If you have never had a little pain in your jaw count yourself lucky. Jaw pain can go from simply irritating to totally unbearable. Much of this depends on the cause. Many different things can cause jaw pain and most can be fixed and are not life threatening.
However, jaw pain should never be ignored because some of the causes can lead to very serious health problems. We can divide jaw pain into two different categories; a dental cause or a medical cause.
What Are the Dental Causes of Jaw Pain?
If you grind or clench your teeth you will probably experience jaw pain at some point. As a matter of fact, the jaw pain may be the only thing that alerts you to the fact that you are grinding or clenching your teeth. Many people do this only at night. If you are a “grinder” we can tell by the wear patterns on your teeth.
This may sound funny, but if you open your mouth too wide you may experience jaw pain. It isn't serious, just take a smaller bite of that big sandwich. What is serious is jaw pain that is a result of gum disease, cavities, damaged teeth, and abscesses. All of these dental issues must be handled on a timely basis or they can lead to worse health problems.
What Are Medical Causes of Jaw Pain?
Many medical problems can cause jaw pain. We can start with the most common medical causes and this would be the various types of tension headaches. Believe it or not, all headaches are not the same. Cluster and migraine headaches are debilitating and can cause jaw pain as well as a headache.
Other medical problems are osteoarthritis, sinus problems, vascular pain associated with the arteries located near your head and neck, and osteomyelitis which an infection that affects the bones. If you experience jaw pain come and see us. We can correct your dental problems or rule them out if they are not the cause.