How to Tell if TMJ is Causing Jaw Pain

Image of a girl with a doctor.

Jaw pain is one of the most unpleasant oral health problems, and your first thought might have been, “Is it TMJ?” Our Sudbury, MA dental office can help you tell if TMJ is causing jaw pain or if there’s something else that’s causing you discomfort. Here are some of the most common questions we receive about TMJ disorders at Sudbury Dental Arts and how you can eliminate jaw pain for good, no matter what caused it.

What Causes Jaw Pain?

The simple act of opening and closing your mouth involves a surprisingly intricate system of bones, muscles, nerves, and other tissues. With so many small parts involved, there are many different causes of jaw pain.

One of the most common causes is a history of teeth grinding, but teeth grinding can also be caused by another underlying issue, making it even more complicated to diagnose. This is why seeing a skilled dentist that you trust is so important to finding pain relief. Teeth grinding can occur both during the day and while you are sleeping, both without you realizing you’re doing it, and it puts pressure on the jaw muscles for extended periods of time.

Another reason for jaw pain is incorrect jaw alignment from an uneven bite, such as an underbite or overbite. Missing teeth can also cause jaw alignment issues. An improperly aligned jaw can cause uneven wear and pressure on teeth, which can cause inflammation and discomfort when opening and closing the mouth.

How to Tell If TMJ is Causing My Jaw Pain

In addition to teeth grinding and jaw alignment problems, you won’t be surprised to learn that TMJ disorders often cause jaw pain, in addition to several other symptoms, such as:

  • Neck pain
  • Headaches or migraines, especially when waking up
  • Popping or clicking when opening or closing your mouth
  • Chronic tooth grinding

Many of the symptoms of TMJ disorders can cause jaw pain, but the effects of each symptom can contribute to the others. For example, a TMJ disorder can cause tooth grinding because of jaw alignment problems, but teeth grinding can also cause TMJ disorders. It’s very important to find a dentist with advanced TMJ treatment experience to properly diagnose your jaw pain and find out if it really is TMJ or some other cause. More importantly, they’ll be able to help stop the pain and discomfort.

Jaw Pain and TMJ Treatment in Sudbury, MA

Most of our patients with TMJ or jaw pain benefit from several different approaches to reduce inflammation and align the jaw. Detailed imaging will help us identify the best course of action. Schedule an appointment with Sudbury Dental Arts online or call us at (978) 369-2500 today to find out if TMJ is causing jaw pain and get long-lasting pain relief.



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