Teeth grinding, jaw clenching, and habits like that are all good ways to develop pain in your jaw. Over time that pain can become pretty regular, leading to temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD. Those common causes aren’t exactly a mystery, but they aren’t the only way you end up with TMD.
We see a lot of patients with different kinds of jaw pain at Overmeyer Family Dental, and luckily we’re able to treat them. If you’ve been wondering about pain in your jaw and have thought it might be TMJ-related then you’ve come to the right place. We want to talk about the less common causes of TMD today.
All those tough punches and kicks can still cause jaw trouble – even when wearing facial protection. The constant impacts of martial arts have lead to many people needing treatment for jaw pain. When your jaw joint is jostled and moved repeatedly it can cause damage to the cartilage that cushions your jaw, leading to an arthritis-like ache. This often extends to the muscles in the face, neck, and head and can be persistently painful.
It’s important for any high-impact sport to include mouthguards and protective gear. If you’re a martial artist or boxer who doesn’t wear headgear or a mouthguard you need to consider using both. They’ll prevent injuries to your face, brain, and your mouth!
Even if it was a small jaw fracture years ago you can still end up with TMJ pain years down the road. When your bone breaks it can heal one of two ways: either it’s set properly and heals in the exact same shape, or there’s the smallest imperfection in the way it’s left to heal, leading to a change in the shape of the bone. In most cases, such as an arm or other large bone, this won’t be much of a problem. If your jaw is even slightly changed it can lead to serious damage to the joint.
Your jaw was meant to fit with your skull in a very exact way. When the cartilage cushions and bone don’t line up precisely you have a serious problem that will only get worse with time.
Stress And Anxiety
If you think about it this connection makes a lot of sense. Stress and anxiety both lead to jaw pain because people suffering from them tend to clench their jaws and grind their teeth. Over time the constant stress on your teeth and jaw won’t just lead to tooth problems – you’ll have pretty serious jaw joint pain as well.
Just like many other causes of TMJ pain, stress and anxiety are best treated with a mouthguard that we craft at our Orlando dentist office. We’re sure we can find a solution that prevents and manages your discomfort!
Treatment At Overmeyer Family Dental
Living with pain in your jaw can be devastating. You’ll lose sleep due to pain, feel fatigued during the day, and could experience serious conditions like lockjaw and arthritis. We want to help you prevent your TMD from ever progressing that far, which we can do with protective nighttime mouthguards.
We use mouthguard and oral appliance treatment as the first line of protection against TMJ pain. By taking an impression of your mouth and building a soft guard you wear at night you’ll probably find a lot of relief. Many patients who suffer from TMD have found complete relief of their symptoms with our mouthguards.
In some extreme cases jaw surgery or other treatments may be necessary, but those cases are incredibly rare. We’ll probably be able to solve your problem in just a couple of appointments!
Don’t Wait For Relief!
The most important part of treating TMJ pain is to do so now. The longer you wait the worse the pain will become, and the harder it will be to treat easily. By seeing us now you could be preventing a lot of pain later on.