Many people think they can live with some of the symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), but one of the things that people find hard to live with is the pain, whether as headaches or tooth and jaw pain. Your jaw pain may be at the joint, where your jaw clicks, pops, or jumps suddenly, or it may be at the base of your teeth.
If chronic tooth or jaw pain is impacting your life, neuromuscular dentistry may be able to help. By addressing the jaw problems that can cause this pain, neuromuscular treatment can help you enjoy many pain-free days. Please contact Houston neuromuscular dentist Dr. Ronald Konig today to schedule an appointment to determine the cause of your jaw and tooth pain.
Two Kinds of Tooth Pain
If you have ever had a deep cavity, you know that kind of tooth pain–the sharp, piercing sensitivity of an exposed nerve. But this pain is different. It is a dull ache that affects not one tooth, but several, often concentrated in one region, and may affect both top and bottom teeth. The pain may radiate through your jaw or up into your face. It may blend into tension or sinus headaches. This pain is due to TMJ, which causes some of your teeth to experience excessive pressure when chewing, when clenching your teeth, or even when sleeping.
Jaw pain can result from many causes, some of which are associated with TMJ. It can be the result of pressure on the teeth. It can be the result of an infection or jawbone disorder. It can be a result of tension in the jaw muscles. It can be the result of a pinched trigeminal nerve. Or it can be the result of a displaced disc.
Displaced Discs and Jaw Clicking or Popping
Bones are hard and brittle. If bones rub together, it can cause significant pain and bone damage. To prevent bones rubbing together, joints are padded by cartilage, often a cartilaginous disc, like in the spinal column. The temporomandibular joint also has a disc whose job it is to pad the two bones that come together here: the jawbone (mandible) and the temporal bone of the skull.
When your jaw is out of alignment, it puts excess pressure on one or both of the discs in your temporomandibular joints. This pressure can lead to excess wear, thinning the disc or even creating a hole, or it can lead to displacement of the disc. In either case, your jaw joint will not move with optimal smoothness. Your bones may experience wear, and the jawbone may click, pop, or displace suddenly. This may or may not be accompanied by significant pain, but it should be evaluated, because a displaced or worn disc can lead to progressive damage and a worsening condition.
Neuromuscular Treatment for Tooth and Jaw Pain
Tooth and jaw pain is often the result of imbalanced forces in the jaw. Neuromuscular dentistry treatment can help restore balance to the forces, taking pressure off teeth, hopefully to reduce not only tooth pain, but also to prevent worn and broken teeth. Many times, a displaced disc can slip back into place if the bite issues are corrected, and wear on the disc can be reduced, hopefully before the disc has completely worn through. You may also see a reduction in tension headaches, and pain, numbing or tingling in the arms, as well as other TMJ symptoms.
If you have popping or clicking in your jaw, whether or not it is accompanied by pain, or if you have pain of the tooth or jaw, neuromuscular dental treatment may be able to help. To learn whether it can help you, please call or email Houston neuromuscular dentist Dr. Ronald Konig today.