Have you ever woken up with a locked jaw that is difficult to move, or experience jaw pain that seems to be deep and getting worse? Jaw pain is often described as a throbbing, uncomfortable pain. Sometimes it seems to happen suddenly, or it might start off mild and get more intense over time.
The exact symptoms vary depending on the cause, but identifying the underlying issue is the first step in treating this condition. Some causes to be on the lookout for include:
- Teeth grinding. A common problem, and one that many don’t realize they have because it often happens during sleep, tightly clenching and moving your jaw is considered teeth grinding. This can be caused by stress or anxiety, specific diseases and side effects from medication. But, grinding can also occur while awake when someone is concentrating.
- Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD or TMJD). If you notice that your jaw pain is associated with restricted jaw movement, it could be a temporomandibular joint disorder. Some other symptoms include tenderness in the jaw joint, face, ear and even the neck and shoulders as well as a “clicking” sound upon opening or moving the jaw. The exact cause of a TMJ disorder can be difficult to determine. Pain may be due to a combination of factors, such as genetics, arthritis or jaw injury.
- Impacted wisdom teeth. Typically, wisdom teeth erupt between the ages of 17 and 25 and can cause trouble in your jaw, especially if they become impacted, or infected and cause acute swelling and pain. Impacted wisdom teeth do not fully erupt because of a blockage from other teeth and pain can develop with the onset of inflammation or infection or damage to the adjacent teeth.
- Untreated cavities. Developing a cavity in one tooth doesn’t mean the pain is restricted to that specific area. When leaving a cavity untreated for a long time, infection can develop and spread, causing pain in the jaw and other teeth.
- Gum disease. Gum disease is often caused by poor oral health and as it progresses, it can lead to problems with the tissues and bones that support the teeth. Gums that ache or bleed may be the result of gum disease that is getting worse.
If you or someone you know has been experiencing jaw pain that isn’t subsiding, we recommend scheduling a visit with one of American Dental Group’s preferred providers. Putting an end to jaw pain requires an evaluation and a treatment plan from a reliable, trusted dental professional.
Members of American Dental Group not only get advice and treatment from the best independent, home town dentists up and down the Front Range, but receive discounted services on all treatments.
To learn more about the discounts provided by American Dental Group, call now – 1-800-633-3010