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Jaw Pain: Causes and Treatment Explained

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May 12, 2022

Jaw Pain: Causes and Treatment Explained

Grinding Your Teeth

One of the main causes of jaw pain stems from grinding your teeth. Most people do it as a reaction to heightened feelings of panic or stress, though it can also happen as a symptom of Parkinson’s disease or a side effect of some medications. Teeth grinding can also cause your gums to recede, exposing the roots and making them more vulnerable to damage and temperature.

Try paying attention to how your jaw feels first thing in the morning. If it feels sore, that’s a sign you are grinding your teeth while you sleep, straining your jaw.

Dentists can provide a mouthguard to wear at night that prevents your teeth from rubbing up against one another. Grinding your teeth during waking hours is something you’ll want to pay attention to and start making a conscious effort to stop.

You can also wear a mouthguard during the day that doesn’t restrict your tongue. The caveat, however, is that they are less durable, meaning you’ll have to switch them out more often.

Tooth Injury And Infection

Another frequent perpetrator of jaw pain stems from your teeth either suffering injury or getting infected. For example, undiagnosed cavities can rot your teeth away until it reaches tissue in your jaw, injuring it as well.

Dental abscesses can also be at fault. These come around when bacteria infect the root of your tooth, causing a buildup of pus to accumulate nearby and inflict jaw pain.

Frequent visits to your dentist will help catch these problems before they escalate into attacks on your jaw. Taking proper care of your teeth (brushing/flossing twice a day, using mouthwash) will also help lower your chance of infection.

In some cases, the tooth ends up rotting too much for a dentist to preserve it. In that case, they will have to extract the tooth and insert a replacement to alleviate your jaw pain.

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Copyright 2022 Paul Korb, DMD, PC