Jaw pain can be uncomfortable and cause a throbbing sensation. Many Hendricks County residents may experience jaw pain a few times in their lives. The pain can be sudden, or start off mild and intensify over time.
To treat jaw pain, Dr. Jon Erickson of Danville Family Dentistry will need to identify the underlying issue first. Here are some causes of jaw pain to watch out for.
- Abscessed Tooth. Also called a periapical abscess, an abscessed tooth occurs when your tooth’s nerve is dead or dying. When bacteria enters at the root of your tooth or in between the gum and your tooth, an infection can occur, causing the area to swell with pus (a thick, yellowish fluid). If the pus can’t drain out, the area becomes more swollen and painful.
- Impacted Tooth. If your third molars don’t have enough room to emerge from your gums properly, they can become impacted – stuck within the gums. If the impacted tooth becomes infected or damages neighboring teeth, your gums may swell and become painful.
- Periodontitis. A severe form of gum disease, periodontitis is an infection in your gums that damages the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth.
- Teeth Grinding. One of the leading causes of jaw pain, teeth grinding occurs when Hendricks County residents clench their teeth while sleeping. Teeth grinding can lead to jaw pain or soreness. It can also make your jaw muscles feel tired or tight. The pain may feel like an earache, but there’s actually nothing wrong with your ear.
- Temporomandibular Disorder. Also known as TMD, this disorder affects the temporomandibular joint in your jaw. In addition to pain, your jaw may make a clicking sound when your open your mouth to talk or chew. In severe cases, TMD can cause your jaw to become permanently stuck in an open or closed position.
If you’re experiencing jaw pain, schedule an appointment at our Hendricks County office of Danville Family Dentistry. Dr. Erickson can help you determine what’s causing your jaw pain and how to treat it. By practicing good oral hygiene habits at home, you can reduce your risk of developing conditions that can lead to jaw pain.
Note: Jaw pain is one symptom of a heart attack. If you also experience central chest pain that radiates to the left arm, shortness of breath, excessive sweating, nausea, vomiting and/or dizziness, call 911 immediately.