Jaw pain is one of the most common symptoms of TMJ. The pain may be constant, or it may occur only when you move your jaw. It may feel like it’s in your joint, in your muscles, or in your bone. The pain may be disabling, and it may impair your ability to eat or talk. Fortunately, TMJ treatment can typically resolve all types of jaw pain. Even if you have talked to your doctor about jaw pain and been dismissed, a TMJ dentist may be able to help.
If you are suffering from jaw pain, don’t wait another day to get relief. Please call (619) 299-5925 or email Strober Dental in San Diego today for an appointment.
Jaw Pain is a Joint Problem
The type of jaw pain that is easiest to connect to TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder, also TMD) is pain that is actually felt in the jaw joint. Joint pain is most often due to inflammation of the ligaments that hold the bones together. The most common cause of inflammation is strain due to bruxism (tooth grinding), and malocclusion, which is when your teeth don’t fit together in a comfortable resting position. Inflammation may also be due to trauma to the jaw joint, such as the strain caused in a car accident.
Jaw pain may also be caused by displacement of the disc of cartilage that acts as a flexible cushion and pivot point for the bones. Pain may be accompanied by popping or clicking as the displaced disc suddenly slips into place. This type of jaw pain can lead to progressive damage. A strained ligament that is supposed to hold the disc in place may become torn and as the joint works without cushioning, the bones may be damaged.
Jaw Pain is a Muscle Problem
When your jaw doesn’t have a comfortable resting position, you may experience excessive strain in your muscles. The chronic tension in your muscles can cause you to feel pain in your jaw muscles. Because these muscles work in concert with muscles in your neck and head, the pain in your muscles may spread from your jaw to your neck, upper back, and your head. They can cause tension headaches.
Jaw Pain is a Nerve Problem
When your jaw joint gets out of position, the bones, muscles, and ligaments can put pressure on, rub against, or pinch nerves. Some of the most complex and sensitive nerves in your body run right by the temporomandibular joint. When these nerves are put under pressure, the pain may be felt in the jaw, or it may be felt far away, such as in the face, behind or around the eyes, or as a headache. Some neurologists believe that tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is actually pain felt by the cochlear nerve that your brain interprets as sound.
Relief for Jaw Pain
TMJ treatment can often give you immediate relief from many types of jaw pain. Using TENS, a type of electric massage, we can release tense muscles, which can not only relieve muscle pain by letting them relax, it can relieve pressure on nerves and ligaments.
For many TMJ patients, regular treatment with a TENS machine may be all the treatment that is required.
To learn what TMJ treatment is right to relieve your jaw pain, please (619) 299-5925 or email Strober Dental, helping patients in San Diego, La Jolla, and Coronado, California.