We eat and talk every day, so our jaws have to move a lot. While this is normal and healthy, overuse or misuse of the jaw joints can cause pain or dysfunction. It’s important to be aware of the signs that indicate you should visit a jaw pain specialist to prevent any long-term damage.
1. Popping or Clicking Jaw
If you hear any popping, clicking, or grinding noises coming from your jaw when you open or close your mouth, you should consult a jaw pain specialist. It’s a common symptom of TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder; the most common cause of jaw pain. According to Cleveland Clinic, TMJ dysfunction is most common in people between the ages of 20 to 40, so don’t hesitate to seek medical attention if you’ve been experiencing this symptom.
2. Muscle Tenderness
If you feel muscle pain around the jaw and neck region, your TMJ joint is likely inflamed. It’s common to feel soreness in the morning, after eating or chewing, though it can also happen in other situations. Try eating soft foods that don’t require much chewing until you can visit a pain specialist.
3. Unusual Jaw Movements
Does your jaw lock or feel as if it’s stuck in place? Does it shift to one side when you open your mouth wide or move forward and back on its own? A visit to an experienced jaw pain specialist is the first step to relief.
4. Chronic Headache
If you experience regular headaches that start in the face or temple area, it could be a sign of TMJ disorder. This type of headache is usually accompanied by neck or shoulder pain and can become more frequent if left untreated. It can be difficult to pinpoint the cause of a chronic headache, so seeking professional care is vital to treatment.
5. Tooth Sensitivity
The pressure on the jaw joint can cause your teeth to become sensitive. You’ll feel that sense especially when eating or drinking hot or cold beverages. It happens because the joint is misaligned and puts strain on your teeth.
Jaw pain can cause a great deal of discomfort, but it’s important to identify the symptoms and seek professional help. If you experience any of the above signs, visit a jaw pain specialist to prevent any long-term damage and get the treatment you need. Contact TMJ Care today with any questions you may have about how we can help you.