Many of our patients have been under massive amounts of stress due to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, we are seeing an increase in patients dealing with jaw pain or TMJ disorders. As your trusted dentist in Worcester, MA, our dentists have extensive post-graduate training and experience in treating TMJ, helping patients to restore both their oral health and daily quality of life. We encourage patients to reach out to us if they have been experiencing jaw pain. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions regarding jaw pain and TMJ disorders:
What causes jaw pain?
Jaw pain can be caused by a variety of triggers including excess jaw clenching or teeth grinding. Additionally, if you suffer from a missing, broken, or misaligned teeth, this can also cause jaw pain. Any jaw pain that is found to be stemming from the temporomandibular joint of your jaw that connects the skull and lower mandible of the jaw and enables chewing and speaking. When this joint is damaged or irritated, patients may experience a variety of distracting symptoms like tension headaches, earaches, facial soreness, as well as jaw pain. If you think you may recognize any of these warning signs, then please schedule a visit with our Worcester dentist office.
How can jaw pain be treated?
Treatment options for jaw pain are dependant on the underlying cause of the pain. Often, if your jaw pain is being caused by teeth grinding or jaw clenching, our team will recommend the use of a custom TMJ mouthguard. Also known as splint therapy, this oral appliance should be used whenever you are experiencing jaw pain as well as while you sleep. It will hold your jaw in a healthy resting position to keep any tension from irritating your jaw muscles. It will also protect your teeth from the damages that can be caused from teeth grinding. If your jaw pain stems from any dental damage or misalignment, other treatment options can be recommended like bite correction therapy, which works to enable the teeth to come into proper contact while performing daily tasks.
My jaw hurts right now. What can I do?
We encourage patients experiencing jaw pain to utilize over the counter pain medications like ibuprofen to help control the uncomfortable symptoms. You can also apply a cold compress to your jaw to help reduce inflammation around the affected joint. Additionally, sleeping on your back will help your jaw relax completely as you sleep. Throughout the day, make sure to remind yourself to relax your facial muscles and stretch your jaw around as you work to avoid tension buildup. Above all, we recommend patients currently experiencing jaw pain to contact us. If you are experiencing any TMJ symptoms, call us at (508) 687-6579, or schedule an appointment online today.