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JAW JOINT PROBLEMS

Jaw Joint Pain

Do you have throbbing jaw joint pain?

Pain in the jaw joint can hit all of a sudden like an electric shock, or it can be a chronic throbbing misery. The jaw joint is one of the most complex joints in the body, and it endures a lot of pushes, pulls and pressure during day to day life. Because the joint is so complex, there are a number of different potential causes for jaw joint pain. Read more…

Why does your jaw joint hurt?

Jaw joint pain most frequently develops because of one of the following: grinding and clenching, muscle inflammation, osteomyelitis, TMD, referred pain or spreading infection.

Grinding and Clenching

Grinding teeth at night or clenching teeth together as a stress response during the day are some of the most damaging habits for the teeth, the jaw and the jaw joint.

  • The constant pressure stresses bone and gums and can cause recession and increase the risk of gum disease.
  • This pressure strains the teeth and bite balance leading to toothaches, cracks and broken teeth.
  • Pressure from grinding and clenching causes tension in the muscles and ligaments associated with the jaw joint leading to jaw joint damage and Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD).

Treating jaw joint pain caused by grinding or clenching can include custom made bite splints, nightguards, sleep apnea screening and stress reduction techniques. It is critical to both treat both the jaw pain and stop the damage caused by grinding and clenching.

Osteomyelitis

Osteomyelitis is an infection that can affect the bone and causes jaw pain, jaw joint pain, fever and swelling if it infects the jaw bone. Left untreated, this infection can do damage throughout the body. Osteomyelitis is treated with antibiotic therapy and/or surgical removal of dead and infected bone.

Temporomandibular Disorder (TMD)

This disorder of the jaw joint is known for causing popping & clicking sounds as well as aching, throbbing jaw joint pain that can radiate into the ears and through the jaw and teeth. In TMD, the shock absorbing cartilage disk in the joint is damaged. In advanced cases of TMD, the joint disk is actually pulled out of place causing the jaw to get painfully stuck in an open or closed position. Treating TMD involves reducing inflammation and joint stress so that the cartilage disk can reposition itself and begin to regenerate. This can require a combination of custom made bite splints with interdisciplinary treatments for pain and stress reduction as well as screenings for contributing risk factors such as sleep apnea.

Gum Disease, Cavities & Abscesses

Some jaw and jaw joint pain isn’t actually in the jaw at all but is coming from an infection somewhere nearby. Intense pain can seem to be from the jaw when it’s actually radiating out from infected gums, teeth or nerves. The jaw can also ache from pressure put on broken down teeth, from sinus infections (upper jaw), and from biting and chewing in areas with gaps between teeth. In each of these cases, the jaw pain will go away when the root problem is treated.

Tooth Abscesses Cause Jaw Aches?

Most of us know how terribly toothaches can hurt. What not many people realize is that the abscesses that cause toothaches can spread into the jaw bone surrounding the tooth. As the infection moves into the bone it creates pressure and causes pain. Left untreated, it soon kills the bone which melts away from the invading infection.

When “No More Pain” is Dangerous

Pain is TERRIBLE, isn’t it? We all want pain to stop yesterday! When something stops hurting, we usually assume that everything is better, don’t we? That’s true when we’re talking about scrapes and cuts that are healing, but it’s NOT true for more complex health issues like jaw pain. Sometimes no pain is actually dangerous.

How is that possible? Think of pain like a fire alarm. What makes fire alarms go off? Fires! When does a fire alarm stop going off? It stops when the fire is gone OR when the Battery is Dead. That’s exactly how pain works in the mouth too. The pain stops when the problem is fixed OR when the nerves are dead and can’t sound off a warning anymore.

Jaw pain should always be addressed because it is a warning sign of TMD, of high risk health issues like sleep apnea, or of jaw infection. Jaw pain cannot be permanently cured without the right treatment and it gets more complicated the longer it develops.

Stop TMD Before it Stops You! Click below to learn more

Headaches, TMJ &TMD

Frequent Morning Headaches? Jaw Pain & Popping?

Most people can guess that jaw pain is a mouth issue.

Sleep Apnea

Is Daytime Sleepiness Normal?

Do you doze while watching TV? Do you find it hard to stay awake after lunch??

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2019-03-19T19:19:28-05:00

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Had both upper and lower all-on-4 fixtures done. Dr. Bec and his staff are extremely professional and friendly. Best dental experience I've ever had and worth every penny.

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I came to Alamo Dental Health because of Groupon but will be making them "my dentist" because of the level of care. The doctor and staff were thorough and professional; I felt they cared for me as a person and a patient. After dentist hopping for the last two years I am glad to have found Alamo Dental Health. I highly recommend them!

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Staff is awesome! Dr. Bec is a NERD!! In a good way of course, as you would want all your doctors to be. Everyone who works here is so friendly and are very patient in answering my 1000 questions. I'm looking forward to seeing my new and improved smile at the end of my treatment :)

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2019-03-19T19:22:26-05:00

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Dr. Bec and everyone else at this office are both friendly and caring! I had major problems and required my upper teeth to be pulled and implants to be installed along with an attached upper denture to be fitted. It was quite a process and they took care of me from beginning to end with no complaints from me! They were incredible and I have nothing but good things to say about all of them! Dr Bec will be my dentist for life! Thank you all very much for the smile you gave back to me!
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