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Diagnose causes of jaw pain at the dentist

The jaw is one of those facial areas that often get taken for granted despite the fact that it provides a number of useful functions - from the ability to talk to chewing. It is for these and other health reasons that we encourage patients not to ignore jaw pain and to consult with a dentist in Egham.

Pain and discomfort are the quickest signals that indicate that something is not quite right in the body, but determining the cause of the pain is not so easy. This is especially so with jaw pain that can have a few surprising causes which is why a visit to a dentist in Egham is necessary. As there are a number of vital functions the jaw performs on a daily basis, problems can arise from numerous causes including facial injury, parafunctional habits and orthodontic issues to stress and disease.


Our dentist in Egham will perform a thorough oral exam to discover where the problem lies. Some patients may require dental X-rays for a more in-depth evaluation.


Causes of jaw pain


1. Stress


Stress can lead to patients developing parafunctional habits. These habits are described as using teeth for purposes other than their intended functions of chewing and eating. A classic example of which is grinding or clenching one’s teeth, also referred to as bruxism. Why is the condition a cause for concern? The act of clenching creates tension or stress on facial structures (teeth, muscle, and ligaments) that result in jaw pain in addition to other dental concerns such as damaging teeth.


2. Orthodontic problems


Misaligned teeth – when the upper and lower jaws are not aligned properly – can cause not only pain and discomfort in various parts of the body (head, shoulders, back and neck), but also difficulties in proper mouth functioning. Fortunately there is a wide range of orthodontic treatments available to help patients address this particular issue.


3. Common dental issues


Patients may be surprised to learn that jaw pain may be a symptom of a wider range of dental problems. The progression of plaque build-up into the deeper dentin layers of the tooth, impacted wisdom teeth and gum problems and infection are all known to cause jaw pain. None of these problems should go untreated as they can have serious consequences for the patient.


4. Traumatic facial injury


A fall, a violent altercation, a motor vehicle accident or even being injured whilst playing a sport can result in bone fractures, muscle spasms, gum injury or dislocation of the joints. It is always advised that patients who have injured their face have their mouths examined by a professional dentist. Sometimes injuries to the mouth structures are not easily identified by other than a qualified dental practitioner.


5. Other health problems


Sometimes health problems like sinus infections and the common cold can result in jaw pain. This is just another indicator that oral and general health are intertwined and that as important as overall well-being is, so too is taking steps to ensure good dental health.


Treating jaw pain can help patients look, feel and even sleep better. Have you been suffering from jaw pain and need an experienced dental practitioner to diagnose the cause and provide a treatment plan? Contact us at Stoneylands Dental Practice today to schedule an oral examination.