FAQ: All About Your Jaw Pain

restorative dentist hampton roads vaMany of our patients visit our office experiencing jaw pain or discomfort. If you experience jaw pain, it’s very important to seek professional care to determine the underlying cause of your symptoms. As your trusted restorative dentist in Hampton Roads, VA, we wanted to provide you with some additional information on jaw pain, what causes it, and how it can be treated. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions regarding your jaw pain:

What causes jaw pain?

The cause of jaw pain varies from patient to patient. Most people experience jaw pain because they clench their jaw while stressed or hold a lot of tension in their facial muscles. Additionally, patients with a history of teeth grinding often experience jaw pain. Jaw pain can also be caused by missing, broken, or misaligned teeth. This is because any compromised teeth put more pressure on your remaining dental structures, causing them to have to work harder to perform daily tasks like eating or speaking. A trained dentist like Dr. Harper can help you determine the underlying cause of your jaw pain.

What is a TMJ disorder?

A TMJ disorder is any jaw pain or discomfort that is caused by an issue or damage to the temporomandibular joints of your jaw. This can create tension, pressure, and ultimately pain in the face, head, shoulders, and neck for affected patients. Symptoms of a TMJ disorder include jaw pain, headaches, earaches, or a clicking or popping noise whenever you open or close your mouth. Patients may also experience a limited range of motion in the jaw joints or locked jaw.

Can TMJ disorders be treated?

Yes, TMJ disorders can be treated. However, each patient’s treatment plan will need to be individualized to them after the underlying cause of their jaw pain has been determined. If your jaw pain is coming from jaw clenching or teeth grinding, a custom mouth guard or dental splint may be used to alleviate your symptoms. If your jaw pain is caused by a misaligned bite pattern, bite correction therapy can be used to bring the teeth into proper contact, allowing the jaw to open and close in its proper position and eliminates stress on the joints and resulting pain. Other restorative dentistry options are also available for inclusion in a TMJ treatment plan if the source of jaw pain is a missing or broken tooth.

I am experiencing jaw pain right now. What should I do?

The best thing you can do for your jaw pain is to schedule an appointment with Dr. Harper. He is one of the few dentists in the Hampton Roads area with the training and experience to treat chronic jaw pain. When you visit Harper Dental Care in Hampton Roads, you will receive a comprehensive examination that includes an occlusal analysis to study the way your teeth make contact. Our entire team will provide you with the compassionate care you need to restore your peace of mind. We look forward to seeing you soon.