Patient Guidelines During COVID-19

Why You Shouldn't Ignore Lasting Jaw Pain

If you’re suffering from lasting jaw pain, you aren’t alone. About 30-40% of Americans have chronic orofacial pain — including pain in the jaw. 

At CaliDental with offices in Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo, and Lompoc, California, our dentists, Koushan Azad, DMD, and Malik Algrouz, DMD, know nothing can be more frustrating than pain that just won’t quit — especially when it affects your head and mouth. 

As part of our comprehensive dental services line, the team at CaliDental offers help for patients suffering from lasting jaw pain. We also believe in providing patient education and addressing our patients’ concerns.  

We’ve put together this helpful guide to explain some common causes of lasting jaw pain and why you shouldn’t ignore it. Read on to learn more! 

What is causing my lasting jaw pain?

There are many possible reasons your jaw might hurt, including jaw arthritis, head injuries, and a crooked bite. But an overwhelming number of jaw pain cases are caused by a common disorder called temporomandibular joint disorder, also called TMJ or TMD. 

TMJ disorders cause significant pain and discomfort in your jaw. It can also affect the muscles and tendons that surround your jaw. There are many reasons you can develop TMD, such as dislocation, injury, arthritis, tooth and jaw misalignment, and teeth grinding

What are the symptoms of TMJ?

Symptoms of TMJ can vary between people. But there are some signs and symptoms the providers at CaliDental see more frequently. These include:  

Other symptoms include clenching or grinding your teeth, experiencing tension or muscle spasms in your jaw, neck and shoulder tension, and a crunching sound or feeling in the joint.  

Why shouldn’t I ignore lasting jaw pain?

If you suspect you have TMJ, it’s important to discuss your symptoms with one of the team members at CaliDental as soon as possible. Ignoring jaw pain can make TMJ worse and even impact your ability to swallow, chew, speak, control facial muscles, and even breathe.

The root cause of TMJ is often related to issues with your teeth. As such, your dentist provides experience and expertise at resolving any structural issues before they get worse and alleviating your pain. 

Can my jaw pain be treated?

To remedy your jaw pain, your provider must address the underlying TMJ disorder by diagnosing its root cause. Once we understand what’s causing your TMJ, the team at CaliDental creates a customized treatment plan for you. 

We begin with conservative TMJ treatments so you can avoid more invasive procedures. For most of our patients, conservative treatments work well to help end TMJ. Some treatment modalities we may recommend:

Your provider also educates you about behavior that can increase your jaw pain and TMJ symptoms, such as teeth grinding or biting your nails. 

If your CaliDental provider finds an underlying structural problem is to blame for your TMJ, we may recommend surgical interventions to resolve your TMJ. 

How can I learn more about ending lasting jaw pain?

The best way to learn more about saying goodbye to your jaw pain is to speak with an experienced professional, like the dentists at CaliDental. They can identify issues unique to you and customize a course of treatment to meet your needs. 

If you’ve been experiencing lasting jaw pain, don’t ignore it any longer. Early treatment of TMJ means faster, more effective pain relief. 

To learn more about putting an end to your lasting jaw pain, contact one of the providers at CaliDental, or book an appointment online now!

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