There are a number of different underlying dental problems that can manifest as jaw pain; while you may not be able to tell exactly why this pain is occurring on your own, our Glendale dentists want to encourage you not to ignore it. Seeking prompt treatment for jaw pain can help you avoid more severe, and costly, dental health problems down the road.
Jaw pain may pop up due to:
- Increased stress, which causes dental grinding
- A misaligned bite
- Temporomandibular joint damage or inflammation
- A cavity near the back jaw
- Periodontal disease
When patients ignore these warning signs, they risk developing more serious damage as time goes on:
- Untreated TMJ problems often get worse over time. Some patients eventually have trouble opening their mouths all of the way or chewing comfortably. It is vital that your dentist assesses whether you’re dealing with underlying TMJ damage that needs to be addressed.
- The same misaligned bite that causes jaw discomfort can also cause your teeth to wear down prematurely and unevenly. When our bites are poorly aligned, we unconsciously change how we bite and chew in order to compensate. Unfortunately, this is hard on the dental enamel, and can lead to cracks and chips. This type of damage can also result from bruxism (chronic dental grinding), whether it is caused by a structural imbalance or stress.
- Cavities and periodontal disease do not go away on their own. Restorative treatment will stop the infection in its track, and repair damaged areas of your smile. When these types of infections are left untreated, they can spread to other teeth, gum tissue, and even the jawbone.
If you are experiencing jaw pain, think of it as a helpful warning sign or red flag; you know something is off with your smile, so now is the time to get the help you need! As always, you can contact our Glendale dentists to learn more, and to schedule a personal consultation.