There are many forms of dental discomfort and many different reasons for each one. For instance, if your tooth hurts, it might be damaged, or it might have developed a tooth infection. If you develop pain in your jaw, however, then the most likely reason is that something is inhibiting its proper function. Jaw dysfunction, known as TMJ disorder, can affect the joints and muscles that control your jaw movement. If they aren’t working right, then discomfort will be just one of the many signs.
Do they make noise?
Besides pain, another common symptom of TMJ disorder is popping/clicking sensations every time you open and close your jaw. TMJs stand for temporomandibular joints, and they’re located on either side of your face. To work properly, they have to move together. If they don’t, then one or both will have to shift when they move, causing the joints to pop in and out of place slightly.
Do they shift when your jaw opens/closes?
Even if they don’t pop, you might notice that your TMJs shift slightly when you bite and chew. Because it’s less obvious then popping, you can gauge if your TMJs are shifting by standing in front of a mirror and watching closely as you slowly open and close your jaw.
Do they unconsciously force your teeth together?
Since your jaw’s purpose is to control your bite, a common sign that it isn’t working properly is if they consistently force your teeth to grind together when you don’t intend to. Known as bruxism, chronic teeth-grinding can exacerbate your condition by damaging and wearing down your teeth, making it harder for your jaws to function properly.
TMJ Treatment Can Improve Your Jaw Function
In most cases of jaw pain, the cause is malfunctioning jaw joints, which your dentist can correct with customized TMJ treatment. To learn more, schedule an appointment by calling Lathrop Dental Center in Katy, TX at 832-437-3849. We proudly welcome patients and families from Katy, Fulshear, Weston Lakes, Simonton, Richmond, Rosenberg, Brookshire, Wallis, Orchard, Cypress, Sealy, Columbus, and all surrounding communities.