Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills and Westlake Village, CA
Do you ever feel like mornings are too rough, and that your jaw is the last thing to get going? Eating breakfast may be a painful chore, and forget trying to open your jaw wide enough to effectively brush your teeth. If this sounds too familiar, or you experience random jaw pain daily, you owe it to yourself to find a solution that works. Today on the blog Dr. Kathleen Carson, a dentist in Agoura Hills, is discussing common causes of jaw pain, and what you can do about it.
Jaw pain most commonly is associated with TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder, which is a condition that affects the jaw joints. These joints are located on the sides of your face, just in front of your ears, and the hinges connect your lower and upper jaw together. However, when these joints become irritated or inflamed due to an injury, arthritis, or malocclusion (uneven bite), those everyday movements become painful and difficult.
TMJ disorder affects about 15 percent of adults in American, and the symptoms are often complex, which makes diagnosing the disorder difficult for many physicians. A neuromuscular dentist on the other hand has the experience and expertise to diagnose a case of TMJ disorder, determine the precise cause of jaw pain, and provide long-term relief from undesirable symptoms. Long-term relief doesn’t focus on putting the patient on pain medication. Instead, we rely on finding the correct occlusion so that the jaw joint irritation is relieved. We achieve this through a variety of treatments, which are determined by each case, and may include oral devices, orthodontics, or muscle therapy.
Sinus issues can be another cause of jaw pain. Believe it or not, but these two are intricately connected. Chronic allergies or even a bought of sinusitis causes inflammation of the sinus cavities, and even the ears, which may lead to pain in your jaw joints. Sometimes, sinus issues even cause toothaches! So, if you experience nasal congestion alongside any dental pain, the two could be related. But, if jaw or tooth pain continues past when you shake that cold, get it checked by the dentist to rule out something more serious that may only worsen with time.
Teeth grinding is classified as bruxism, which affects many people. Teeth clenching and grinding typically occurs at night, so you might not even know that you do it unless you experience chronic headaches (especially when you wake up in the mornings), jaw or tooth pain. Risk factors for bruxism include malocclusion or an abnormal bite, crooked teeth, and those with anxiety, stress, or sleep apnea. You may, however, catch yourself grinding your teeth during waking hours while in a boring meeting, at a never ending red light, or when your significant other irritates you. Dr. Caron can identify whether you have bruxism by conducting a simple evaluation of your teeth. Long-term bruxism that is left untreated may lead to grinding your teeth down to numbs, loose teeth, and even tooth loss. A custom-made night guard can be crafted to protect your teeth from damage, and absorb the pressure when you clench your teeth together.
Decaying teeth could be another cause of jaw pain, especially if the problem tooth (or teeth) is located in the back of your mouth. Wisdom teeth often become the culprit in this scenario because they often don’t fully erupt leaving them susceptible to decay or infection.
Jaw Pain Treatment in Agoura Hills
As you can see, jaw pain can be spurred by various factors. If you experience any jaw pain, whether it comes and goes or is chronic, it’s best to get it checked out by an experienced neuromuscular dentist such as Dr. Carson at Integrative Dental Arts. You can schedule a consultation by contacting our office at (818) 889-0400. We provide dental services to the areas of Agoura Hills and Westlake Village, California.