There are several possible reasons why a person might experience jaw pain. This pain can manifest itself as stiffness, soreness, popping or a clicking sound when eating or talking and the pain can vary from mild to intense. Since you use your jaw almost constantly, any pain whatsoever is going to disrupt your normal daily routine.
Before you can have jaw pain treated, you first need to determine what’s causing the pain and then visit your dentist for an appropriate corresponding course of treatment. A few of the more common reasons cited for jaw pain include:
A bad bite. When your teeth are not properly aligned, your jaw will move unnaturally, putting pressure on your entire jaw region. If this problem is not treated, your jaw will go through some wear and tear over time. Also known as a malocclusion, the most appropriate treatment for this kind of problem is some form of orthodontic correction.
Trauma. If you lead an active lifestyle by playing contact sports, or you’re the victim of an unfortunate accident, your jaw can suffer trauma. The resulting swelling and misalignment of your jaw can produce intense pain when you bite down or talk. In some instances, the jaw does not even need to take a direct blow. If you are hit in the neck, shoulders or in other parts of your face and head, your jaw can also be damaged.
Clenching and grinding. Many times, without even being aware of it, people will grind and clench their teeth. Also known as bruxism, this can create tremendous pressure and strain on your jaw and teeth. It’s not uncommon to see this kind of behavior taking place when a person is asleep. Typically, it can be corrected over time by wearing a nightguard or by working to consciously reduce stress in your life.
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