Jaw pain is a very common dental concern that we treat in our Marrero, LA dentist office. People often forget to mention their jaw pain during their routine consultations; however, it’s important to remember that we can help you with all things related to your teeth, gums, and jawbone. Because your jawbone directly impacts your dental health, we are happy to consult with you about managing your jaw pain and finding the underlying cause of your symptoms. Here are some suggestions we have about managing your jaw pain:
Many people suffer from jaw pain because they unintentionally clench their jaw together throughout the day. It is common to hold a lot of tension in your jaw, especially if you are under extensive amounts of stress or anxiety. You may even notice yourself grinding your teeth together to self-soothe. Teeth grinding and jaw clenching wear down your jaw joints and facial muscles, causing unintended amounts of pressure and eventually leading to pain. To prevent this from occurring as often, remember to practice mindfulness. Leave yourself notes around your workspace, or set periodic reminders from your phone to take a break and relax your jaw. You may even benefit from doing some gentle jaw exercises to release any tension you are holding there.
Avoid Crunchy Foods
When your jaw joints are inflamed and overworked, the worst thing you can do is add impact to it by eating crunchy foods. When you experience jaw pain, try to eat only soft foods until the pain subsides. Additionally, try not to chew gum throughout the day as this will also cause stress to your jaw joints. Softer, smile-friendly snacks include yogurt, cheese, or fruit smoothies. These snacks will not only be delicious but will also require less work for your jawbone. If your diet includes a lot of crunchy foods, it may help you evaluate when you eating the crunchy foods and how often. You may want to take an over-the-counter pain reliever to help you reduce pain in your jaw following a crunchy snack or meal.
Talk To Your Dentist
Experiencing frequent jaw pain, tension headaches, or earaches outside of the dental office is a sign that you may have a TMJ disorder. Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD), commonly known as TMJ, can significantly affect your quality of life. Many patients are unable to focus on work or schooling because their jaw pain is so severe. Fortunately, our doctors have the training and experience needed to help you manage your TMJ disorder.
Depending on the complexity of the condition, one or several treatments may be necessary to correct the instability and repair any damage to teeth or gums that could be contributing to your jaw pain. TMJ treatment commonly includes oral appliance therapy such as a splint or mouth guard and occlusal equilibration to ensure proper contact of the upper and lower teeth.
If you suspect you are suffering from a TMJ disorder, the best thing to do is to contact our office. From there, we will work with you to come up with a plan to manage your symptoms and prevent future pain or discomfort.