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Jaw pain: causes, symptoms and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

 jaw pain corresponds to a temporomandibular disorder and usually be caused by a problem in the muscles and joints of the mandible or the fibrous tissue that connects said joints. In addition to the pain that appears in the jaw itself, people who suffer from it also have pain in the head and discomfort to the touch of the muscles involved in the chewing process.

The doctor or dentist can diagnose the cause of this pain by simple examination, or by performing diagnostic imaging tests. It is vitally important to know what factors are intervening in this pain, to treat it as soon as possible. In FastlyHealwe tell you what are the causes, symptoms and treatment of jaw pain so that you know this condition in detail.

Causes of jaw pain

The main causes that lead to pain in the jaw are the following:

  1. muscular overload , as a result of the misalignment of the upper and lower dental arches, the lack of teeth, a blow to the head or neck, excess stress or sleep disorders. This pain and contracture in the jaw muscles can also have its origin in bruxism, an alteration that consists of grinding or clenching the teeth at night due to stress or a sleep disorder. Muscle pain and tension are more common in women, mainly affecting those in their twenties and those who are in the menopausal stage.
  2. change in the position of the inner disc of the temporomandibular joint, which is located anterior to its normal position. This disc moves when the jaw muscles are in a state of spasm, this alteration occurs in people who have abnormalities in the jaw or who have arthritis in this joint.
  3. Arthritis in the temporomandibular joint due to osteoarthritis, infectious arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or trauma that causes bleeding inside the joint from a blow to the side of the chin.
  4. Ankylosis , due to decrease or lack of mobility of the joint.
  5. Joint hypermobility .

Symptoms of jaw pain

When we suffer from jaw pain , as a general rule we have several of the symptoms that we cite below:

  • Headache
  • Sensitivity to pressure of the chewing muscles
  • Locking or popping of the joints, with pain occurring in the vicinity of the affected joint
  • Pain and stiffness in the neck, which can radiate up to the arms
  • Dizziness and blockage in the ears
  • Sleep disorders
  • Difficulty opening your mouth fully

Diagnosis of jaw pain

The diagnosis of jaw pain is simple and the doctor or dentist can recognize a temporomandibular condition by knowing the patient’s medical history and performing a physical examination. However, to ascertain the cause of this jaw pain, other diagnostic methods are usually used to complement the information of the physical examination.

  • Physical examination . This test consists of pressing on one side of the face or inserting the little finger inside the patient’s ear, gently pressing forward while the person opens and closes the jaw, thus detecting possible clicks. In addition, by palpating the chewing muscles, it will examine the patient for pain and can also check whether he can open his mouth completely without problems.
  • The doctor may perform other tests if an internal joint condition is suspected. The magnetic resonance nuclear is currently the most reliable method and employ physicians for assessing whether or not there is an internal joint condition.
  • If osteoarthritis is suspected when hearing a crackling noise or crackling noise when opening the mouth, an X-ray or CT scan will be used to confirm the diagnosis.
  • If there is inflammation around the joint, it is likely that there is infectious arthritis. To confirm this, the doctor can insert a needle into the temporomandibular joint to extract fluid by aspiration and then test for bacterial growth.

Treat jaw pain

The treatment of jaw pain is highly variable and, as we have seen, there are multiple causes that can cause it. Depending on the cause of this condition, the treatment of choice will be different.

  • Splint or mouth guard therapy , in people who clench or grind their teeth, this method helps them break this habit. The splint consists of a plastic that fits over the upper or lower denture and adjusts to allow a uniform bite.
  • Treatment with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to relieve pain, knowing that they cannot cure the disorder and must be taken for short periods of time.

Remember that if you feel any discomfort, excessive sensitivity or pain in the jaw area, you should immediately go to your doctor or dentist for a physical examination and in this way they can determine the cause of your condition.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Jaw pain: causes, symptoms and treatment , we recommend that you enter our Bones, Joints and Muscles category .

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