Discomfort in the jaw muscle or temporomandibular joint is often referred to as TMJ. This condition is diagnosed based on common symptoms such as popping, tenderness or swelling in the area. You may also notice alignment issues with your bite. While sometimes the cause is unknown, there are common triggers. Considered these five likely origins of your jaw pain.

• Facial Trauma

A major facial injury can occur during a car accident, altercation or other instance in which the face sustains a rough blow or whipping motion. During any of these occurrences, you may also experience a dislocated jaw or broken facial bone, which can damage the joint and cause further discomfort.

• Bruxism

Tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, can also damage the disc of cartilage that cushions the jaw joint. This may be a daytime habit or something that occurs during sleep, causing constant irritation and swelling in the area.

• Jaw Clenching

Similarly, clenching the surrounding muscles puts pressure on the joint and can lead to inflammation and discomfort. Many individuals respond to daytime stress with jaw clenching, while others experience this issue while asleep. Specialized mouth guards worn at night can alleviate some of the strain.

• Medical Conditions

Both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis can lead to jaw problems and facial pain. Whether due to normal aging, or a medical condition, arthritic jaw pain may be alleviated with medication or home exercises. Connective tissue disorders or localized infections may also lead to TMJ.

• Skeletal Variations

Some individuals are more prone to TMJ due to skeletal variations or abnormalities, which can be identified and treated by a trained dentist in Chandler, AZ.

Schedule an Appointment Today

If you are suffering from jaw pain or facial discomfort, seek the help of an experienced dentist and ask about treatment options that will address the underlying cause. Call Dr. William Walden today to discuss proven treatment techniques that can bring you relief.