Gentle Dental

Jaw Pain

Some jaw pain problems will disappear without treatment, but if the problem persists, it’s important to see your dentist for a proper diagnosis.


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What Can Cause Jaw Pain?

Pain in your jaw can be due to many different factors, including sinus infections and toothache. Most cases of this dental issue are because of temporomandibular joint disorder, also called TMJ or TMD for short.

What is TMD Jaw Pain?

You have two temporomandibular joints hinging your lower jaw, and these are complex structures containing bones, muscles, and tendons. Injury to any of these structures can cause jaw pain. Some kinds of arthritis, especially osteoarthritis, can affect the temporomandibular joints. Other symptoms of TMD include chronic headaches, dizziness, a clicking or popping sound when you open your mouth, and tinnitus.

Can Trauma Cause Jaw Pain?

You may develop pain in the jaw is it is broken due to a blow or becomes dislocated, which can result if you open your mouth too wide, for example, when yawning. Sometimes dental treatment can cause temporary jaw pain, which should disappear shortly afterward.

Can Bruxism Cause Jaw Pain?

Bruxism, called teeth grinding and clenching can cause significant damage to teeth. It also places the jaw joints under excessive pressure and can inflame joints and facial muscles. Many people grind their teeth during sleep or when they are stressed.

Can Untreated Dental Issues Lead to Jaw Pain?

Dental disease such as a dental abscess or cavity can cause toothache and pain that radiates out towards the jaw. Teeth that are overcrowded or cracked and which are sensitive to temperature changes or foods, or to pressure can all cause pain in the jaw. Advanced gum disease can damage the jawbone.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that can attack the jaw joints, potentially causing swelling and inflammation. It can damage the cartilage that helps your jaw to move smoothly, making it feel sore and stiff.

What Are the Symptoms of Jaw Pain?

You may experience jaw pain on the right side of your jaw, jaw pain on the left side of your jaw, or in both. Symptoms can include:

  • Facial pain
  • Difficulty opening your jaw or chewing
  • Your jaw may become locked
  • Teeth grinding or clenching (bruxism)
  • Tooth sensitivity

If you have jaw pain, please come and see us here at Gentle Dental. We can examine your jaw joints and take diagnostic images that may include digital x-rays and a cone beam CT scan. After assessing your jaw joints and your dental health, we can recommend the most suitable treatment.

How Is Jaw Pain Treated?

Restorative dental care can relieve jaw pain caused by dental disease, and we can ensure your teeth bite together correctly, relieving any unwanted pressure on your jaw joints. A night splint is an effective and non-invasive way to treat jaw pain caused by bruxism, preventing your teeth from contacting while you sleep comfortably.
Jaw pain caused by trauma will most likely need urgent care to check if your jaw is broken or dislocated. If you have a significant jaw injury, you may need to see an oral surgeon.

Our family dentists here at Gentle Dental can discuss all the jaw pain treatment options suitable for your situation. For more information about the best treatment for jaw pain in Queens, contact Gentle Dental at (718) 461-0100.

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