Jaw Pain: Is It a TMJ Disorder

You’re looking forward to your meal, but when you open your mouth, your jaw aches again. You get the same pain when chewing and yawning. 

If this scenario feels familiar, you may be suffering from TMJ, a disorder of the temporomandibular joint, which acts like a sliding hinge between your temporal skull bones and your jaw. 

Estimates suggest that 10 million Americans suffer from TMJ. However, the good news is that in most cases, conservative, non-surgical methods can relieve the symptoms.

To help you get a better understanding of what could be causing your jaw pain, we asked our specialists at Aquila Dental to explain the causes of TMJ, the symptoms of TMJ, and the available treatment options.

TMJ causes and risk factors 

The root cause of TMJ is often difficult to pinpoint. In many cases, the symptoms of TMJ are caused by a combination of genetics, arthritis, and jaw trauma. 

You may also have a higher risk of developing TMJ if you:

Misalignments and an uneven bite can make some muscles overcompensate, leading to strained muscles in the jaw. In this case, wearing braces or getting an implant or crowns can fix the issue.

If your main issue is grinding or clenching, a customized mouthpiece can help. You may not be aware that you grind your teeth because most people grind their teeth while they sleep. 

Have a specialist look at the appearance of your teeth. If you grind your teeth during sleep, the tips of your teeth will be flat and worn out.

TMJ symptoms 

Jaw pain can occur for a variety of reasons, but when it’s accompanied by locking, clicking, and difficulties opening or closing the mouth, it could be a sign of a temporomandibular disorder. 

TMJ can also cause migraines and earaches. In most TMJ sufferers, the symptoms are mild, and they go away by themselves. However, if you wake up with jaw soreness and experience chronic migraines, you may benefit from visiting a medical specialist.

Jaw pain diagnosis and treatment 

If the pain in your jaw doesn’t respond to over-the-counter pain medications, our staff at Aquila Dental can examine your jaw and oral cavity to look for possible causes behind your symptoms.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we now offer online consultations for patients who want to have their questions answered without having to leave their homes. 

Contact us to schedule an appointment. Learn more about what’s causing your jaw pain and find out what treatments are available. 

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