Dental discomfort, such as a toothache, can have a significant influence on more than just your immediate dental health. When severe enough, the pain can affect your daily tranquility and overall quality of life. Besides aching teeth, dental discomfort might also encompass sore, painful jaw joints, along with trouble fully opening and closing your jaw. Known as TMJ disorder, the jaw dysfunction can often generate other symptoms, as well, including severe headaches and chronic tinnitus (pain and ringing in the ears). Though not everyone automatically associates headaches with their dental health, your Grand Prairie dentist, Dr. Quinn Smith, urges you to seek a professional TMJ assessmentif you’ve been unable to find relief for your persistent aches and pains.
The Dominant Trigeminal Nerve
Like any sensation, pain is sent as signals through your nerves to your brain, where the disturbance is registered and brought to your attention. On both sides of your jaw, the trigeminal nerves travel through your TMJs and continue branching out to innervate the majority of your head, neck, and facial structures. When your jaw’s joints and muscles suffer damage and inflammation, they can aggravate the trigeminal nerves, leading to the wide variety of craniofacial aches and pains associated with TMJ disorder.
How to Treat Your Jaw Dysfunction
In most cases, TMJ disorder stems from excessive pressure on your jaw’s joints and muscles, and can result from consistent teeth grinding in the midst of elevated stress; an uneven bite, such as crooked teeth, that hinders your mouth’s balance; or a direct blow to the mouth and jaw that forces the joints out of alignment. Treating TMJ disorder depends on the nature andextent of the issue. Your treatment may include a mouthguard and splint to reposition the jaws more comfortably, or orthodontic treatment to correct malocclusion (crooked teeth) and restore the proper balance to your bite.
ABOUT YOUR GRAND PRAIRIE DENTIST:
Dr. Quinn Smith is a well-respected and highly experienced general, restorative, and family dentist in Grand Prairie, TX. He takes a patient-first approach that starts from the moment patients enter our Pecan Tree Dental office, and he offers a three-year guarantee on all dental work that he performs. Whether you and your family are new or returning patients, you can schedule a consultation or your next appointment with Dr. Smith by contacting us at (972) 262-5111.