At St. Mary’s Dental in Mechanicsville, we take jaw pain seriously. Persistent jaw pain could be an indication of a treatable condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder.
The temporomandibular joints are among the most complex in the human body. Usually shortened to “TMJ,” they’re the muscles, tendons, and bones that connect the jaw to the skull.
The TMJ is a hinge joint that allows free movement so that we can move it not just up and down, but from side to side. That’s how we grind food between our teeth.
When TMJ disorder occurs it can be painful to bite or chew, or even to talk. In addition, you may notice:
- clicking or popping sounds in the jaw
- Swelling on the sides of the face
- Ear pain
- Stiff or sore jaw muscles
Jaw pain may be one one or both sides of the jaw. It may be the result of an injury; from misaligned teeth; it may be the result of clenching the teeth. It may also seem to come out of nowhere.
What To Do?
If you suspect your jaw pain is TMJ disorder, you can find short-term relief using ice packs on the affected area. Over-the-counter pain relievers are also good.
You can also choose softer foods, don’t chew gum, and try massaging the area that hurts.
For the longer term, consider a professional diagnosis and treatment, like what we provide at St. Mary’s Dental in Mechanicsville. We have treated patients throughout North Waldorf, East Huntingtown, and South Laplata, who also come to us for dental implants and much more. Call us to schedule an appointment today!
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