FAQ: Your Jaw Pain & You

At Frederick Center for Dentistry, we provide comprehensive restorative dentistry treatment options including TMJ treatment for patients who experience frequent jaw pain. Are you experiencing frequent jaw pain, tension headaches, or other TMJ related symptoms? Learn the answers to frequently asked questions regarding jaw pain and TMJ treatment below.

FAQ: Your Jaw Pain & You

Why does my jaw hurt?

Jaw pain can be caused by many reasons. Often, jaw pain occurs when you are holding too much tension in your jaw muscles. If you have a history of teeth grinding, you may notice that your jaw hurts, especially in the mornings. Some people grind their teeth due to stress while others may do it without even noticing. Jaw pain can also be caused by an injury or a toothache. It’s important to see your Frederick, MD dentist to determine the source of your jaw pain and come up with a treatment plan that best meets your needs.

What is a TMJ disorder?

A TMJ disorder is caused when the temporomandibular joint of your jaw becomes inflamed or injured. This joint is the primary joint responsible for performing daily tasks like chewing or speaking. It can become inflamed or injured if too much tension is being held in your jaw or facial muscles. You may also develop a TMJ disorder if your bite pattern is unaligned, resulting in additional strain being put on your dental structures. Patients with TMJ disorders often experience symptoms like tension headaches, jaw pain, earaches, and a popping or clicking noise when opening or closing their mouths.

What are my options for TMJ treatment?

Your TMJ treatment plan will depend on the underlying dental concern causing your jaw pain. If your teeth are misaligned, we may suggest orthodontic treatment like Invisalign to straighten your smile and relieve tension. If you have a history of bruxism, or teeth grinding, we can offer oral appliance therapy to help manage your TMJ symptoms. Oral appliance therapy involves the use of a custom night guard that is worn while you sleep to hold your jaw in a healthier resting position and prevent dental damages. Oral surgery is also an option for patients who have a severe TMJ disorder. We will diagnose and recommend a treatment option that meets your specific needs.

What can I do at home to relieve my jaw pain?

At home, you can do daily jaw and facial muscle exercises to manage the amount of tension being held around your temporomandibular joint. A cold compress can help relieve any swelling caused by the jaw pain while a warm compress can relax your muscles and increase blood flow. Avoid eating excessively chewy or crunchy foods while experiencing jaw pain. You may take an over-the-counter pain medication to manage your jaw pain. Most importantly, schedule an appointment with our Frederick, MD dentist office for a consultation for TMJ treatment.