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Common Causes of Jaw Pain

What are the Most Common Causes of Jaw Pain?

Jaw pain. At one time or another, we’ve all experienced it, and it’s never pleasant. While jaw pain isn’t always an indication that you need to go straight to your Kansas City family dentist’s office, it can be an indication of underlying problems or a warning sign of something more serious on the way.

In most cases, jaw pain is temporary, and it’s nothing more than a memory in a few days’ time. In some cases, however, jaw pain persists or is even chronic. If your jaw pain doesn’t seem to be going away, you should call your Kansas City family dentist to see what can be done to relieve your discomfort and stave off any more serious developments.

But why does your jaw hurt in the first place? Jaw pain has a number of causes, some more serious than others. Here are some of the most common:

You’re grinding your teeth. Grinding or clenching, especially at night while you’re asleep, can lead to some prolonged jaw pain. Why might you grind or clench your teeth, especially without knowing about it? The most common culprit is stress. Unfortunately, a stress-free life is something that most of us can’t hope to reach. The good news is your family dentist has solutions that can help reduce tooth grinding and clenching.

TMJ disorders. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint, which is a sort of hinge on either side of your jaw that connects to the rest of your skull. Like any other joint in your body, this one can flare up, resulting in a variety of TMJ disorders, and almost all of them have jaw pain as one of their most common symptoms. Fortunately, most TMJ disorders can be treated without serious interventions, but you’ll need your dentist’s help.

Your bite. You may not think much about it, but your mouth is a surprisingly complex mechanism. For it to operate properly, your bite needs to be correctly aligned. This means that all your teeth come together as they’re meant to when you chew your food. The problem is, they don’t always do that. Teeth can crowd one another, or you may have an overbite or an underbite. These misaligned teeth are usually treated with orthodontia, such as braces or Invisalign clear aligners, but your family dentist will know the best treatment for a misaligned bite.

Dental problems. Jaw pain is also a symptom of a wide range of potential dental problems, from untreated cavities to impacted wisdom teeth. Certain types of infections, sinus problems, and other concerns can also manifest as jaw pain. Regardless of the cause, if your jaw pain is persistent or worrisome, your best bet is to consult your dentist right away.

If your jaw pain isn’t caused by any of these culprits, it might be a harbinger of even more serious trouble. Most of the time, however, it’s nothing to be too worried about, and your Kansas City family dentist will be able to have you feeling better in no time. When in doubt, give Blacker Family Dental in Kansas City, MO a call at (816) 763-8400 or click here to schedule an appointment anytime!