In this blog post from The Sugar House Dentist in Salt Lake City, we’re going to look at some of the conditions that may result in jaw pain.
Your jaw is a complex joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull. It is unique in that it lets you move your jaw from side to side, front to back, and open and closed. Disorders in this joint can cause pain in the joint itself, or in the muscles that let you move it.
Finding the exact cause of jaw pain can be difficult. It may be caused by sinusitis, the inflammation of the tissues that line your sinuses. When these tissues are inflamed, the sinuses exert pressure on surrounding areas. If the inflamed sinus is near the jaw, pain in the jaw joint may result. This commonly happens with a cold or allergies.
Jaw pain may also indicate TMD, a disorder of the TMJ. TMJ is the jaw joint, or the temporomandibular joint. There are three common TMJ disorders:
- Muscle complications. The muscles that move the jaw do a lot of work. Excessive chewing and talking, opening the jaw too wide, or clenching and grinding the teeth can all lead to pain.
- Joint and disc displacement. These result from trauma to the joint or its disc, which is soft cartilage that acts as a kind of shock absorber.
- Arthritis. Arthritis, unfortunately, can affect any of your joints. Arthritis in the jaw is usually caused by a missing or deformed disc.
At The Sugar House Dentist in Salt Lake City, jaw evaluations are part of any routine dental exam. If we find any problems we can recommend a course of TMJ treatment. Other services include family dentistry. If you’re experiencing jaw pain or another dental issue, please schedule an appointment with us today.
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