What Should I Do if I Experience Jaw Pain?
Jaw pain is a common issue affecting millions of Americans. Some people have chronic jaw pain from grinding their teeth. They may also have oral health issues, such as wisdom teeth coming in or cracked teeth. In any case, if you are experiencing jaw pain, it’s best to identify the cause as quickly as possible so you get appropriate treatment.
Causes of Jaw Pain
Jaw pain has several main causes. They include the following:
- Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. This is the most common cause of jaw pain, often caused by grinding your teeth. TMJ disorder is more common among women and is characterized by pain around your ears and jaw, headaches, dizziness, vision problems, and ringing in your ears.
- Dental issues. Besides TMJ, jaw pain can be caused by other dental issues, such as toothaches, cracked teeth, misaligned teeth, and gum disease.
- Trauma. If you suffered a blow to your face or fell on your head, you may have a broken jaw. A broken jaw can cause significant pain. Seek medical attention right away.
- Diseases. Mumps is a disease that can cause swollen glands, making it hard to move your jaw. Tetanus can lead to lockjaw, which can lead to tight muscles. This is a serious illness that requires hospitalization.
- Heart attack. Jaw pain sometimes can signal a heart attack since pain that starts near a cluster of nerves can be felt elsewhere in the body. If you experience sudden jaw pain, call 911.
What Do I Do Now?
Your next steps will depend on your other symptoms. If you believe your jaw pain is caused by a heart attack, call 911 right away. If you experience jaw pain after suffering trauma, that would also warrant a hospital visit.
If you suffer jaw pain due to dental issues, then it’s important to see your dentist to get them addressed. As mentioned above, TMJ disorder is a common issue. Over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen can help with the pain. It may also be helpful to quit chewing gum or biting your nails. Many people grind their teeth at night, so a night guard may be helpful.
Other dental issues such as cracked teeth, cavities, abscesses, and gum disease should be treated promptly to alleviate the pain. If you have misaligned teeth, consider a retainer or braces to get them straightened. Muscle relaxants can help loosen up your muscles and prevent jaw pain. Your dentist may also recommend exercises to loosen tight jaw and neck muscles.
Contact Our Ypsilanti Dentist Office Today if You Experience Jaw Pain
Jaw pain can have many causes, but it is usually caused by dental issues, such as toothaches, teeth grinding, cracked teeth, and gum disease. Your dentist can help.
Jaw pain is no laughing matter. Get the help you need from Comprehensive Dentistry. Our knowledgeable and friendly team can assess your situation and help get you smiling once again. Contact the team at Comprehensive Dentistry to schedule an appointment. Call (734) 390-4337 or fill out the online form.