By Total Health Dentistry
March 28, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: TMJ   jaw pain  

Jaw pain can be more than just a source of minor discomfort. It can develop to a point where eating or even talking becomes a major jaw painchallenge. It can even cause headaches and ear discomfort. Jaw pain is often caused by a condition called TMJD of temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder. If you’ve been struggling with this problem to any degree, you’ll be happy to learn that simple solutions may be available at Progressive Dental Solutions for Sleep and TMJ, your Pittsburgh dentist's office.

What Causes Jaw Pain?
Dentists aren’t sure about exactly what causes jaw pain and TMJD, but there are theories. Here are a few potential causes that you can investigate with your dentist:

- A previous injury to the jaw or head.
- An overbite or underbite that’s putting pressure on the joint that connects the jaw.
- Bruxism (clenching and grinding the teeth at night).
- Arthritis.
- Chewing gum too much.
- An occupation or recreation that requires you to yell or shout often, which puts strain on the joint over time. 

Dentists have found that jaw pain is most common in women ages 20-40 years old, which may suggest a hormonal factor.

Treatment Options
Your Pittsburgh dentist can help relieve or reduce your jaw pain with simple treatments. These are a few of the most common solutions:

- Dental splints or bite guard
- Orthodontic treatment to correct the jaw’s position.
- Medication to give you relief as the joints heal.
- Physical therapy exercises to strengthen the jaw.

In rare cases, dental surgery may be required to either get a better look at the cause of the jaw pain (arthroscopy) or to replace the joints.

Preventing Jaw Pain
You can take actions at home to prevent problems with jaw pain in the future. Consider these simple suggestions:

- Avoid opening your mouth too wide (as you may do when shouting).
- Stop grinding your teeth at night by wearing a night guard to bed, which are available at your dentist’s office.
- Eat healthy foods that promote bone health, like dairy and dark leafy greens.

Call for Help with Jaw Pain
You don’t have to continue to struggle with jaw pain. Call Progressive Dental Solutions for Sleep and TMJ in Pittsburgh at (724) 942-5630 to schedule an appointment and get the treatment you need.