How TMJ Causes Jaw Pain

The TM joint connects the skull to the lower jaw and when it becomes inflamed it can cause facial pain throughout the jaw. Inflammation usually occurs as a result of straining the joint from grinding or clenching teeth, or trauma. TMJ can also occur from damage ligament adjacent to the joint disk. When damage occurs, the disc can pop out of place and cause damage and inflammation which will eventually destroy the bones without treatment. The jaw pain that most people with TMJ experience is from the inflammation.

There are several different forms including muscle pain, joint pain, bone pain, and nerve pain.

Muscle Pain

Muscle pain in the jaw that you experience is from the ligament that holds the disc in place. Once the ligament can no longer handle the pressure of the joint, it begins to swell and become inflamed. The swelling makes the ligaments unable to cushion the jaw joint bones which causes them to grind together. The grinding is a combination of the swollen ligaments that cause a form of jaw pain from TMJ.

woman holding the side of her face due to jaw painBone Pain

As the jaw muscles become strained, it can put extra pressure on the jawbones. The pressure travels from the teeth and into the jaw bone, causing a sore feeling at the base of teeth. This type of jaw pain is usually dull and throbbing and usually occurs after a night of clenching or grinding teeth (bruxism).

Joint Pain

With TMJ disorders, the disc that resides inside the two jaw joints can often slip out of place. When it does, the jaw has an irregular motion. Eventually, the disc will slip back into place but over time it will stop and cause the jaw to lock up.

Pinched Nerves

Many nerves run through the TM joint or along the jaw muscles and when your jaw moves out of place, the pressure can move to nerves. Eventually, a pinched nerve can occur and cause a sharp, electric pain. Pinched nerves range in severity. A slightly pinched nerve will cause tingling or numbness and cause ringing in the ears while a more severely pinched nerve can trigger a migraine or cause referred pain.

Jaw Pain Relief in Southlake, TX

No matter what type of pain you experience concerning TMJ, our TMJ dentist in Southlake can provide you with treatment that reduces or eliminates jaw pain from your life. If you’re looking for long-term relief from jaw pain, please call (817) 587-4566 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Green at StarImage Dental Boutique & Oral Surgery.