Jaw pain is a common dental concern that should not be ignored. 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 the dentist for an evaluation. We will determine what is causing the jaw pain and recommend a treatment plan.
Common Causes for Jaw Pain
Millions of people are affected by bruxism, or teeth grinding. Patients with bruxism grind or clench their teeth. 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, 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.
In almost all cases, a TMJ disorder will cause tooth wear and may contribute to tooth decay and/or (gum) disease.
Tooth cavities are generally 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.
When you do not practice proper dental hygiene, plaque forms and builds up on 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 in the gums that causes bone degradation, swollen and painful gums, and potential tooth loss.
In rare cases, a sore jaw could be an indication of a more serious condition such as an abscess or infection. It is very important to address tooth pain, jaw pain or other dental pain so that you can avoid serious medical issues. Contact our office for an appointment by calling (603) 547-9203 or request an appointment online.