4200 Columbia Rd, Martinez, GA 30907
706-868-1322

 

 

Does jaw pain keep you up at night or make eating an unpleasant experience? Our Augusta, GA, dentist, Dr. John Massey, provides jaw paininformation on common causes of jaw pain, including TMJ, and discusses ways to ease your pain.

Grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw while you sleep

Grinding and clenching stresses your jaw muscles and joints, causing pain and stiffness that may be worse in the morning. Although it's not always possible to determine the cause of grinding and clenching, stress, bite problems, drinking too much alcohol or sleep apnea may play a role.

An infection in your jaw or a tooth

Pain from an abscessed tooth can radiate to your jaw. Other signs of an abscess can include fever and swollen lymph nodes and gums. Osteomyelitis, an infection that affects your jawbone, can also be a source of jaw pain. Both infections require an emergency visit to our Augusta office to prevent the bacteria from spreading throughout your body.

Bite problems

You may have a bite problem if the teeth in your upper and lower jaws don't fit together properly when you close your mouth. It's possible to suffer from the issue even if your teeth aren't crooked.

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)

TMJ symptoms affect your jaw joints, muscles and ligaments. In addition to jaw pain, you may notice stiffness, difficulty opening or closing your mouth, clicking sounds or temporary locking of the jaw joint. TMJ doesn't just affect your jaw, but can also cause headaches, ear pain, and stiffness in the muscles of your neck and upper back. TMJ may be more likely to occur if you have a bite problem or grind or clench your teeth. Injuries and arthritis may also increase your risk of TMJ.

How is jaw pain treated?

Ice packs and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can be helpful no matter what the cause of your pain. If you're a grinder or a clencher, you can reduce stress on your jaw by wearing a nightguard at night. Nightguards are custom-made to fit your mouth and are worn over your bottom teeth.

Antibiotics are prescribled to treat bacterial infections of the teeth or jaw. Prescription pain medications may also be helpful if you have an infection or suffer from severe TMJ pain. If jaw pain is caused by a bite problem, orthodontic treatment to improve the alignment of your teeth may be recommended. TMJ symptoms can often be relieved by wearing an oral splint that repositions your jaw at night, reducing pain.

A visit to the dentist can put an end to your jaw pain. Call our Augusta, GA, dentist, Dr. Massey, at (706) 868-1322 to schedule your appointment.

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John D. Massey, DMD
4200 Columbia Road
Martinez, GA 30907

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