What Is Causing My Jaw Pain?
Do you wake up every morning with an aching jaw? Our Lexington, KY, dentists - Dr. Anthony Feck, Dr. Maxie Combs and Dr. Carol Wilson of Corporate Center Dental Care - explain a few common causes of jaw pain.
Grinding your teeth while you sleep can result in daytime jaw pain and stiffness. Because the behavior takes place when you're fast asleep, you may not even be aware of it. Unfortunately, the habit can eventually take a toll on your teeth. The pressure from grinding not only stresses your jaw muscles, but may crack your teeth, damage crowns and fillings or cause the enamel on your teeth to erode. Wearing a nightguard will decrease wear and tear on your teeth, reducing jaw pain and preventing tooth damage.
An abscess in a tooth can cause pain that travels to your jaw. The condition occurs when a bacterial infection develops in the pulp in the center of a tooth. Other symptoms of an abscess can include facial swelling, fever and swollen gum and lymph nodes. You may also notice pus or a small pimple on the gum surrounding the tooth. If you experience these symptoms, call our Lexington office right away. Dental abscesses are emergencies and must be treated promptly to prevent the infection from spreading. In addition to antibiotics, you'll also need a root canal to remove the infected pulp.
A bite problem
Jaw pain can be a result if you have a bite problem, which occurs if your upper and lower teeth don't fit together correctly. Braces can improve your bite and eliminate jaw pain and other common symptoms, such as receding gums, damage to tooth enamel or difficulty eating or speaking clearly.
Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)
TMJ pain affects the hinge joints located just below your ears. Stiffness, pain, clicking sounds, muscle spasms, jaw locking, ear pain, headaches and stiffness in your neck and upper back can occur if you have the disorder. Correcting any underlying issues that cause TMJ, such as reducing stress or treating grinding or bite problems can be helpful. When over-the-counter pain medications don't relieve your pain, you may benefit from prescription strength medications or an oral appliance worn at night that realigns your jaw and reduces pressure.
Would you like to find a solution for your jaw pain? Call our Lexington, KY, dentists - Dr. Feck, Dr. Combs and Dr. Wilson of Corporate Center Dental Care - at (859) 223-4644 to schedule an appointment.