When your jaws or teeth hurt when you bite down, chances are you may possibly have cracked teeth syndrome or TMJ (Temporomandibular joint disorder). Cracked Teeth and TMJ may exhibit similar pain and discomfort. When you feel that you have a painful jaw when chewing, you may want to visit your dentist so that tests can be done. These tests are most probably going to be X-rays and impressions of your mouth.
According to dentists, cracked teeth are usually caused by teeth grinding and other traumas in the mouth. The painful sensation may easily go away after you chew. Other symptoms of cracked teeth are sensitivity to temperature, sour and sweet food. Here are some added causes of cracked teeth that may also be the cause of a painful jaw when chewing:
- Teeth grinding
- Habitual chewing of hard food such as ice, hard candy, etc.
- Misalignment of teeth can cause cracked teeth due to uneven pressure when chewing
- Trauma to the mouth due to an accident
On the other hand, TMJ can also be a cause of a painful jaw when chewing. To assimilate the problem, you will have to visit your dentist. This is because your dentist will have to check whether the pain is due to a cracked tooth, or due to the inappropriate positioning of the hinges of your jaw. When you have TMJ, it means that the movement of your jaw is not well aligned. Your jaws move forward, backward and side to side. If there is any trouble with any of these movements, it usually causes a clicking sound. Sometimes, it also gives you a painful jaw.
Both disorders have quite similar signs and symptoms. It would be best for you to visit a nearby dental clinic for a consult.