Your jaw hurting can be a symptom of a number of dental problems, and there’s no way to diagnose it 100% correctly without an appointment at Red Bank Smiles–however, it helps to have an idea of what you might be dealing with before coming in.
Oral Health Problems
Some more common issues that result in jaw pain on one side range from cavities, abscessed tooth, gum disease, and tooth decay to wisdom teeth growing in, missing or crooked teeth, and clenching or grinding your teeth at night. All of these can be easily diagnosed with the help of professional dental health, and should be relatively easy to remedy.
If you aren’t experiencing any of the above issues, you could be dealing with sinusitis–a condition that inflames your nasal cavities, which are located behind your cheeks. This can result in pain on one or both sides of your jaw, but is usually accompanied by symptoms like difficulty smelling or tasting, yellow or green mucus, nasal congestion, and facial swelling.
Temporomandibular disorder, or TMD, is a condition that affects your temporomandibular joint, which is the joint that connects your skull to your jaw. The disc that separates the bones and helps it move properly can get misaligned, which leads to all sorts of discomfort, pain, clicking or popping noises, and difficulty opening and closing your mouth.
How We Fix Your Jaw Pain
In the case of TMD, there are a few options to help fix the underlying problem and relieve the pain or discomfort you’re feeling–primarily TMJ Splints and Night Guards.
- TMJ Splints: Splints are used to guide the jaw into the correct position in order to minimize and eliminate the pain you’re feeling. Permissive splints allow more range of motion and are most common. For patients whose jaws need more guidance, nonpermissive splints are more rigid and are required to be worn all day.
- Night Guards: Night guards are exactly what they sound like–they are custom-fitted oral appliances that you wear while you sleep to prevent your jaw from falling into an unfavorable position overnight, which is often the cause of TMD.