Jaw Pain and Management

There are a variety of reasons why people suffer from jaw pain. Your Westmount dentist can help you discover what is causing your pain and provide treatment to give you some relief.

What is TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a joint that’s located where the lower part of the skull meets the upper portion of the lower jaw. This joint allows the opening, closing and sideways movement of the jaw. TMJ disorders (TMD) are common, and can be quite painful when the joint, ligaments, tendons, and muscles become sore or inflamed.

Symptoms of TMD

Symptoms can range from mild to severe and include:

  • Pain or soreness in your jaw, face, neck and shoulders
  • Toothaches or tooth sensitivity
  • Earaches
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Pain when you chew or speak
  • Trouble opening your mouth wide
  • A locked jaw
  • Clicking or popping sounds in your jaw
  • A misaligned bite
  • Swollen cheeks

Causes of TMD

The precise cause of TMJ disorders can be challenging to determine. Pain and other symptoms can be affected by a number of factors, such as jaw injury, arthritis in the joint, bruxism (clenching and grinding your teeth), an improper bite and even genetics. If you’re experiencing symptoms of TMD, seeing your Westmount dentist is important to ensure you receive proper diagnosis and treatment.

Treatment of TMJ Disorders

The pain and associated with TMD is usually temporary and can be managed with a combination of non-surgical treatments, including applying moist heat & ice, eating a soft diet, practicing stress management techniques and using anti-inflammatory medicines or muscle relaxers. If these types of conservative measures have failed, jaw surgery may be an option.

Treatment of Bruxism

If you grind or clench your teeth, your Westmount dentist can create a custom-made bite splint, sometimes called a night guard, which can relieve TMJ pain and protect your teeth. Although many people grind their teeth at night, this convenient mouth guard can be worn anytime. Investing in a night guard can prevent your teeth from wearing, breaking or cracking and help you avoid other costly and often painful dental problems.