If you experience either sudden or continuous pain on one side of your jaw you might be concerned. There are a few dental issues that could be linked to sudden jaw pain or recurring pain in your jaw. A cavity or an abscessed tooth could be the cause, or it could simply be bruxism (teeth grinding). Whatever the cause, one of the best decisions you can make is to call a local dentist. Here are a few of the most common causes of jaw pain, and some more information on when it is time to call a dentist.

TMJ & Jaw Pain

Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ), are a group of issues that affect your jaw. Specifically, TMJ disorders include issues around where your skull connects to your jaw. There is a disc that separates the bones in the joints of your jaw. If the disc becomes misaligned or if it gets damaged you may experience the following symptoms:

TMJ Symptoms:

  • Tenderness
  • Pain
  • Clicking/Popping when chewing or moving your jaw
  • Difficulty chewing or moving your jaw

What To Do About TMJ:

If you are experiencing these symptoms you should talk to your healthcare provider or dentist. In the short term, pain medication can help decrease discomfort prior to your medical visit. TMJ is often caused by dental issues including bite alignment or Bruxism. Your dentist/orthodontist may have recommendations to help heal your jaw.

Bruxism & Teeth Grinding

Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding. Bruxism is fairly common among kids, teens, and adults. Nocturnal bruxism refers to the process of grinding your teeth while you sleep. There are many theories for what causes bruxism. Stress, anger, and anxiety might all be contributing factors. Regardless of the cause, many dentists will recommend grind guards for sleeping to decrease damage caused by teeth grinding.

Other Dental Issues That Cause Jaw Pain

Like many symptoms, jaw pain can be related to many different dental problems. This is why seeing a doctor or a dentist is recommended. It is nearly, impossible to accurately diagnose an issue with the internet alone. The best way to know exactly what you have and to get treatment is by seeing a dentist. The following are a list of potential problems that cause jaw pain:

  • Abscessed Teeth: An abscessed tooth is a pocket of pus that forms in different areas of a tooth due to bacterial infections. It can cause moderate to severe pain in the mouth and that pain can radiate into your jaw, ear, or neck.
  • Wisdom Teeth: For many teens, jaw pain and aches might start around ages 16-20 in the back of the mouth. This can be caused by the growth of wisdom teeth. Impacted teeth may need to be surgically removed.
  • Gum Disease: Gum disease is fairly common and can cause a variety of symptoms including bleeding, red swollen gums, and pain. As gum disease progresses, symptoms can get worse. It is important to see dentists twice a year to prevent gum disease.
  • Tooth Decay: Similarly, tooth decay can start with simple cavities and can spread quickly. Dental decay can cause toothaches and pain throughout the mouth.
  • Misaligned Teeth: Misaligned teeth can cause issues with bite alignment leading to TMJ or other jaw issues. Misaligned teeth can be corrected with braces or Invisalign.

Make A Dental Appointment in Lewiston

If you are experiencing dental pain or other symptoms you shouldn’t wait to see a dentist. The quicker you can get to a dentist or a doctor the better. If you live in Lewiston or the surrounding areas, call us today to set up a dental appointment. We provide emergency dental services for clients throughout the area.