Many Types of Jaw Pain
Jaw pain comes in many forms, and people with TMJ often experience more than one. Jaw pain commonly associated with TMJ includes:
- Muscle Soreness
- Joint Aches
- Stinging, sharp nerve pain
In keeping with the complicated nature of TMJ, these types of jaw pain often — but not always — overlap with other symptoms that are related to the cause of it.
Jaw Muscle Soreness
The most common form of jaw pain in TMJ is jaw muscle soreness. The good news about jaw muscle soreness is that it tends to be associated with mild and early stage TMJ, so it’s likely that temporary, noninvasive treatment options, such as massage, including TENS massage, might be all that’s necessary.
However, this type of jaw pain is often associated with tension headaches and worn teeth. And if left untreated, the effects can spread beyond the muscles to impact the jaw joint.
Jaw Joint Aches
In many cases of TMJ, the temporomandibular joint itself is affected. It may be affected by stretching and pulling at an unnatural angle on the ligaments of the joint, which can lead to a mild ache. Irritation of the jaw joint can lead to swelling, which is uncomfortable.
Sometimes the jaw joint’s cushioning disk is displaced, causing popping or clicking and irregular motion of the jaw joint. This can be painful because of the way tissues have to stretch to allow the cushioning disk out. And with the disk out of place, the ligament behind the disk is forced to act as the disk itself, something that it is not capable of doing, which means that the pressure can cause pain.
Nerve Pain in the Jaw
With irregular motion of the jaw, tissues that are supposed to be clear of the motion of the jaw’s components can be impinged. When nerves are put under pressure, you can experience many types of pain, but the sharp, stinging, electric pain is one of the most common. You might not experience pressured nerves as pain. You may experience it as tingling or numbness. When the nerve from the ear is pressured, you might experience tinnitus or dizziness. When the trigeminal nerve or its branches are pressured, you might experience migraine headaches.
Jaw Pain Relief
No matter what the type of jaw pain, you’re experiencing, TMJ treatment can help. By relieving muscle tension and creating regular jaw motions that foster the healthy position of the jaw joint, TMJ treatment can create a comprehensive relief for your TMJ symptoms, including jaw pain.
To learn whether TMJ treatment can help you, please call (201) 343-4044 or email the River Edge Dental Center for TMJ, Sleep Apnea, & Reconstructive Dentistry for an appointment.