Jaw pain is a common issue, with an estimated 20-30% of people experiencing issues with their jaw joints at some stage in life. These joints are called the temporomandibular joints (TMJ), and are located just in front of the ears. Common problems with TMJ include clicking, popping or locking of the joints as they open or close. For the majority of patients, these sensations do not cause pain, and do not indicate any problems with the joints.
Some patients, however, can suffer from pain, aches, or tenderness around these joints and the facial muscles that move the lower jaw. This may be associated with grinding of the teeth, either during the day or more commonly whilst sleeping at night. This grinding may be associated with stress, and can cause headaches and sinus issues.
During your comprehensive dental examination with us, your dentist will assess your TMJ, and will examine your mouth and teeth for signs of grinding, such as wear or fracturing.
For patients experiencing jaw pain, treatment can vary from altering habits and lifestyle, to practising jaw exercises. A common treatment we often provide for patients is a hard stabilisation splint, which is a removable dental device worn on the teeth at night. This hard splint is specifically designed for each patient, and will help protect the teeth from further wear and may provide relief from pain and tension in the jaw joints and facial muscles.
If you are experiencing jaw pain, we highly recommend booking a consultation with one of our dentists for a comprehensive assessment.
For more information on TMJ pain and potential treatments, download our useful TMJ guide.