What Causes Jaw Pain?

Are you experiencing chronic pain or discomfort in your jaw and facial muscles? 

Chronic jaw pain or facial muscular tension is a condition known as TMD. This painful condition occurs when damage or stress impacts the function of the temporomandibular joint (the jaw joint).

Patients with TMD often complain of a range of symptoms including:

  • Jaw popping or clicking
  • Earaches
  • Daily headaches (primarily occurring in the morning)
  • Neck and back pain
  • Jaw pain
  • Numbness in the hands or fingers

The problem- there is no one single causes or solution for treating TMJ. Patients often suffer for many years with chronic pain and feel frustrated by the lack of resources for relief. Dr. Aubrey Myers has advanced training in the masticatory system and offers patients thorough analysis of the bite and jaw. Dr. Myers aims to pinpoint the underlying cause of the facial pain to provide treatment that will relieve the patients of their painful symptoms.

tmj pain emerald isle

Causes of Jaw Pain

Several factors could be causing pain in the face and jaw. From lifestyle habits to habitual teeth grinding, patients with TMJ can benefit from visiting their dentist to determine the exact cause of pain.

  1. Crooked teeth- Did you know that crooked teeth could cause jaw pain? Misaligned bites can create tension or even damage the jaw joint. For many patients realigning their crooked teeth relieves the jaw of added stress and discomfort. Dr.  Myers uses Invisalign clear aligners to bring alignment to the bite and straighten crooked teeth. Patients enjoy a straighter more visually appealing smile as an added benefit from reliving their jaw pain.
  2. Bruxism- Bruxism is a condition better known as teeth grinding. Many patients who have chronic jaw pain grind their teeth during their sleep. Teeth grinding can go undiagnosed for many years because the patient is unaware of their habit. For patients that grind their teeth while they sleep, Dr. Myers offers a custom fit oral sleep appliance to prevent grinding. The comfortable and discreet apparatus realign the jaw and protects teeth from wearing against each other while the patient sleeps. Patients typically feel relief from their jaw pain after only a few nights of use.
  3. Stress- Stress can cause patients to hold tension in their face and jaw region. Repeated clenching of the jaw and teeth can cause damage to the joint. Dr. Myers may recommend lifestyle changes to help patients relieve tension in their facial muscles. Exercise and therapeutic activities can alleviate tension in the jaw.