How long does jaw pain last: How Long Does TMD Last?
How Long Does TMD Last?
Restorative Dentistry |3 min read
We know that jaw pain or TMJ-related issues are very uncomfortable.
It impacts your quality of life.
Any disorders of the joints, jaw muscles, and nerves, are known as TMJ disorder (or TMD).
If you’re dealing with that right now, you’re likely wondering:
How long does TMD last?!
We’ll answer that very question and give you a run-through of how it can be treated.
How long does TMD last?
It depends on the severity of the underlying condition.
TMJ symptoms last anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks.
Some TMJ disorders can last months or years… This text opens a new tab to the WebMD website…, such as those caused by teeth grinding and arthritis.
Treatment and proper care may relieve you of your symptoms.
How is TMD treated?
There are various types of treatment for TMD.
Your dentist will recommend one based on the cause of the disorder as well as your dental and personal needs.
If clenching or teeth grinding is the cause of the problem, you may be advised to use a custom-made appliance.
A dental appliance or nightguard will ease muscle pressure and protect your teeth at night.
If you have missing teeth, they could be the culprit behind your jaw pain or misalignment. Your dentist may create a custom restoration – an implant or bridge – to restore the proper balance.
Can TMD go away on its own?
For many people, TMD symptoms eventually subside on their own.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
We recommend visiting your dentist if you’re experiencing:
- Persistent pain or tenderness in your jaw
- Clicking or popping in the jaw joint
- Locked jaw (you can’t open or close your jaw completely)
- Aching pain in or around your ear(s)
- Difficulty or pain while chewing
- Aching facial pain
- Unevenly worn teeth
All of the above symptoms are common signs of TMJ disorder.
TMD can be serious and grow into a long-lasting issue if left untreated.
What happens if TMD goes untreated?
The chronic form of TMD may cause damage to your:
- Temporal bone
That damage can lead to health problems such as:
- Nerve damage
- Permanent dislocation
- Worn teeth
- And more
So it’s best to seek TMD treatment to keep your flare-ups under control.
Are there home remedies for TMD?
There are ways that you can manage your TMD symptoms at home, but they likely won’t fully treat your condition.
Applying ice or warm, moist heat to the side of your face may help soothe your pain.
Taking over-the-counter pain medication like Ibuprofen may also help provide some relief.
Avoid slouching or having a forward head posture to avoid overworking or straining your temporomandibular joint (TMJ).
Also, practicing self-care may reduce your TMD symptoms. Try taking a daily walk to de-stress and brighten your mood.
Are you seeking TMD treatment?
Your Woburn dentists would love to help you!
At Dental Health Care of Woburn, we’ll provide you with world-class dentistry and ensure that all your needs are met.
We’ll do whatever it takes to make your visits relaxing and enjoyable.
Contact us to schedule a TMD treatment consultation.
Book Your Appointment
Or contact us by:
- Phone: 781-935-8810
- Email: [email protected]
- Send us a message online
Dental Health Care of Woburn serves patients from Woburn, Winchester, Burlington, Stoneham, Reading, Tewksbury, Wilmington, Lexington, Wakefield, and surrounding communities.
How Long Does It Take for TMJ to Go Away?
Temporomandibular joint disorder
If you have temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), the pain and discomfort can be quite disheartening, painful, and an inconvenience to daily activities. Pain in the jaw joint, which is one of the most used joints in the body, can significantly affect one’s quality of life. Luckily, most jaw abnormalities heal well with proper treatment. However if you do not treat the disorder, how long will the pain and discomfort last without medical care?
How long does TMJ Pain last?
Unfortunately, there is no way to predict how long a person will have TMJ pain. The pain varies from one individual to another and severity varies based on the cause and how damaged the jaw joint is. The duration of the pain can vary greatly from a couple of hours to a couple of days, or even longer. It just depends on the cause of the flare-up, the extent of jaw joint damage, and the affected person’s ability to cope with discomfort.
For mild to moderate cases of pain, you can relieve pain through hot or cold compress, gentle massage your facial muscles to increase blood flow, and over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen. Severe cases can linger for weeks and require medical attention. If left untreated for severe cases, manageable pain can turn into chronic severe pain if you do not see a dentist who treats TMJ disorder.
The tricky thing about this disorder is that many other conditions may cause symptoms like pain and discomfort, and they share the same symptoms. Self-diagnosis can be difficult without a proper medical examination. Many people suffering from TMJ pain seek treatment, and they report that the differences in their condition before and after treatment are significant. It is recommended to speak with your dentist about TMJ disorder treatment as soon as you start experiencing jaw discomfort or pain symptoms to avoid future flare-ups. When you visit your dentist for your consultation, your doctor will examine your jaw movement, bite, the muscles around your mouth and your neck and face. This will help provide a proper diagnosis on whether you have TMJ or another condition.
What are TMJ Flare-ups
If you experience TMJ flare-ups, this means that your symptoms are getting worse. When a flare-up occurs, the painful symptoms can come and go, changing your quality of life. By identifying the cause of your TMJ disorder, you can shorten the time your symptoms flare-up. Some of the common symptoms include:
- Pain in one or both of the tempormandibular joints
- Jaw pain or discomfort in the jaw
- Ear pain or around your ear
- Neck pain
- Facial pain or swelling of the face
- Pain around or “behind” the eyes
- Clicking noises when you open or close your mouth
- Jaw locking in either the open or closed position
- Experience discomfort or pain while chewing or eating
- Chronic pain in other parts of the face that seem to lack a clear cause
- Persistent headaches or sore jaw after a nights rest
Why do you get TMJ Pain
The jaw joint is made of connecting bones, muscles, and ligaments. Like other joints in the body, it can develop problems since bone, muscle, and ligament all need to work together and can be caused by one or more medical conditions or habits. Here are the most common causes of TMJ, along with an estimate of how long you can expect a flare-up to last:
Teeth Misalignment (malocclusion)
A person might experience pain and bite problems related to a pre-existing dental problem, such as teeth grinding (bruxism). Depending on the underlying condition, pain caused by a misaligned bite can come and go, and may even last a lifetime if not treated.
If your upper and lower teeth do not meet evenly when your mouth is closed, say you have an underbite or overbite, then there is a chance that you are prone to developing TMJ disorder. An occlusal adjustment can be used to correct the alignment of the teeth so that TMJ disorder can be prevented.
Jaw pain & poor oral habit
Jaw-clenching and teeth grinding (commonly known as bruxism) is a major contributor to TMJ. Fortunately, it is easy to get rid of this bad habit, and once it is stopped, the pain usually goes away. By wearing a custom mouth guard at night, you can help protect your TMJ and teeth from this habit.
If your TMJ is sore and aching, a habit you may want to avoid is hard, chewy food like chewing gum or hard candy, which can cause too much wear and tear. The continuous chewing motion will put too much stress on the joints and can cause the joint to be overworked.
Certain medications for anxiety, depression, and ADHD are known to increase the likelihood of teeth clenching, which can cause or worsen TMJ. However, you shouldn’t stop taking your medication without talking it over with your doctor first. Many patients have been able to find a treatment plan that has relieved their TMJ without also sacrificing their medication.
Injury to the jaw
If you experience pain in your jaw after an incident or injury that affects your head and face, it is most likely the cause. The good news is that these types of jaw pain tend to go away over time as you heal from your injury naturally. If it does not go away after some time, consult with a doctor to see what can be causing the pain.
As people age, the jaw joint deteriorates. Aging also contributes to the development of arthritis. Massaging the area can help ease pain, as well as relaxation techniques. Pain-relieving medications such as over-the-counter drugs (ibuprofen) can also help relieve swelling and pain. Other factors that can cause pain to occur as you age include:
- Poor posture
- Vitamin deficiency
- Hormone fluctuations
Will TMJ symptoms go away on its own?
The time it takes the TMJ to heal will vary from person to person. Some patients experiencing slight discomfort of the temporomandibular joint will usually go away in a few days without treatment. To manage a TMJ pain, simple home remedies can alleviate the symptoms with rest, hot and cold compresses, eating only soft foods, and jaw exercises. However, if you have been experiencing severe pain in any of the following TMJ symptoms, you should consider visiting a dentist and having a complete evaluation to avoid future damage to your teeth or joint. TMJ disorder is highly treatable, don’t suffer unnecessarily when treatment is available.
Is TMJ disorder permanent?
Chronic jaw pain is often the result of clenching and grinding of the teeth, which can be treated by avoiding this bad habit and working with a physician to develop the best course of treatment. If clenching and teeth grinding is not the cause, your dentist will conduct an exam to find the root cause of TMJ disorder.
Although TMJ treatment options depend widely on each particular case, there are various options to chose from to prevent painful flare-ups. Depending on the cause, a mouth guard or an oral appliance like a splint will provide pain relief. Another option for patients who experience TMJ pain might obtain relief by taking part in physical therapy, obtain temporary relief through pain management injections, or in severe cases, choose to undergo surgery to correct specific TMJ issues.
We can help with your TMJ Flare-ups with Dr. Feng in Fairview, TX
We understand how painful and uncomfortable TMJ flare-ups are, and we’re here to help. To find out which treatment option best fits you, we’ll conduct a comprehensive examination so we can help alleviate the pain and discomfort. If you have any questions about TMJ disorders or treatment plans, call us at 972-468-1440 today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Feng.
Our dental office is located in Fairview, Texas, and our patients visit us from across the surrounding areas, including Allen, Plano, McKinney, and Lucas, for dental care.
Why does the lower jaw hurt? 【Reasons and what to do】
Patients often come to the dentist with complaints of pain in the lower jaw. In this case, discomfort can occur on both the right and left sides. The pain itself can be short-term, long-term, mild or intense.
However, these symptoms may not always indicate a problem with the teeth. Therefore, the specialist conducts a thorough examination of the dentoalveolar system in order to accurately establish the diagnosis. It is this approach that helps to prescribe the correct treatment for one of the many diseases that can be caused by severe pain in the lower jaw.
Povtar Vladimir Vladimirovich
Experience – 4 years
Yunaeva Stella Vladimirovna
Experience — 22 years
Orlova Olga Alexandrovna
Experience — 19 years
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Experience — 22 years
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Experience — 25 years
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Work experience — 18 years
Seek medical advice from a dentist or oral surgeon to determine the source of the problem. The reason for the appearance of unpleasant symptoms can be various reasons. Almost all of them need urgent treatment, since the further development of the pathology will lead to consequences that negatively affect the health of the body.
|Odontogenic inflammatory diseases||Periostitis|
|Damage resulting from trauma||Bruise|
|Trigeminal neuralgia||Trigeminal lesion|
|Diseases of the salivary glands||Salivary stone disease|
|Spasm of chewing muscles||Bruxism|
|Diseases of the teeth||Periodontitis|
|Neoplasms in the lower jaw||Ameoblastoma|
|Ischemic heart disease||Angina attack|
Often, an acute purulent process passes from periodontal tissues to the jaw bone, the periosteum of the alveolar process, and also to nearby soft tissues. Pain occurs in the following diseases:
- Periostitis . The state of health worsens, the temperature rises and swelling of the soft tissues appears. At first, soreness and swelling are not very pronounced, but over the next 3 days they increase. The pain may radiate to the eye, ear and temple. When exposed to heat, the intensity of symptoms increases, while cold, on the contrary, reduces them.
- Osteomyelitis . In the acute stage, the temperature rises to 39–39.5 °C. Chilliness, profuse sweat for several days or only at night. Putrid odor from the mouth. The tooth that has become the source of infection is mobile, the gum becomes bluish. When pressing on the alveolar process, pus is released. From the side of the cheek and tongue, subperiosteal abscesses are formed.
- Lymphadenitis . In the acute stage, one or more lymph nodes located in the lower jaw become painful. They increase, acquiring a rounded or oval shape. With the development of a purulent process, the state of health worsens, the temperature rises to 38 ° C. Above the enlarged lymph node, the skin is edematous and hyperemic. There may be pain when swallowing, yawning, and opening the mouth.
- Abscess . If the purulent focus is located next to the masticatory muscles, then this limits chewing and provokes pain when opening the mouth. When localized under the tongue and the peripharyngeal space, it is painful for the patient to swallow. Often, an abscess occurs against the background of a satisfactory condition of a person.
- Phlegmon . The clinical picture of the disease depends on the number of foci of infection. With a common process, diffuse swelling of the soft tissues of the face and neck is observed. In the affected area, hyperemia and an increase in local temperature are observed. It becomes difficult for a person to open his mouth, chew, swallow, talk and even breathe. There is a significant intoxication of the body and body temperature 39°C. 
Severe pain in the lower jaw inevitably results from a bruise or fracture. The most common injuries are from fights, traffic accidents, and falls. If only a bruise has occurred, then the closing of the teeth is not disturbed, however, there may be swelling of the tissues, leading to asymmetry of the face.
With a fracture, a person experiences a sharp throbbing pain that becomes stronger when trying to close his teeth, bite and chew food, and talk. There may be numbness in the chin and lower lip. There is mobility of teeth, malocclusion. A bone fragment of the jaw may protrude from the mucosa.
In addition to the above factors, neuralgia can cause aching pain in the lower jaw. Symptoms appear when the trigeminal nerve is damaged, namely its third branch, which innervates the mandibular region. Attack-like, shooting pain can last from a few seconds to one minute.
Over time, the intervals between attacks become shorter. Burning, cutting and shooting pains are intensified, compared by patients with an electric shock. Sensations arise spontaneously, when the ambient temperature changes or when touched. Often the pain radiates to the teeth, which leads the patient to the dentist’s office. 
Three pairs of large salivary glands are located directly in the region of the lower jaw. These are sublingual, parotid and submandibular. Accordingly, with the development of inflammation in them, soreness and swelling are observed in this zone.
For example, with salivary stone disease of the submandibular gland, the patient may experience a typical symptom – “salivary colic”, which occurs when the duct of the gland is blocked. Also in this area, swelling is formed under the influence of a food irritant, which after a while disappears on its own. 
In bruxism, the patient has involuntary clenching of the jaws with intense friction and grinding of the teeth at night. The day type of the disease occurs under the influence of stress and anxiety. As a result of the pathological process, an overload occurs in the maxillofacial system, which leads to pain in the TMJ (temporomandibular joint of the lower jaw). The opening of the mouth is limited, the pain may radiate to the ear and teeth when yawning. 
One of the most common causes of sharp pain in the lower jaw is the teeth. When an infection enters the pulp chamber, the dental nerve becomes inflamed. This process causes a sharp paroxysmal throbbing pain that may appear spontaneously. Often the symptoms make themselves felt at night.
In the absence of timely treatment, the infection penetrates beyond the apex of the root and a dental disease such as periodontitis develops. In the acute stage, there is swelling of the surrounding tissues, pain when pressing on the tooth and when chewing. A fistula may form on the gum.
It is not uncommon for patients to have problems with their wisdom teeth. The third molars erupt later than the rest and they almost always lack space. Trying to get out, the figure eight can put pressure on adjacent teeth, on bone tissue and the mucous membrane above it. At this point, the patient complains that the lower jaw hurts on the right or left, depending on the location of the tooth. 
Odontogenic and non-odontogenic neoplasms can cause pain. At the same time, benign tumors are more common than malignant ones and are characterized by less pronounced growth. These include:
- Ameoblastoma . More often localized in the body, angle and branches of the lower jaw. For a long time, the formation does not bother a person until the deformation of the bone tissue begins, accompanied by pain. A bulge is formed in the mouth in the region of the transitional fold, while the mucosa does not differ in color from the surrounding tissues.
- Fibroma . An odontogenic tumor forms inside the bone, is characterized by slow growth and painlessness. However, when it reaches an impressive size, it leads to deformation of the face and causes aching pain in the lower jaw.
- Myxoma . The tumor does not have a shell, destroying bone tissue, it gradually spreads to soft tissues. Teeth in the area of myxoma acquire mobility due to resorption of the roots, because of this they can be displaced.
- Cement . A benign process originates in the region of the tooth root, while the growth of cement-like tissues with varying degrees of mineralization occurs. The deformation on the face has a rounded shape and clear boundaries.
- Odonogenic cyst . The cavity has a shell of connective tissue with liquid content. With the growth of the root cyst, the cortical plate becomes thinner and the bone bulges. Also, with the gradual melting of bone tissue, a pathological fracture of the lower jaw can occur. 
In addition to the above reasons, an attack of angina pectoris can also cause pain, when the patient’s blood circulation in the arteries of the heart is disturbed. In addition to the characteristic symptoms, which include dull, squeezing or tearing pain, fear of death, heaviness in the chest and lack of air, the patient may feel that his lower jaw is aching. In this case, the duration of the attack lasts no more than 15 minutes. 
To determine the sharp pain in the lower jaw, the dentist or maxillofacial surgeon determines the cause of the symptoms. In some cases, for additional examination, the doctor refers to a neurologist, cardiologist or other specialists. The doctor conducts a survey, examines the applicant and, depending on the indications, prescribes a number of instrumental and laboratory tests, which may include:0003
- radiography – the method helps to determine the localization, nature and extent of pathology in the bone tissue using a two-dimensional image;
- computed tomography – the method allows you to determine the state of the bone and study the neoplasm in all projections;
- magnetic resonance imaging – used to diagnose cysts, compression of the branch of the trigeminal nerve, aneurysm;
- electrophysiological study – using electromyography, muscle activity is detected in bruxism, as well as the quality of impulse transmission in neuralgia. Electroneurography is used to determine the extent of damage to the nerve trunk;
- invasive methods – to determine the nature of the neoplasm and the contents of the purulent focus, a biopsy and puncture are performed;
- tests – are prescribed to determine the causative agent of the disease in order to select the necessary drugs for treatment.
After the doctor has found out the reason why the lower jaw hurts, he prescribes therapeutic or surgical treatment. The purpose of the prescribed procedures is to eliminate the disease in the most effective way and restore the health of the patient.
Conservative therapy in dentistry is the elimination of the source of infection with the help of instruments and medicines. With pulpitis, the doctor removes the inflamed nerve from the tooth and performs mechanical and antiseptic treatment of the canals, followed by their filling. With periodontitis, the same treatment is carried out, but to eliminate the infection behind the top of the root, an anti-inflammatory paste is introduced into the canals before permanent filling.
If other pathologies occur, the following methods are used:
- muscle relaxants and physiotherapy for bruxism;
- splinting of jaw fragments in case of fractures;
- antibiotic therapy in the inflammatory process;
- analgesic and corrective therapy for neuralgia;
- drug restoration of cardiac activity in coronary artery disease.
The choice of surgery depends on the diagnosis and stage of the disease:
- tumors – excision of pathologically altered tissues;
- injuries – bone grafting and suturing of soft tissues;
- neuralgia – dissection of soft tissues that put pressure on the nerve;
- inflammatory processes – they open and empty the focus of infection;
- ischemic heart disease (IHD) – thrombolysis, stenting of the heart artery, bypass surgery.
In the absence of proper treatment of a disease that causes pain in the lower jaw on the left or right side, dangerous complications can develop. As a result, the pathologies that have arisen can threaten not only health, but also human life.
For example, the further development of osteomyelitis causes dangerous pathological conditions such as meningitis, brain abscess and kidney failure. And inflammation in the temporomandibular joint leads to its complete immobility, as a result of which the patient cannot eat and speak normally.
In order to prevent the development of dangerous diseases that cause severe pain in the lower jaw, it is necessary to follow several important recommendations:
- Strengthen the body’s immune system.
- Come to the dentist twice a year for a routine check-up.
- Treat diseases that can lead to the development of dangerous pathologies.
- In the presence of chronic diseases, regularly see a doctor and prevent relapses.
- Regular and proper care of the oral cavity – this will be taught by the dentist in an individual hygiene lesson.
In our network of clinics in Moscow, doctors are attentive to the health of patients. Therefore, if you experience acute pain in the lower jaw, you will be accepted, despite the generated record. Specialists will urgently diagnose and provide first aid if you experience the following symptoms:
- breaks the lower jaw;
- toothache and swelling has formed;
- there was pain when chewing, and a fistula formed in the gum area.
Turning to us, you get high-quality and safe treatment, as well as painless performance of all manipulations. In dentistry, modern anesthetics are used, which begin to act already at the time of injection.
Ask questions by phone +7 (495) 150-27-16 or leave a request, we will call you back within a business day.
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-  Kulakov, AA Surgical stomatology and maxillofacial surgery: National guidelines / Ed. A. A. Kulakova, T. G. Robustova, A. I. Nerobeeva. – Moscow: GEOTAR-Media, 2015. – 928 p. (Series “National Manuals”) – ISBN 978-5-9704-3727-8. Link to a resource.
-  Kulakov, AA Surgical stomatology and maxillofacial surgery: National guidelines / Ed. A. A. Kulakova, T. G. Robustova, A. I. Nerobeeva. – Moscow: GEOTAR-Media, 2015. – 928 p. (National Manual Series) – ISBN 978-5-9704-3727-8
-  Lastovka A. S., Tesevich L. I. Salivary stone disease. – 2014. Link to the teaching aid.
-  Orlova OR et al. Relationship between bruxism and pain dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint //RMJ. – 2017. – T. 25. – No. 24. – S. 1760-1763. Link to the domoment.
-  Stephen Ho, MD; Daisy Chemali, MD; Bogdan Kryshtalsky: Maxillofacial surgery – pain in the wisdom tooth. Link to a resource.
-  Kulakov, AA Surgical stomatology and maxillofacial surgery: National guidelines / Ed. A. A. Kulakova, T. G. Robustova, A. I. Nerobeeva. – Moscow: GEOTAR-Media, 2015. – 928 p. (Series “National Manuals”) – ISBN 978-5-9704-3727-8.
-  Kalinin, R. E. Ischemic diseases in the practice of a family doctor / R. E. Kalinin [et al.]; ed. R. E. Kalinina, V. N. Abrosimova – Moscow: GEOTAR-Media, 2016. – 208 p. – ISBN 978-5-9704-3660-8.
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Questions and answers
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✅ Hello! Please tell me which specialist should I contact if I do not live in Moscow? Spasm of masticatory muscles – teeth gnash, pain in the lower jaw, especially in the corners of the closure of the upper and lower jaws. The mouth does not open wide, there is a risk that it will not be possible to close it. During eating, the jaw makes an unpleasant sound of clenching and lays in the ears from this sound. Which doctor can help in this situation? I live in Novosibirsk.
Based on the symptoms you describe, it appears that you have a temporomandibular joint problem caused by bruxism, the involuntary, violent clenching and grinding of the teeth. To eliminate the hypertonicity of the masticatory muscles, pain, crunch in the jaw and restriction of its mobility, contact a gnathologist dentist. If you cannot find a specialist in Novosibirsk, you can contact our gnatologist if you are visiting Moscow.
✅ Why does the angle of the lower jaw hurt when pressed?
There may be several reasons for this situation. For example, pain when pressed occurs with: an inflammatory process in the bone, with damage to the nerve and joint of the lower jaw, with the eruption of a wisdom tooth, as well as with other diseases of the surrounding tissues. To determine the exact cause of the problem and eliminate it in a timely manner, make an appointment with our dentist.
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Why my jaw hurts and what to do about it
Lifehacker collected the eight most likely causes.
1. Painful teeth
The jaw may start to ache if a person has caries, pulpitis or other dental problems. Unpleasant sensations will appear in that part of it where the affected tooth is located. Sometimes the pain spreads from it to the sides along the course of the nerve.
What to do
You need to go to the dentist and treat a bad tooth. The specialist will decide whether it is necessary to remove it or whether it is enough to put a seal.
2. Chronic sinusitis
If the paranasal sinuses become inflamed, there may be pain in the upper jaw and teeth. In addition, there are other symptoms:
- inflammation of the nose with thick mucus;
- post-nasal drainage, when mucus runs down the back of the throat and coughs;
- difficulty breathing through the nose;
- pain or tenderness around the eyes, cheeks, near the nose;
- deterioration of smell and taste;
- pain in the ears, throat or head;
- bad breath;
Chronic sinusitis is caused by nasal polyps, respiratory tract infections, deviated septum, allergies, or immune-compromising conditions.
What to do
You need to see a general practitioner or an ENT doctor. The specialist will examine the sinuses and prescribe treatment. These may be:
- Corticosteroids to reduce inflammation. They are used as nasal spray, tablets or injections.
- Nasal saline solutions. They help wash away irritants and allergens and reduce mucus.
- Allergy medicines. If it is the cause of sinusitis.
- Monoclonal antibodies. Medicines with this composition affect the immune system and help get rid of nasal polyps.
- Antibiotics. Use when sinusitis is caused by a bacterial infection.
- Immunotherapy. It is done if the person has an allergy.
- Operation. You will need it if the cause of chronic sinusitis is polyps or a deviated septum.
Doctors also advise you to get more rest, humidify the air in the room and rinse your nose.
This is when a person unconsciously clenches his jaw and grinds his teeth. This happens in a dream or in reality. Usually the causes of bruxism are an unstable emotional state, stress, anger, tension.
The risk of manifestation is higher in those who smoke, use alcohol, coffee, drugs or certain medications. The condition is also common in young children or in people who suffer from Parkinson’s disease, dementia, epilepsy, nightmares, and other nervous disorders.
In addition to pain in the jaw, bruxism is characterized by:
- rather loud grinding of teeth;
- flattened, chipped or loose teeth;
- worn enamel;
- toothache or soreness;
- fatigue or tightness of the muscles of the jaw so that it cannot open or close fully;
- pain in the neck or face;
- feeling as if the ear hurts, although it is completely healthy;
- dull pain in the temples;
- lesions on the inside of the cheek;
- sleep disorders.
What to do
You need to contact a dentist or a neurologist so that a specialist can determine the cause of bruxism and select a treatment. In some cases, it is not required: it happens that children outgrow the problem, and in adults the jaws do not creak so much that special measures should be taken. If the pathology is clearly expressed, then the doctor may prescribe:
- Splints or mouthguards for teeth. Designs are made of acrylic or soft material to protect the teeth from clenching.
- Correction of teeth. Sometimes a person needs restoration of damaged teeth, and in some cases crowns are needed.
- Stress management. For example, various methods of psychotherapy.
- Medicines. These can be drugs that reduce muscle spasm, reduce stress.
4. Trigeminal neuralgia
This chronic disease affects the trigeminal nerve, the branches of which run along the face and lower jaw. The reasons may be different. For example, a nerve is too close to an artery that presses on it and causes characteristic symptoms. Also, pathology occurs with aging of the body, the development of multiple sclerosis, brain damage by a tumor or stroke, and after facial injuries.
Neuralgia is characterized by:
- severe shooting pain resembling electric shocks;
- spontaneous seizures that occur when chewing, talking, touching the face or brushing teeth;
- the duration of attacks is from several seconds to several minutes, and they can be repeated every day for days, weeks, months or disappear for a long time;
- constant aching pain, which then becomes severe, spasmodic;
- localization of discomfort in the area of the jaw, teeth, lips, cheeks, less often in the eyes or on the forehead.
What to do
You need to see a neurologist. He will conduct an examination and prescribe therapy. They usually start with medication. These may be:
- Botox injections.
If none of these help, surgery is indicated as a last resort. The doctor may move or remove the vessels that are pressing on the trigeminal nerve.
Stereotactic radiosurgery of the brain sometimes helps: a focused dose of gamma radiation is directed to the part of the brain from which the trigeminal nerve exits. It is damaged so that it does not transmit signals. This helps reduce pain. Relief does not come immediately, and recovery after such an operation takes about a month. The doctor can also damage the trigeminal nerve on the face with injections of glycerin, balloon compression, or radiofrequency thermal exposure directly to the branches of the nerve.
5. Heart problems
People with a heart attack, pericarditis, angina, or aortic dissection may experience chest pain. Usually burning, pressing, it radiates to the back, neck or jaw, sometimes passes to the hands. Unpleasant sensations can last from several minutes and intensify with exertion. Sometimes also troubled breathing, cold sweat, dizziness and weakness, nausea or vomiting.
What to do
If you already have a diagnosis of angina pectoris, you should take the medicine prescribed by your doctor if you experience dangerous symptoms.
In other cases, when acute pain in the heart radiates to the jaw, an ambulance should be called urgently, because it could be a heart attack or aortic dissection.
6. Temporomandibular joint disorder
The disease affects the joint that connects the lower jaw and the skull. The exact cause of the disorder is unknown, but experts believe it is a combination of a number of conditions. Jaw pain is caused by a fractured intra-articular disc, arthritis, or trauma. Risk factors include prolonged teeth grinding, connective tissue diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus.
What to do
Tell your doctor about your jaw pain. After the examination, he will prescribe one of the following methods of therapy:
- Medicines. Use muscle relaxants, tricyclic antidepressants to reduce muscle tension. And over-the-counter analgesics help relieve pain.
- Non-drug methods. These include special splints and mouth guards, psychotherapy sessions, physiotherapy.
- Surgical treatment. The doctor can do an arthrocentesis – insert a needle into the joint to get out of it the fluid that accumulates there during inflammation. You can also add a corticosteroid solution to reduce inflammation. Sometimes they do a condylotomy – they cut the head of the lower jaw joint, this helps to reduce pain by shifting the load axis on it. And in some cases, the joint is recommended to be replaced altogether.
7. Tumors and cysts of the jaw
These rare diseases affect the soft tissues and bones of the jaw. The exact cause of the appearance of cysts and tumors is unknown.
Neoplasms are all different, they can grow quickly or slowly, displace teeth and destroy bones, and sometimes dissolve on their own without treatment.
What to do
You need to see a dentist. He will take an X-ray (if necessary – CT or MRI) and take a biopsy from the suspicious area.
The treatment is usually surgical, sometimes even a jaw reconstruction or dental prosthesis is necessary. But this does not guarantee a complete cure: some tumors can return even after removal.
8. Giant cell arteritis
In this condition, the wall of an artery becomes inflamed. Why this happens is unknown, but usually the pathology develops in 70-80 years, and in women twice as often as in men. Risk factors include heredity and a history of polymyalgia rheumatica.
The symptoms of giant cell arteritis are:
- constant headache in the temple area;
- scalp soreness;
- jaw pain when chewing or opening the mouth;
- increased body temperature;
- sudden and severe weight loss;
- impairment or loss of vision, double vision, especially in people with jaw pain.