Jaw pain is often caused by Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome. Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome is often simply referred to as TMJ syndrome. It is a medical condition that results in pain when a person is chewing, talking or otherwise moving his or her mouth. TMJ can also cause the jaw to lock.
1. Medical Conditions
A number of medical conditions can cause problems in the TMJ including osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis is characterized by a loss of bone and / or cartilage while rheumatoid arthritis is a swelling of the soft tissue around a joint. Either of these conditions can be the cause of jaw pain. These two types of arthritis cause most TMJ pain. However, other medical problems can also cause issues including birth defects and infections.
2. Trauma Induced TMJ
In addition to being caused by the wear and tear of normal use or arthritis, TMJ Syndrome can be caused by trauma. The most common traumatic injury to cause jaw pain is an automobile accident. The force of the collision can cause damage to the jaw joint as the head is not well-supported in a vehicle. Sports injuries, such as getting struck by a baseball or softball, can also cause trauma to the jaw.
3. TMJ Treatment Options
Once a patient comes into the office, the staff will work to determine the cause of the jaw pain. The treatment chosen will largely depend on the cause. For mild cases, simple rest and time may be all that is needed to correct the problem. Antibiotics may be needed if there is an infection. More serious cases may require a splint or physical therapy. If no other option exists, surgery may be needed to correct TMJ in Chandler AZ.
At J Philipp Centers for Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, our staff has years of experience diagnosing and treating TMJ problems. If you or a loved one is having jaw pain, contact our office for prompt and professional service to get you on the path to better dental health.