Considering you need to use your jaws to talk, chew, and swallow, it’s not surprising that even a little jaw discomfort can cause a lot of disruption in your life. Getting to the root of your jaw pain is the first step in treatment, and that means finding a dentist with substantial experience in diagnosing and treating pain involving your jaw joint.
For patients in Oakland, California, Pacific Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Center is the natural choice for state-of-the-art jaw pain treatment. A leading oral and maxillofacial surgeon, Brandon Kang, DDS, is skilled in identifying the underlying cause of your jaw pain and in tailoring treatment to relieve your pain and improve your joint function.
If you’re having persistent or chronic jaw pain, ignoring it only allows the underlying issue to get worse. Prompt treatment is the best way to feel better fast and prevent more serious issues. Here are four jaw pain issues you don’t want to ignore.
A temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ or TMD) is a common cause of persistent jaw pain. A TMJ disorder happens when your jaw joint becomes irritated and inflamed, usually as the result of a bite balance problem.
When your bite is misaligned, it puts extra stress and strain on your jaw joint, creating an imbalance every time you bite or chew. In addition to jaw pain, you might have jaw fatigue, headaches, or popping noises when you chew or talk.
A temporomandibular joint disorder doesn’t get better on its own, but there are TMJ treatments that can help. Depending on the underlying cause of your TMJ disorder, Dr. Kang might recommend replacing missing teeth, undergoing orthodontic treatment, repairing damaged teeth, or other treatments aimed at repairing your bite and jaw joint. Sometimes, jaw surgery is the best solution.
When you think about a jaw fracture, you probably think about major fractures that happen from a car accident, a fall, or a fistfight. But you can have tiny jaw fractures too — so tiny, they’re called hairline fractures.
Hairline fractures can cause persistent jaw pain, along with jaw stiffness and joint dysfunction. Your jaw might feel like it slides to one side when you open your mouth, and you might have more significant pain when you bite or chew.
Hairline fractures often heal on their own with conservative treatment. Prompt evaluation is critical to prevent the fracture from widening and causing more problems.
Infections are another cause of chronic jaw pain. In this case, the pain often worsens over time as your infection spreads. You’ll probably have a fever, along with swelling and tenderness in your jaw area.
Most jaw infections begin as infections in your tooth. When a cavity or deep tooth infection isn’t treated or when treatment is unsuccessful in removing all the bacteria, the infection can spread into your jawbone. Sometimes, the infection is still in your tooth, but it’s deep enough to cause pain in your jaw.
Most jaw infections respond well to antibiotic therapy. If the infection is in your tooth, Dr. Kang can treat it with root canal therapy or other treatments. Again, early treatment is important to kill the germs causing your infection so it doesn’t spread to other parts of your body.
Jaw pain isn’t just annoying. It’s your body’s way of letting you know there’s a problem that needs medical attention. Ignoring it allows that underlying problem to worsen and potentially cause lifelong problems with your joint.
If you’re suffering with persistent jaw pain, don’t delay your care. Book an appointment with Dr. Kang online or over the phone today.