3 Potential Causes of Your Jaw Pain

TMJ Treatment Arlington HeightsDr. Engelberg is an experienced restorative dentist in Arlington Heights, IL. Do you frequently experience jaw pain, tension headaches, or earaches? If so, you may be dealing with a TMJ disorder. Learn three common causes of TMJ disorder development, as well as potential treatment options, below:

Missing Teeth

Missing teeth cause more than just cosmetic concerns. They also impact the overall functionality of your smile. When you are performing daily tasks like chewing or speaking, your teeth must work together to ensure you may do so effectively. If you are missing one tooth or several teeth, your remaining teeth must make up for this loss. This puts additional strain on your remaining dental structures, causing additional stress and tension not only on your teeth but also on your jaw joints. Over time, this overworking of your dental structures can lead to inflammation or damage to the temporomandibular joint, which is the main joint used when chewing or speaking. This commonly leads to the development of a TMJ disorder, requiring tooth replacement to restore your smile and your ability to chew and speak effectively without straining your facial muscles. Dr. Engelberg offers several tooth replacement options in our Arlington Heights dentist office.

Misaligned Bite Pattern

Orthodontic concerns like crooked teeth, overbite, underbite, or crossbite may also put too much strain on your dental structures over time. These kinds of concerns create unique pressure points within your smile that were not intended to be there. Pressure points occur when your teeth are meeting, or not meeting, where they are supposed to when you bite down. This may lead to the development of a TMJ disorder as well as worn down teeth or associated dental damages. Realigning your bite pattern can significantly decrease your risk of developing a TMJ disorder, and can help you reduce the occurrence of symptoms like tension headaches, earaches, and, of course, jaw pain. Dr. Engelberg offers Invisalign clear braces as an orthodontic treatment option in our Arlington Heights dentist office.

Teeth Grinding

Often, patients who experience jaw pain have a history of teeth grinding or jaw clenching. Whether you grind your teeth together in your sleep or clench your jaw when working under stress, these actions increase the amount of tension held in your jaw muscles throughout the day. To prevent teeth grinding, Dr. Engelberg may suggest the use of oral appliance therapy. An oral appliance, similar to a nightguard, can be created to hold your jaw in a healthier resting position while in use. Patients can wear their oral appliances at night while they sleep to prevent themselves from unconsciously grinding their teeth together. Additionally, the oral appliance can be worn during TMJ symptom flareups to hold your jaw in a healthier resting position, preventing joint inflammation. No matter what is causing your jaw pain, Dr. Engelberg offers TMJ treatment plans designed specifically for your smile’s unique needs. If you experience frequent jaw pain or tension headaches, schedule an appointment with Dr. Engelberg today.