Jaw and joint problems can lead to considerable discomfort when you yawn, chew, and speak. Many of these problems are associated with the temporomandibular joint, which is the intersection of your upper and lower jaws. There is a temporomandibular joint on each side of your face, and one or both sides can develop symptoms that require treatment for reduction of pain and restoration of your range of motion.
Symptoms of Jaw and Joint Problems
Jaw and joint problems manifest a variety of symptoms. You may notice clicking or popping when you open your jaws wide during a yawn. The sides of your face may feel tender, and you may have difficulty with moving your jaws side to side and up and down.
Causes of Jaw and Joint Problems
There are many possible causes of jaw and joint problems. Arthritis may cause a loss of cartilage in the joint. Tooth grinding, or bruxism, is another common cause of joint problems in the jaws. You could be grinding your teeth at night while you sleep without even realizing it. Malocclusion may also cause jaw and joint problems. Dislocation, a facial or head injury, or stress may also cause jaw problems.
Your dentist will begin with conservative treatment options for jaw and joint problems. You may be directed to eat a soft foods diet to reduce jaw activity. Muscle relaxants and pain relievers may also help you to manage your symptoms. Physical therapy can help you to learn some exercises to stretch and relax your jaw muscles. Your dentist may also recommend a customized oral splint to wear at night for reducing grinding.
Contact Kesteven Dental Care Studio today to learn more about treatment options for jaw and joint problems.