What Your Dentist Knows About An Aching Jaw

Things you know your dentist can help with include performing scheduled checkups and cleanings, and offering suggestions for better brushing. But a trusted dentist can also help you when you are experiencing aches that center in your jaw, and other areas of the head, neck and shoulders. Jaw aches and pain can be a sign of disorders in your temporomandibular joints, and TMJ therapy from a dentist in El Paso, TX, can help you track the source of the pain, and find a solution.

How TMJ Imbalances Cause Pain

The temporomandibular joints are the hinges that allow your jaw to open and close. When the TMJs are working properly, this is a smooth and comfortable action. But when there are imbalances or other issues, the jaws may catch, or make clicking and popping sounds. The jaw can also fail to rest properly, meaning the muscles can be under constant stress, which translates into pain over time. The pain may be centered in the jaw area, and it can show up as neck ache, headache and even pain into the shoulder and arm.

What Can Be Done to Help TMJ Trouble?

When you see our team for an initial consultation, we can work with you to track the source of the discomfort. Some TMJ therapy consists of a custom fitted oral appliance, worn primarily at night, to help the jaw rest in a comfortable position throughout the night. An appliance can also prevent tooth grinding and clenching, which can contribute to jaw pain.

What If A Jaw Ache Isn’t TMJ Pain?

Not all jaw pain is attributable to problems with the TMJs. Pain on a single side may be traced to a problem tooth, perhaps from an untreated cavity. A small cavity may be addressed with a tooth colored filling, while a larger cavity may need a root canal treatment to take care of the ache.

TMJ Therapy Can Help Treat Jaw Pain 

An aching jaw is a message that something in your oral structures needs attention. Finding relief can begin by calling to schedule an appointment with the Sunny Smiles office nearest you in El Paso, TX, today! We have offices in the East, Northeast, and Westside of El Paso, and happily welcome patients from all nearby communities, including Chaparral, Canutillo, Vinton, and Sunland Park, New Mexico.