14 Jul Top Reasons Why You Might Be Experiencing Jaw Pain
Jaw pain can be frustrating to deal with, especially if you don’t know what’s causing you the pain. Depending on the severity of your pain, it can have a huge effect on your day-to-day life, whether it be eating and drinking, making facial expressions, or talking. There are several different things that can cause jaw pain, so identifying the cause of your pain is essential to resolving your discomfort.
We’ve put together a list of some of the top reasons why you may be experiencing jaw pain, and how our West Kelowna dental office can help resolve your pain.
Jaw Pain: Dental Problems
One of the main causes of dental pain can be contributed to common dental problems, such as untreated cavities or abscessed teeth. When dental plaque builds up on your teeth, it can break down the enamel of your teeth and cause cavities. If the cavity works its way into the dentin, which is the layer underneath the enamel, that is when you will likely begin to feel discomfort. When the dental pulp or nerve inside your tooth gets infected, it can cause an abscess. When the bacteria from that infection spreads to the surrounding bone and tissue, it can cause jaw and facial pain. Regular dental exams can help to identify cavities and abscesses before they become a larger issue.
Grinding or Clenching Your Teeth
If you wake up with jaw pain, it could be because you clench or grind your teeth. Often caused by stress or anxiety, clenching or grinding creates tension in your jaw and teeth, as well as in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments that support your jaw. This can result in not only serious jaw pain, but also headaches and earaches. If you catch yourself grinding or clenching your teeth during the daytime, try to be mindful of it and try to stop. For those who may clench or grind their teeth at night, you could benefit from a night guard, which creates a protective layer between your top and bottom teeth to help relieve some of the tension.
Another common cause of jaw pain is TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, disorders. These are the joints on each side of your jawbone that act as the hinge that connects your jaw to your skull. These joints can act up from time to time, causing stiffness, difficulty opening your jaw, your jaw feeling locked, and painful clicking or popping when opening and closing the mouth. While there are several different TMJ disorders, one of the most commonly shared symptoms is jaw pain. If you think you might suffer from a TMJ disorder, speaking to your dentist can help to figure out the underlying cause.
Impacted Wisdom Tooth
Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that people commonly develop in their late teens and early twenties. While they sometimes come in without issue, if you don’t have enough room in your mouth they can become impacted or trapped, which can result in jaw pain. If your dentist thinks that an impacted wisdom tooth might be the cause of your pain, they will typically take a dental x-ray to see where the tooth is positioned in your mouth. If they do happen to be impacted, surgery is typically required to remove the tooth.
Whether your dental pain is caused by something like a common dental issue or a more serious issue such as an impacted wisdom tooth, visiting your dentist is the best way to determine the cause of your pain and treat it.
Are you suffering from jaw pain? Contact us today to schedule an appointment with our experienced team of dentists.