Jaw pain varies in its severity as well as in its causes. While the jaw may slightly ache for some, it can also throb with severe pain for others. Causes for pain in the jaw vary from dental causes to systemic issues, highlighting the value of getting an accurate diagnosis as soon as the problem appears. Here is a deeper look at jaw pain, what causes it and how it is treated by our Houston dentist.
Causes of Pain in the Jaw
TMJ, dental problems, and osteomyelitis are among the more common causes of pain in the jaw. TMJ, also called temporomandibular joint disorder, involves pain and often debility in the jaw joints. Causes of TMJ include teeth grinding, bite irregularities, and arthritis. Dental problems linked to pain in the jaw include tooth decay, cracked teeth, and tooth wear. All of these issues can breach the enamel that protects the teeth, allowing bacteria into the pulp, where an infection can develop. Osteomyelitis is an infection that can enter the jaws through the blood stream. Finally, heart problems can manifest in the jaws by way of referred pain, in which the site of discomfort is not the site of the cause.
Treating Pain in the Jaw
The right treatment for jaw pain at our office in Houston depends on what is causing the pain. For example, TMJ may be treated in a variety of ways, such as with oral appliances, muscle relaxants, and local steroid injections, depending on its cause. When an infected tooth is the reason for pain, treatment may require a root canal or an extraction based on whether the tooth can be saved. Osteomyelitis is treated with antibiotics. If no dental causes for a painful jaw can be found in an exam, referral to a physician may be offered to determine if non-dental problems are involved.
Jaw pain can happen for several reasons, and an exam is important to find out the cause. After doing so, our dentist in Houston can recommend an appropriate treatment. Patients can contact Dr. Nazari to learn more about the causes and treatments for jaw pain.
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