Posted on 1/11/2021 by Andrew Horowitz, DMD, MD, FACS
Some of our patients wonder why their jaw hurts and come to us for an answer. After we assess some of their daily habits, it usually becomes clear why they continue to experience temporomandibular discomfort. It also gives us the foundation we need to start figuring out a treatment plan.
What Habits Cause the Jaw to Hurt?
When your jaw throbs or feels sore, it normally happens because of what you are eating, or the type of pressure you are exerting on your jaw. Therefore, before we recommend treatment options for jaw pain, we need to find out more about a patient's daily habits. Frequently, jaw pain becomes a problem when a patient chews on hard foods or ice, eats foods that are too crunchy or chewy, grinds or clenches their teeth (bruxism), or simply bites down too hard. Once we find reasons for the jaw pain, we can take the proper steps to minimize it. Keep in mind that each individual is different, and each procedure is going to be a little different based on the needs of the patient.
Treating Problems Related with TMD
Jaw pain is often associated with temporomandibular joint disorder or TMD. Because TMD is frequently caused by a misalignment of the jaw, excessive chewing, or biting down too hard, can only worsen the condition. Moreover, if the jaw is misaligned, the patient may compensate by overusing one side of the mouth while eating. Therefore, before any treatment can begin, it helps for a patient to switch to softer nutritional foods or figure out ways to curb bad habits, such as ice chewing or teeth clenching and grinding.
We want to help you overcome an issue with chronic jaw pain or TMD. If you have this problem, contact our office for a consultation and exam. Let us help you experience better dental health.
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