How Do Dentists Help Patients With Jaw Pain?
No matter what its source is, pain can be distracting. It can be especially troublesome when it keeps you from speaking and eating properly, such as with jaw pain. Dentists can help patients experiencing toothaches, but they can also help patients who suffer from sore jaws. Here are four ways that your dentist can help you get relief from your jaw pain:
1. Restorative Treatments
The right treatment for your jaw ache depends on its source. In some cases, jaw pain is the result of tooth decay. For example, severely decayed teeth can sometimes create infections in the mouth, which can affect the soft tissue and jaw. Treating the source of your infection can help you find relief. Dentists can treat ongoing infections with oral antibiotics. They can also perform root canals to clean bacteria out of the root chambers of infected teeth.
2. Orthodontic Treatment
Jaw pain can also be caused by misaligned teeth and jaws. Orthodontic treatment allows dentists to realign patients' teeth and jaws to improve their aesthetics and comfort. Your dentist may choose to refer you to an orthodontist if you wish to treat your orthodontic problems with traditional braces. However, patients can also choose clear aligners, such as Invisalign, which many dentists can prescribe. Orthodontic treatment can help you to bite and chew more comfortably, which can eliminate your jaw pain.
3. Custom Nightguards
You may grind your teeth at night without even realizing it; this is called bruxism. If you wake up in the morning with a tense, sore jaw, you may be clenching or grinding your teeth while you sleep. Your dentist can help you figure out if this is the source of your jaw pain by performing a dental exam. People who grind their teeth often show signs of wear and tear on their tooth enamel.
It's important to treat nighttime bruxism since it can damage teeth over time, in addition to causing jaw aches. Your dentist can have a custom nightguard made for you. This is a mouthpiece designed to be worn while you sleep to lessen the pressure placed on your teeth and jaw.
4. Dental Work Adjustment
Finally, your jaw pain may be caused by dental work that doesn't fit in your mouth quite right. Cavities and dental crowns that are too high can cause an uneven bite, which can lead to jaw pain over time. Your dentist can use contact paper to find the source of the problem and then adjust your dental work to increase your comfort.
Talk to your dentist today to learn more.