, and seeking prompt treatment to alleviate discomfort and prevent further damage is essential. Aside from cavities and infections, here are other dental problems that can cause jaw pain and the treatments a dentist may recommend:
- Impacted Wisdom Teeth: If you have an impacted wisdom tooth, your dentist may recommend removing the wisdom teeth to alleviate the pain and prevent further problems.
- Gum Disease: For gum diseases, treatment may include a deep cleaning or scaling and root planing to remove the bacteria and improve gum health.
- Cracked or Broken Teeth: If you have cracked or broken teeth, a dentist may recommend a crown or other restoration to restore the tooth's structure and alleviate discomfort.
By visiting your dentist immediately, they can address the dental problems you may have, causing the discomfort and jaw pain you feel.
3. To Treat Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders
The TMJ connects your jawbone to your skull. It's a complex joint that allows you to move your jaw up and down and side to side, necessary for activities like eating, talking, and yawning. Sometimes, teeth grinding when you’re sleeping can inflame your TMJ, and when this happens every night, it will cause improper alignment in your jaw, tooth loss, and earache.
When the TMJ becomes inflamed or injured, it can cause a condition known as temporomandibular disorder (TMD), also sometimes referred to as TMJ disorder. TMD can cause pain and discomfort in the jaw, face, neck, and even ears. In some cases, TMD can also cause clicking or popping sounds when you open and close your mouth.
TMJ disorders can be challenging to treat. It would help if you visited a dentist specializing in this and an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor to help you with your condition. Here are some common treatments for TMJ disorders:
- Lifestyle Changes: Eating soft foods, avoiding chewing gum, and practicing stress-reducing techniques.
- Using Oral Appliances: An oral device such as a night guard or splint can help reposition the jaw and alleviate pressure on the joint. These appliances are custom-made and are worn while sleeping.
- Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help alleviate TMJ disorder pain. Sometimes, dentists prescribe muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling.
- Physical Therapy: Jaw exercises such as stretching and massage can help improve jaw mobility and reduce pain.
- Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct structural issues or damage to the jaw joint.
With the discomfort and pain caused by TMD, it would be best to visit your dentist as soon as possible to get the proper treatment you need.
4. To Prevent Further Damage
If you ignore your jaw pain, it can lead to further damage to your teeth and jaw. This can result in more pain and more expensive treatment down the road. Seeing a dentist for jaw pain can prevent further damage and save you from more pain and costly treatment.
5. To Improve Your Quality of Life
Jaw pain can significantly impact your quality of life. Your work performance may suffer, you may be constantly irritable, and you may lose a lot of weight and get sick because of poor nutrition. But taking the first step and visiting your dentist for a consultation will help you correct this condition.
If you're experiencing jaw pain, seeking prompt treatment from a dentist is essential. By diagnosing the cause of your pain and recommending the appropriate treatment, a dentist can alleviate pain, prevent further damage, and improve your quality of life. Whether you're dealing with dental problems or TMJ disorders, various treatments are available to help you manage your symptoms and regain your comfort.
By taking proactive steps and seeking prompt treatment, you can prevent further damage and improve your chances of successful treatment for jaw pain. Remember, overall health and well-being are essential to living a happy and healthy life. So, don't let jaw pain hold you back—seek help today and take the first step towards a pain-free life.