Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Jaw Pain

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Jaw Pain

Jaw pain can develop for several reasons, ranging from a compressed nerve and sinus problems to cluster headaches and even heart attacks. However, in the dental world, two of the leading causes of jaw pain involve temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder — also known as TMJ or TMD — and severe tooth infection.

In Spring, Texas, Dr. Peter Gambertoglio has more than 30 years of experience providing family and cosmetic dental services. If you have jaw pain, here’s why you should schedule an appointment today.

TMJ

You have a temporomandibular joint on each side of your jaw that attaches your jawbone to your skull. These joints open and close like a hinge, making it possible for you to talk, eat, and yawn.

Unfortunately, they can also sustain damage, causing tension to develop in the jaw. Without treatment, this problem can progress, leading to numerous symptoms, such as:

TMJ can also lead to chronic teeth grinding or jaw clenching, which can also increase your risks of discomfort and dental damage.

Severe tooth infection

You can also experience jaw pain when you have a severe tooth infection. 

When you have a tooth infection, the inside of your tooth gets exposed to bacteria, often from tooth decay or a damaged or chipped tooth. Once infected, pus collects inside the tooth — or abscesses — and causes swelling and pain.

Additional signs of an abscess include:

Without treatment, the infection causing this toothache can spread into the jawbone supporting your tooth, leading to intense pain.

Treatments for jaw pain

Nearly 10 million Americans experience temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder, and tooth abscesses are a leading cause of emergency dental appointments in the United States. Fortunately, Dr. Gambertoglio has solutions for both of these common problems.

TMJ

In the past, most dentists relied on nighttime mouthguards to address TMJ issues. Not only did this approach protect your teeth, but it also helped relieve jaw pain and tension. However, Dr. Gambertoglio uses a different orthotic device: flat plane splints. 

While similar to night guards, flat plane splints have a slightly uneven surface. This difference in texture causes your jaw to naturally unclench because your brain thinks it’s unsafe to continue biting.

Tooth abscess

When you have a severely infected tooth, Dr. Gambertoglio drains the abscess and eliminates the infection. Your treatment may also include antibiotics and/or a root canal. However, if Dr. Gambertoglio can’t save your tooth, he could recommend extraction and a tooth replacement option, like dental implants.

Do you have jaw pain? Don’t wait to find relief. Contact our office in Spring, Texas, by calling 281-350-8852 to schedule an appointment with Peter Gambertoglio, DDS.

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