Do you experience jaw pain after you eat hard or tough food like popcorn or steak? Does just opening and closing your jaw cause a sharp, electric pain? Or does jaw pain seem to come and go without any explanation? In any of these situations, TMJ might be to blame for your jaw pain. In TMJ, your jaw system isn’t functioning properly, which can lead to sore muscles, pinched nerves, and grinding bones. The resulting pain can be continuous or can come and go.
The good news is that TMJ treatment in Tarrytown can be nonsurgical and drug free. To learn whether you can benefit from this TMJ treatment, please call (914) 332-4402 or email Advanced Dentistry of Tarrytown today for an appointment.
Sources of TMJ Jaw PainTMJ can cause many different types of jaw pain. The most common sources of jaw pain are:
- Muscle exertion
- Joint damage
- Pinched nerves
Tarrytown TMJ dentists Dr. Wanda Mejia and Dr. George Sepiashvili are trained in neuromuscular dentistry and have extensive experience in tracking down the source of jaw pain. They can help you identify the source of your jaw pain and will recommend treatment that targets your jaw pain.
Tense and Tired Muscles
Probably the most common source of jaw pain in TMJ is sore and tired muscles. With this type of jaw pain, you will likely notice your jaw pain comes and goes in relation to jaw activity. It gets worse after eating or talking, and especially if you are clenching your teeth due to stress. You may also notice your jaw hurts a lot when you wake up in the morning due to clenching your jaws at night. Other times, though, you might just experience a constant, dull ache.
Your jaw muscles typically work together in teams. When your jaw system is in alignment, these muscles help each other efficiently. If your jaw is out of balance, though, your jaw muscles won’t be helping each other—they might even be working against one another. If your jaw is enough out of balance, your muscles won’t be able to find a comfortable rest position. This means that your muscles are constantly working, even if you think your jaw is idle.
Tense muscles often spread tension to muscles they work with in the head and neck, leading to headaches and neck pain.
Jaw Joint Destruction
Another common cause of jaw pain due to TMJ is damage to the temporomandibular joint itself. You might notice this pain as being right in front of your ear, and it may increase or decrease as you open and close your jaw.
Jaw joint pain may be due to damage to the jaw joint. If you experienced jaw joint trauma, either a blow to the jaw or intense whiplash, such as a car accident, this could cause inflammation of the jaw joint, which leads to constant pain or causes tissues to be strained when you move your jaw.
Other times, your jaw pain may be related to displacement of the cushioning disc. The disc is supposed to pad the joint, preventing bones from grinding. If this disc gets out of place, the bones can pinch the ligament attached to the disc or grind against one another, either of which can be painful. Disc displacement is also associated with popping or clicking joints and may lead to temporary locking of the jaw.
If you experience intermittent, electric pains in your jaw, you might be experiencing pinched nerves. Pinched nerves can also lead to numbness, tingling, or strange sensations in your jaw. It can also trigger migraine headaches.
When the jaw is out of alignment, nerves that are supposed to have a clear and safe passage can be put under pressure, resulting in nerve symptoms, typically pain, which can sometimes be in a very specific area, such as a dime-sized circle of pain.
TMJ treatment can allow your muscles to relax, help put your cushioning disc back in place, and reduce pressure on your nerves. To learn whether TMJ treatment can alleviate your jaw pain in Tarrytown, please call (914) 332-4402 or contact Advanced Dentistry of Tarrytown today for an appointment.