Royal Oak and Birmingham, MI
Joint pain can ruin your day and make it difficult to function. You might think of this pain relating to your knees or elbows, but what about jaw joint pain? It might manifest as a sharp stab or a dull throb. Maybe you’re experiencing clicking sounds when you open and close your mouth. Perhaps there’s a ringing in your ears, facial swelling, or just general jaw and facial tenderness. Whatever the symptoms, the best way to relieve your jaw pain is to have the cause identified by a qualified medical professional. Dr. Nancy Hartrick has plenty of experience helping patients with jaw pain find relief in Birmingham and Royal Oak. That’s why she compiled this list of seven common reasons for jaw pain.
Reason 1: Temporomandibular Joint Disorder
Also known as TMJ disorder, this ailment occurs when the temporomandibular joint enters a state of dysfunction. Located right in front of your ear, this small, round joint helps control your jaws’ ability to open and close. When it malfunctions, it may affect your ability to chew, throw off the alignment of your bite, and can cause pain—often so severe that it impedes your ability to function on a daily basis. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, anywhere from 5-12 percent of the American population suffers from TMJ disorder. This is just an estimate because so many cases of the disorder go undiagnosed and untreated. That’s why you should go see a qualified neuromuscular dentist like Dr. Hartrick in Royal Oak.
Reason 2: Arthritis
As of 2015, there were approximately 54.4 million Americans living with some form of diagnosed arthritis. That represents 22.7 percent of the nation’s entire population. Whether you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, the end result is the same for the bones, tissues, and ligaments surrounding the joints affected by arthritis. This arthritis also can be the culprit behind a case of TMJ disorder, hindering jaw movement. If your arthritis is causing TMJ disorder, Dr. Hartrick can compose an appropriate treatment plan to help with your jaw pain.
Reason 3: Sinus Problems
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that almost 29 million American adults suffer from diagnosed sinusitis. Are you one of them? You might rely on an over-the-counter decongestant or even prescription medicine to manage your sinus trouble, but chronic sinusitis can cause pain in the jaw joints when the pressure builds.
Reason 4: Trauma
A blow or impact suffered to the face can cause pain and trauma. If this happens to you, you should consult a medical professional to ensure there’s been no lasting damage. Your dentist can help manage jaw pain from an injury by prescribing or recommending medications such as anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, antibiotics, or pain relievers.
Reason 5: Bruxism
The clinical term for grinding or clenching your teeth, bruxism affects about 15 percent of the American population. Most people who grind their teeth do so while asleep, so they never realize they’re engaging in a habit that could devastate their teeth due to the extra pressure exerted upon them. If your grinding is caused by stress, you can try to make lifestyle changes such as regular exercise and meditation to minimize your overall tension. Dr. Hartrick also can help by prescribing a custom-made oral appliance that protects your teeth against the wear and tear from bruxism.
Reason 6: Dental Problems
Have you been taking good care of your teeth? Several dental problems can lead to jaw pain: gum disease, cavities, and abscesses, for example. You also may experience jaw pain if you have a tooth that is broken, cracked, or chipped. Dr. Hartrick offers comprehensive dental care that can treat these issues and, with it, your jaw pain.
Reason 7: Dental Cavitation
This term refers to what occurs if a tooth is removed and the extraction site is not thoroughly cleaned. This can lead to cavitation, where remaining debris and ligaments create holes in the jawbone. This hinders your body’s ability to heal from a tooth extraction or a root canal, also leading to jaw pain.
Treating Jaw Pain in Detroit, Royal Oak, and Birmingham
No matter the cause of your jaw pain, Dr. Hartrick and her team of oral health professionals can help. She offers a wide array of services in the area of general dentistry, as well as treatment for TMJ disorder. To find out more, contact the office of Hartrick Dentistry today by calling (248) 549-0950 if you live in the areas of Birmingham and Royal Oak, Michigan.