Do you suffer from frequent jaw pain? Dr. Nicholas Papapetros and Dr. Leo Kharin, your Andover, MA dentists at Dentistry by Design, explain how TMJ and other conditions cause jaw pain.
Causes of jaw pain
Jaw pain occurs due to a variety of reasons, including:
- Alignment Issues: If your teeth are widely spaced or aren't correctly aligned, you may experience jaw pain. Braces can correct your alignment issues and end your pain.
- Grinding or Clenching: Grinding and clenching not only causes jaw pain but can also erode your enamel and cause your teeth to break. Wearing a nightguard will prevent damage from the habit.
- Infections: Abscesses can radiate from your tooth to your jaw. These painful infections are treated with antibiotics and root canal treatment. A bone infection called osteomyelitis can also cause jaw pain, in addition to swelling and fever. Antibiotics treat the infection, although surgery may be needed to remove portions of dead jawbone in severe cases.
- Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ): TMJ, a common cause of jaw pain, affects the muscles and joints in your jaw. If you have TMJ, you may notice a popping or clicking sound when you chew or open or close your mouth. Pain in the jaw, temples, cheeks and ears is common. You may also experience headaches, jaw tenderness or swelling. TMJ can make chewing more difficult, particularly if your jaw locks while you eat.
How is TMJ treated in Andover?
Inflammation and pain can be relieved by applying ice and heat to your jaw and taking over-the-counter pain relievers. If your pain continues, it's time to visit your dentist. Prescription muscle relaxants ease pain by relaxing stiff jaw muscles, while prescription pain medications and cortisone injections can address severe pain.
If a bite or orthodontic issue is the cause of your symptoms, your dentist may recommend bridges or dental implants to replace missing teeth or braces to correct a misalignment. He may also suggest that you begin wearing a bite guard at night to relieve the pressure on your jaw joint.
You don't have to suffer with TMJ pain. Dr. Papapetros and Dr. Kharin, your Andover, MA dentists at Dentistry by Design, offer treatments that will relieve your symptoms. Call them at (978) 475-5333 to schedule an appointment.