What Causes Jaw Pain?

If you suffer from frequent jaw pain or you clench or grind your teeth you may have TMJ.

TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorders, are often caused by a jaw injury, inflammation, or overuse. Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a common condition that can occur at any age and is a common symptom of TMJ. Adults may unconsciously clench or grind their teeth when awake or asleep. Teeth grinding is generally the result of stress and anxiety, and is often paired with a clenched jaw. Those with an abnormal bite or crooked and missing teeth can be more prone to this condition than others.

Jaw pain Sterling, VA dentist

Symptoms of TMJ

For many patients, indicators of TMJ may include:

  • Stress
  • Headaches
  • Tooth Pain
  • Grinding Teeth
  • Tooth Sensitivity
  • Jaw Soreness
  • Muscle Soreness
  • Lockjaw
  • Loose Teeth
  • Fractured Teeth

Treating TMJ

The health consequences of untreated TMJ are short and long-term. Irritated nerves and facial pain may be short-term, but weakened tooth enamel occurs over time with increased tension. Tooth quality may deteriorate because of the repeated wearing down of teeth caused by TMJ. This can cause severe damage to teeth, jaw muscles, and joints. However, there are multiple solutions, including:

  • Mouthguards and splint therapy: a custom made mouthguard or splint, also known as a nightguard, is designed to help reposition the bite and eliminate teeth grinding.
  • Restorative dental treatments: to address tooth damage and to realign how the teeth make contact when biting, Dr. Thompson may recommend dental bonding, crowns, and other restorative treatments.
  • Orthodontics: if malocclusion or crooked teeth are considered a cause of your bite problem, clear aligners may help.

Schedule an Appointment

Do you think that you may have TMJ? Call Ridgetop Dental for a future appointment at our Sterling, VA office at (703) 520-7410. Our patient’s health and safety is our top priority.

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