Jaw pain can be confusing for many people who develop it, especially if they don’t know why it’s occurring or why it won’t go away. For many people, jaw pain is an indication of a jaw dysfunction known as TMJ disorder, which directly affects the temporomandibular joints (TMJs) that are on either side of your jaw. When you develop TMJ disorder, these joints are unable to function properly, and chronic jaw pain can be one of several potential warning signs of it.
What it means to have TMJ disorder
Having TMJ disorder isn’t always the same problem for everyone who develops it. Unlike more common dental concerns, like tooth decay and gingivitis, TMJ disorder can mean different specific conditions, each of which involves some form of harm to one or both of your jaw’s joints. The problem is that, because the disorder can have different details for each patient, it can also have varying symptoms, making it more difficult to tell if you have TMJ disorder on your own. Before you mention it to your dentist, you may begin to experience a number of different symptoms because of it, including chronic jaw pain and, in many cases, difficulty with your bite’s overall function.
How the disorder could have developed
Because TMJ disorder can mean something different for everyone, it can also be challenging to pinpoint what your specific risk factors for its development may be. For instance, you might be unknowingly placing excessive amounts of pressure on your TMJ’s if you suffer from a chronic teeth-grinding habit, or bruxism. Or, you may be at risk for TMJ disorder because of a misalignment in your upper and/or lower teeth, which make it more difficult for your jaw to work properly.
Other signs that could indicate TMJ disorder
The development of chronic pain in your jaw is just one potential symptom that could warn you of TMJ disorder. Depending on the specifics of your disorder and the damage to your jaw joints, you might also experience one or more chronic aches and pains that can sometimes be associated with TMJ disorder. These can include frequent and increasingly worse headaches, migraines, pain and ringing in your ears, and more. If you notice these or other aches and pains in addition to your jaw discomfort, then they may be strong indications that you might have a form of TMJ disorder.
Learn if TMJ treatment can alleviate your jaw pain
If you experience chronic jaw pain along with one or more of these symptoms, then it may be a sign that you’re suffering from TMJ disorder. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Modern Smile in North Hollywood, CA, today at 818-763-9353. We also proudly serve patients who live in Burbank, Toluca Lake, and all surrounding communities.