Jaw pain is a common dental concern that patients should not ignore. Symptoms may vary from one patient to another and it can either be a sudden pain or one that has been increasing over time. The first step is to schedule a visit with one of our Nashua dentists for an evaluation. We will determine what is causing the jaw pain and recommend a personalized treatment plan to both resolve your symptoms and stabilize your dental health.
Common Causes for Jaw Pain
Millions of people are affected by bruxism, or teeth grinding. Patients with bruxism grind or clench their teeth, particularly overnight or when they’re experiencing a lot of stress. Our dentists offer many treatment options to correct the damage caused by teeth grinding. In addition to jaw pain, you may also experience:
- Worn teeth
- Dull or abraded tooth enamel
- Tooth sensitivity
- Broken fillings and/or crowns
- Headaches, especially in the morning
TMJ Related Disorders
TMJ, or the temporomandibular joint, is a small joint located in front of your ears, responsible for the opening and closing of the mouth. “TMJ” is also commonly used to describe a temporomandibular disorder (TMD) in which the jaw joints or teeth do not fit together properly, resulting in an imbalance in the bite. Malocclusion can be the cause of your chronic jaw pain and tension and can detrimentally impact your dental health in many ways if untreated.
In almost all cases, a TMJ disorder will cause tooth wear, damage and may also contribute to tooth decay and/or (gum) disease. When your teeth aren’t aligning properly, the pressure of your bite isn’t being distributed in the way that it should be. Certain teeth end up taking on more stress and pressure than the others. These teeth are most likely to be the ones that have damage due to TMJ. Levesque Dentistry offers TMJ treatment options.
Tooth cavities are the result of plaque build-up and can affect anyone regardless of age. Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on the teeth. When plaque comes in contact with sugar and starch, it causes bacteria to produce an acid that attacks and erodes tooth enamel. As the tooth enamel breaks down and wears away, the tooth becomes susceptible to the formation of dental cavities. Your dental cavity will be effectively treated with a dental filling. This will protect the tooth from further damage, pain, and other symptoms.
When you do not practice proper dental hygiene, plaque forms and builds upon the teeth and causes the gums to become inflamed and begin to bleed or feel sore. If gingivitis is caught early, it can be treated and even reversed. If left untreated, however, it progresses into gum disease. Gum disease is an infection of the gums that causes bone degradation, swollen and painful gums, and potential tooth loss. We offer many effective treatments for gum disease.
If you’re in your late teens or early twenties, you may experience jaw pain due to your wisdom teeth erupting. Many people have their wisdom teeth taken out because the human jaw isn’t big enough for this extra set of molars. If they begin to erupt, they can push on the other teeth in your mouth, causing them to move. You may experience swelling in the back of your mouth or side of the jaw in addition to stiffness and soreness. Using x-rays and other diagnostic tools, we can determine if a wisdom tooth extraction is necessary for you.
In rare cases, a sore jaw could be an indication of a more serious condition such as an abscess or infection. If bacteria get into the hollow area inside the tooth, it can cause an infection in your dental pulp. This is the soft tissue inside your tooth that contains your dental nerves and other structures.
When this pulp gets infected, it swells and causes pain and pressure in and around the affected tooth. A root canal is usually the treatment option for this condition. While many people associate root canals with pain, they actually relieve the pressure and pain caused by the infection. The infected dental pulp is removed to relieve the pain and the tooth is sealed to make sure that further infection doesn’t occur.
It is imperative to address tooth pain, jaw pain, or other dental pain so that you can avoid serious medical issues.
Schedule an Appointment Today
if you are suffering from jaw pain and want to find relief, contact our office for an appointment. You can reach our Nashua, NH dentist office by calling (603) 547-9203 or request an appointment online.