Jaw pain can develop suddenly or worsen over time. If you find yourself experiencing extreme or chronic jaw pain, schedule a visit with the team at Manhattan Beach Dental Solutions in Manhattan Beach, CA. Jaw tenderness may be a dental emergency, it may be a temporary problem, but getting to the bottom of the discomfort as soon as possible can save you from serious pain and the need for advanced restorative dentistry.
Causes of Jaw Pain
There are many potential causes of jaw pain, like a sinus infection or arthritis. However, a dental exam and digital x-rays often lead to the diagnosis of an oral health problem caused by:
- Teeth grinding: Teeth grinding and clenching, also known as sleep bruxism, is an unconscious habit that, over time, can lead to worn enamel, tooth sensitivity, cracked teeth, damaged dental work, gum recession, headaches, and jaw pain. A customized night guard can protect your teeth from deterioration and stop pain in the jaw.
- TMJ problems: When jaw pain radiates into the face or down the neck, it could be caused by a problem with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This issue can sometimes be helped with a night guard, but stress-reducing techniques, Invisalign, or treatment by an oral surgeon may be a better way to eliminate discomfort permanently.
- Toothache: A toothache is not always a problem with just a tooth. If the issue is accompanied by jaw pain it may run deep, and the infection could be within the roots of the tooth. Root canal therapy may be necessary to stop the toothache pain and your dentist will also check for an abscess, a serious oral health problem that can spread to other parts of your body and threaten your overall well-being.
- Gum disease: It may be called gum disease, but any problem with the soft tissues in your mouth can be a source of jaw pain. When gum tissue becomes infected, the disease spreads and causes mild to severe jaw pain. Any signs of early gum disease – like redness and swelling – should be treated as soon as possible.
- Wisdom teeth: Wisdom teeth usually erupt in the later teenage years or early adulthood. If they are impacted – which means they are trying to erupt but cannot or they have erupted but in the wrong direction – they are likely to cause jaw pain by putting unwanted pressure on the jaw. Problem wisdom teeth must be extracted so they do not destroy alignment or threaten overall oral health.
Signs You Need Dental Care Right Away
If you’re not sure what to do when you’re experiencing jaw pain, always contact your Manhattan Beach dentist for an emergency dental visit. It’s better to have your oral health reviewed before a major problem develops. If you have any of the following symptoms, you don’t have to live with the discomfort:
- Severe pain in the jaw, face, or ears
- Chronic morning headaches
- Clicking sound when the mouth opens or closes
- Jaw that locks
- Tender or sore jaw muscles
Treatments for Jaw Pain
If your jaw pain is being caused by an untreated cavity, infection, or gingivitis, it can be addressed immediately, stopping the complication in its tracks. If the pain is from teeth grinding, a customized night guard can be crafted by your dentist’s lab and, once ready and in place, stop the jaw pain and unconscious sleep bruxism.
Jaw pain is a serious problem, and you deserve to be free from that kind of discomfort. Contact Manhattan Beach Dental Solutions right away for an emergency dental appointment if you are experiencing extreme pain.
If your jaw pain is being caused by an untreated cavity, infection, or gingivitis, it can be addressed immediately. Dr. Don Mungcal and his team at Manhattan Beach Dental Solutions wants to hear from you right away310-340-6663