Jaw pain or Facial pain
Many adults suffer from chronic jaw and facial pain. Some common symptoms include pain in or around the ear, tenderness of the jaw, pain when biting, or headaches. Many things can cause facial pain, which can make it difficult to diagnose and treat. Your dentist will conduct a thorough exam, which may include X-rays, to determine the cause of the pain.
Possible causes of jaw pain or facial pain include:
- sinus problems
- tooth grinding/Bruxism
- periodontal disease
A sinus infection (sinusitis) can cause a toothache. The pain in the upper back teeth is a fairly common symptom of sinus conditions. The sinuses are pairs of empty spaces in your skull connected to the nasal cavity. If you have sinusitis, the tissues in those spaces become inflamed, often causing pain.
Toothache occurs from inflammation of the central portion of the tooth called the pulp. The pulp contains nerve endings that are very sensitive to pain. Inflammation to the pulp or pulpitis may be caused by dental cavities, trauma, and infection. Referred pain from the jaw may cause you to have symptoms of a toothache.
Bacteria can enter the innermost part of the tooth through either a deep cavity or a chip or crack in your tooth. The resulting infection and inflammation can cause an abscess at the tip of the root. A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus that’s caused by a bacterial infection.
Arthritis can affect the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) that opens and closes the mouth, sometimes making it painful to open and close your mouth. Different oral Infections can also occur: Bacterial infections can cause swelling around your tooth or over the jaw, severe pain, fever, and swollen nodes around your jaw
Traumatic dental injuries often occur as a result of an accident or sports injury. The majority of these injuries are minor – chipped teeth. It’s less common to dislodge your tooth or have it knocked completely out but these injuries are more severe. Treatment depends on the type, location, and severity of each injury.
Bruxism/ Tooth grinding
Bruxism (BRUK-siz-um) is a condition in which you grind, gnash or clench your teeth. If you have bruxism, you may unconsciously clench your teeth when you’re awake (awake bruxism) or clench or grind them during sleep (sleep bruxism). Sleep bruxism is considered a sleep-related movement disorder
Periodontitis is gum disease. It is a chronic inflammatory disease that is triggered by bacterial microorganisms and involves a severe chronic inflammation that causes the destruction of the tooth-supporting apparatus and can lead to tooth loss. It can also lead to other health problems.
Your dentist’s plan for treatment will depend on the source of your facial pain, but recommendations may include:
- mouth protector
- muscle relaxants
- anti-inflammatory drugs
- root canal therapy
- periodontal treatment
If you suffer from jaw pain or facial pain, speak with your dentist or physician for diagnosis and treatment.