Our San Diego chiropractic team put this page together to inform you on different types of jaw conditions and pains, symptoms associated with the injury and how to treat your diagnosis.
Life is meant to be enjoyed, meaning you should not have to live feeling any type of pain or discomfort on a daily basis. Specifically, if you are currently experiencing any type of jaw pain (e.g. temporomandibular joint dysfunction aka. TMJ), it could be beneficial to seek medical assistance in order for recover and relief to take place.
How jaw pain occurs
Jaw pain can result from a variety of actions, such as grinding your teeth or clenching/tightening your jaw, often resulting in the alignment of your teeth changing.
Other types of jaw pain can stem from inflammation, impact via violence or an accident, dislocation, or arthritis. In more extreme cases of jaw pain, an infection of the joint, cancer or birth defect may be responsible.
As stated above, there are different types of jaw pain, which can form from a variety of causes. Common types of jaw pain or discomfort include temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), as well as clicking and popping of the jaw, indicating the joint in the jaw is abnormal or misplaced.
If left unattended, jaw pain can affect the facial muscles, and cause discomfort in neck and shoulder joints. Furthermore, muscle spasms have also been known to take place. Pain is often at its worse when chewing, yawning or talking, and can erupt in the jaw, ear, face or scalp.
When the jaw becomes injured, dislocated or another type of condition has occurred, the results are often uncomfortable and painful. Symptoms of the condition can vary, but generally center around the following:
- Ear Pain (ringing in ears, hearing loss)
- Trouble Swallowing
- Emotional Distress
Some of these symptoms are prominent in other ailments or conditions, such as head pain or neck pain. Therefore, if you experience any of the symptoms listed above, and they fail to subside, you should schedule an appointment with your chiropractor or family physician to better assess your injury, and determine a diagnosis.
Due to the fact that a sore or injured jaw can be the direct result of genetics, arthritis or a specific injury, diagnosing the condition can often be difficult. Therefore, it is important to speak to a medical professional regarding your discomfort to not only determine its origin, but also how to treat it.
Fortunately, most jaw disorders and discomforts are temporary, and can be healed without surgery. Surgery is generally only used after all other treatment options have been pursued. Regardless, it's still recommended you speak with a medical professional before choosing any type of extreme healing measures.
If you're experiencing jaw pain, you can try to remedy the injury with the following types of treatment:
- Anti-inflammatory Medication
- Heat Packs
- Consume Soft Foods (avoid raw foods)
- Night guard
If the pain and discomfort fail to decrease, then the condition may be more serious. In this case, seek out a medical professional like a chiropractor to determine the severity of your injury, and how to properly treat it.
Enjoy a Healthy Life
At Your Healthy Spine, we fully understand how important it is to lead a healthy, pain-free life – we want to help you achieve this goal. You deserve to feel your absolute best. Whether you're seeking chiropractic, massage, acupuncture or naturopathy services, we offer a variety of skills and options to help ensure you're getting the most out of life and your body.