A painful jaw when chewing could be a sign of TMJ or Temporomandibular Jaw Disorder. Temporomandibular Jaw Disorder happens when the hinges of your jaws don’t work properly. These hinges are responsible for the movement of the jaws in different directions. While there is no single cure for TMJ, you can, however, understand the disorder so you can avoid the triggers.
There are many symptoms of TMJ. However, the ones below are the most common. When you visit your dentist for a consult, they would suggest running some X-rays to see how far the damage is and what the best treatment may be for you.
- Persistent Headaches
- Tenderness in the jaw
- Pain behind or below the ear
- A change in bite or malocclusion
- Pain brought about by yawning or chewing
There is no single cure for TMJ. However, dentists advise the following:
If the pain is persistent, you may take pain relievers or muscle relaxants
If you are a teeth grinder or suffer from Bruxism, wear your night guard. Wearing this device lessens the strain on your jaws.
Avoid clenching your teeth, doing so adds even more stress and pressure to the jaws.
The above steps aren’t a sure cure, but they may relieve you of the pain you feel. If none of the above work, your dentist may recommend a jaw joint surgery.
A jaw joint surgery is a combined effort between your dentist and surgeon. During which, the surgeon accesses the front of the ear to get into the joints of the jaw. The surgeon makes a small incision through the use of special instruments. This is the option for extreme cases, or if you don’t respond to non-surgical treatments.