If you are suffering from jaw pain, you may be wondering whether you should just grin and bear it or go to your doctor or neuromuscular dentist. Here are some basic guidelines to help you make this decision.
At-Home Remedies Don’t Work
If you have jaw pain from a jolt to the jaw or other causes, you might try some at-home remedies. Eat soft foods for a while, apply heat or cold, and try massaging your muscles. Try to avoid stress. If these remedies don’t work after a few weeks, it’s time to see a dentist.
Use over-the-counter pain medications. But make sure you follow dosage instructions. If you are using more than the label says you should, especially if you are taking medication for more than a week, it’s time to see a dentist. And see a dentist right away if you experience pain that isn’t controlled by over-the-counter medications.
Jaw Pain Interferes with Your Daily Routine
If your jaw pain is so severe that you can’t go about your daily business, you need to see a dentist. If pain is preventing you from work, play, or eating, then it’s time to see a dentist. If you can’t sleep at night because of the pain, you need to see a dentist.
You Have Irregular Jaw Motion
When the functionality of your jaw is impaired, you need to see a dentist. This means that if you’re experiencing irregular motion, such as a sudden jump in the jaw, you shouldn’t ignore it. Also, if you can’t open or close your jaw fully, you need to talk to a dentist about potential causes and learn whether you need treatment.
You Have Jaw Joint Sounds
If your jaw pain is accompanied by jaw joint sounds, such as popping, clicking, or grinding, you should talk to a dentist. Popping or clicking in the jaw joint is a sign of jaw dysfunction, and if you’re hearing a grinding sound, it likely means that your joint is seriously damaged and you’re experiencing bone damage. You need to talk to a doctor or dentist right away.
You Are Experiencing Symptoms beyond Your Jaw Joint
Is your jaw joint pain accompanied by neck pain, upper back pain, or headaches? Do you have pain behind your eyes? Does your jaw pain coincide with or alternate with tinnitus? Are you experiencing broken or worn teeth? All of these are signs that your jaw joint may not be functioning properly.
If you are experiencing any of these signs, it’s time to see a neuromuscular dentist who is trained in the proper treatment of joint dysfunction. In Columbia, SC, please contact Smile Columbia Dentistry today.