No one wants to deal with a toothache, especially if it affects not just the tooth, but the surrounding jaw tissue, making it difficult to chew, speak, and smile. Tooth pain in the jaw could cause headache, changes in ear pressure, and sensitivity, among other symptoms. Suffering from facial discomfort could put a real damper on your summer plans or make going back to school even more difficult. Unfortunately, there are many reasons people suffer from tooth pain in the jaw. The good news, however, is that Houston, TX dentist Dr. Craig Armstrong can help you identify the source of your discomfort so you can relieve it. Read on to learn the top four causes of tooth pain in the jaw so you can better understand your discomfort and quickly alleviate it.
1. Severe decay.
If plaque and tartar (the hardened form of plaque) are allowed to accumulate on your teeth, the bacteria within them can produce acids that erode your enamel, exposing the inner workings of your teeth and causing discomfort. This aching sensation can spread throughout the jaw, especially if caries allow bacteria to penetrate the tooth’s inner pulp (blood vessels, nerves, and tissue) and cause infection. In some cases, tooth decay could even lead to an abscess, a pus-filled pocket of infection above or below the tooth, making the jaw sore. Dr. Armstrong can help you treat this type of jaw pain by placing a filling or performing root canal therapy as needed.
2. TMJ disorder.
Your TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is the band of tissue that connects your temples with your lower jaw. Basically, it acts as a hinge for your face, allowing you to open, close, and move your mouth properly. If your TMJ gets torn, stretched, misaligned, or injured in any way, this can cause TMJ disorder, a condition associated with the following symptoms:
- A popping, clicking, or scraping sound when moving the jaw
- Jaw soreness in one or both sides
- Lockjaw (difficulty opening the mouth)
If you suffer from TMJ disorder, Dr. Armstrong will gear your customized treatment plan according to the specific root cause of your condition. He may recommend a mouth guard, oral medications to relax the tissues, stress management techniques, or, in serious cases, oral surgery to remedy your TMJ disorder.
3. Oral trauma.
An injury to your face could cause tooth pain in your jaw. Oral trauma could crack, chip, or fracture your tooth. It could also irritate or damage your periodontal tissue. In addition, depending on the type of injury, it could dislodge or misalign your jaw. If you’ve suffered from a dental injury, Dr. Armstrong can see you for an emergency appointment to assess your mouth and prescribe an appropriate treatment to restore your oral health.
4. Wisdom tooth issues.
Wisdom tooth problems often cause tooth pain in the jaw. Third molars typically come in between the ages of 16 and 25. However, these back teeth often do not grow in at an appropriate angle or have enough room to develop properly. The eruption process can cause jaw soreness. In addition, wisdom teeth often become decayed, infected, or misaligned, causing further toothache. If your wisdom teeth are causing dental issues, Dr. Armstrong can remove them to alleviate any discomfort and improve your oral health.
We Can Help Alleviate Tooth Pain in the Jaw
No matter the cause of your tooth pain in the jaw, experienced Houston, TX dentist Dr. Armstrong can assist you. Contact us today to learn more about our treatment options or schedule a consultation.