Any form of pain can be debilitating. However, when this pain is focused in your jaw area, the level of intensity is only heightened when you consider just how often you utilize this area. If you're experiencing pain in your jaw, it's helpful to familiarize yourself with just some of the common causes so that you can move towards a solution quickly.
A tooth abscess, an infection occurring inside or near a tooth, is a common reason for jaw pain. An abscess typically forms when a cavity deepens and exposes the inside of the tooth. As the individual eats and drinks, bacteria get passed into their mouth, eventually landing inside the exposed tooth area and causing an infection to develop.
This source of pain often gets overlooked because people assume the pain is coming from their jaw. However, the reality is that the pain is coming from the tooth and only radiating to the jaw area. Pain is generally intensified when moving the jaw, such as to talk or chew. Eliminate the infection with an antibiotic treatment, and you can eliminate the pain.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
The temporomandibular joint is the hinge that attaches your skull's temporal bones to your jaw. This hinge makes it possible for your jaw to move horizontally and vertically, allowing you to chew and talk. When an individual's temporomandibular joint doesn't function as it should, this is known as temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ disorder.
A person with this disorder won't just hear a loud clicking-like noise when they try to move their jaw, but they will also feel pressure that can result in discomfort. TMJ disorder is treatable. In addition to following a soft diet regimen and using a warm compress, a dental professional like Scott W. Murphy, D.M.D., P.A. can also assist.
One of the worst things about teeth grinding is that most people aren't even aware that they do it. Whether it's during periods of stress or while sleeping, people who grind their teeth forcefully clinch their lower and upper teeth together. In addition to tooth damage, this practice can also cause pain and discomfort in the jaw area.
Much of this discomfort comes from overworking your jaw as you grind your teeth. Learning how relax your jaws can help ease your pain. Mouth guards are generally prescribed to help people who grind their teeth to stop. You can also practice relaxation exercises that can help deter this behavior.