Young Woman with Jaw Pain

Do You Have Jaw Pain?

A sore jaw can mean several things.

Having a sore jaw can often be a mystery. Unless a direct trauma or injury has been observed, it may be difficult to pinpoint exactly what the problem is. Is the pain due to a problem with the jaw bone or the muscles themselves? Or is it a dental problem related to the teeth and alignment? In many cases, it may take the expertise of a dentist to investigate and identify the culprit. If you experience chronic jaw pain and have been unable to find relief, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.

If your jaw muscles are sore, here are a few possibilities to consider: Was there any recent activity or overexertion that may have caused this discomfort? Is the pain equal on both sides? Or is it more severe in one location? Is it worse at a particular time of day, such as in the morning? All these are important to mention when discussing with your dentist.

If the teeth themselves are sensitive or aching, it might be an indication of a problem within the mouth. Teeth might seem like they’re permanent, but they can drift and change their positioning (especially when other teeth are missing or significant damage or decay has occurred). In these instances, misalignment of teeth can affect the way the jaw closes together, resulting in uneven pressure and uneven workload on the jaw muscles.

You also may be subconsciously clenching or grinding your teeth at night (or even during the day during stressful situations). This practice is known as bruxism, which can have many ill effects on your teeth. Furthermore, the condition known as TMJ (short for temporomandibular joint disorder) may cause discomfort due improperly alignment between the jaw joint and surrounding muscles.

In all these instances, we can treat the condition with a variety of splints, mouth guards, or other oral appliances to help balance out your mouth and protect your teeth.