There could be several reasons why you are experiencing jaw pain—and most of them are serious enough reasons for you to go to orthodontists, or doctors who specialize in teeth and jaws, to have checked. As with most physical ailment, a body pain or discomfort means something is wrong with your body. And since your jaw is connected to many important parts and organs in your body, it could be a sign that the jaw pain is a symptom for a serious underlying health problem.
Here are seven common causes of jaw pain and what you should do if you experience them:
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or TMJ, is easily one of the most common reasons for jaw pain. TMJ is a disorder that affects the joints that connect your jaw and your skill, hence the pain. There are many indicators of TMJ besides the pain, including earache, discomfort when you open or close your mouth, and a popping sensation when you open your mouth or when you chew. The disorder itself can also be a sign of other underlying problems, such as damaged teeth or a jaw infection. An orthodontist can check your jaw to see what caused the TMJ, allowing for its proper treatment.
Tooth and gum problems
Jaw pain can also be a sign of dental problems, as the nerves in your teeth are connected to the nerves on your jaw. Gum disease, misaligned teeth, and cavities are tooth problems that can cause jaw pain. Orthodontists can easily identify and treat these mouth problems, which could also alleviate the pain in your jaw.
Your eyes, ears, nose, and mouth are connected—which is why you may feel pain in these body parts when one is experiencing a malady or ailment. For instance, you might experience jaw pain if you have sinusitis, or when your nasal cavities are inflamed.
Nerve problems and other injuries
General nerve damage and injuries can obviously cause jaw pain. For instance, a condition called trigeminal neuralgia can cause compression on the nerves in your face, including the jaw. This is a fairly serious health problem that can only be treated medically with the help of orthodontists, so it’s best to go to one immediately when you have unusual pain in your jaw.
While this may seem like a simple problem, tooth grinding should immediately be treated as it could cause irreversible damage to your teeth, jaws, and nerves if left untreated. An orthodontist can look into the cause of the tooth grinding in order to stop it.
Jaw pain is a symptom of a heart attack, though often coupled with other symptoms such as pressure in your chest, heartburn, nausea, dizziness, and shortness of breath, among others. These can develop over many days or could happen suddenly; it is best to consult with a doctor to see if your jaw pain is caused by a heart attack.
Other serious ailments
Perhaps the main reason why you should go to orthodontists immediately when you experience persistent jaw pain is because it could be a sign of a much serious ailment. Jaw pain can be a sign of a bacterial infection in your mouth. It can also be a symptom of a tumor. It could be osteomyelitis, a serious bone infection. Jaw pain is not something you should disregard when you experience it.
If you are looking to bring back your perfect smile or need to consult orthodontists for other problems, contact us today at Stang Family Orthodontics. We provide the best quality care in a very friendly atmosphere.