One common dental problem that is very prevalent especially in America but goes unreported most of the time, is jaw pain. Statistics show that over 5 million people suffered from acute jaw pains in 2015 alone but only a million reported their cases to the hospitals. The reason why most people suffer from jaw pains in silence, is the fact that they often don’t understand what causes the pain or how to prevent the pains from recurring. So, what causes jaw pains? What are some of the common symptoms of jaw pains? Should you be worried about the jaw pains? What is the best treatment for jaw pains?
Well, there are a number of reasons why people develop jaw pains. The most common causes of jaw pains include;
Teeth grinding is a very common habit especially among children in America. I have never quite understood why the kids do it but I know for sure that it is a leading cause of jaw pains. When people clench their teeth tightly and grind them against one another, they put incredible amounts of stress on the jaws. Over time, this becomes habitual and such people end up grinding their teeth even in their sleep. This damages the jaws and soon they start feeling a throbbing pain when they try chewing or even talking.
Osteomyelitis of the jaw
This is an infection that travels through the body’s blood stream affecting an individual’s bones and any surrounding tissues. When an individual experiences osteomyelitis of the jaw, the temporo-mandibular joint is affected. This causes the patient to feel acute jaw pains, fever and facial swelling. Osteomyelitis is caused by a bacteria called staphylococcus aureus which is commonly found on the skin.
Temporo-mandibular disorders are the other common causes of acute jaw pain. Temporomandibular disorder, also known as TMD, affects the temporo-mandibular joint of the jaw. The temporo-mandibular joint acts like a sliding hinge which connect your jaw bone to the skull. When it is affected by the TMDs, it results in massive pains around the jaw area. In addition to pain, this disorder can cause the jaw to painfully crackle when one is opening the mouth or chewing something. In severe cases, the disorder can even cause the jaw to become permanently stuck in an open or closed position. This condition is known as lockjaw.
Certain dental conditions
Certain dental conditions such as bleeding gums and cavities have been found to cause jaw pains as well. Although many of these issues don’t directly affect the jaw, the pain can be felt in and around the jaw area. People with teeth that are unevenly spaced out also experience jaw pains because of the imbalance caused by lack of proper spread of pressure on the jaw when chewing.
Abscessed teeth are the other leading cause of jaw pains which are often misinterpreted. An abscessed tooth is a painful infection at the root end of a tooth normally caused by severe tooth decay. The infection can also be located between the gum and the tooth. Trauma and gingivitis are also believed to cause abscessed teeth. An abscessed tooth is extremely painful and the pain can sometimes radiate into the jaw area. This makes one feel like the jaw area is almost on fire because of the intense pain.
So, what should you do in case you are experiencing jaw pains?
Well, you should visit your dentist immediately you start experiencing these short throbbing jaw pains. As we have seen, most of these pains are related to teeth and the dentist will be the best person to look into the problem and advise accordingly. A dentist will then asses the problem and administer the perfect treatment for your pains. The treatment ranges from use of anti-inflammatory drugs, root canal therapy, use of muscle relaxants and even use of mouth protectors.
Never omit any form of jaw pain because it may be indicative of an even bigger underlying problem. You should therefore report any instances of the pain to your dentist as soon as you feel them for early treatment. Left untreated, some of the TMDs can result in far worse conditions.
To prevent these pains from developing, you need to maintain good oral hygiene and desist from awkward habits such as grinding and opening bottles with your teeth. You need to brush you thoroughly and visit the dentist on a regular basis for cleaning and check-ups.
If you are experiencing any jaw pains in Houston, then you need to give us a call today for the best treatment on the same. Our team of professional dentists will deeply look into your problem and advise you appropriately on how to stay safe from such problems in future. Don’t suffer from jaw pains any more, give us a call today and we will help relieve the pain.