Jaw pain can be very uncomfortable and can be caused for a variety of reasons. Sometimes wisdom teeth erupting into the mouth can get infected and can cause discomfort that radiates to the jaw. Other times, the muscles or the joint of the jaw can be the cause of the discomfort. When this happens, it is known as temporomandibular dystrophy or TMD for short.
There are a variety of reasons why a patient can experience TMD and understanding the reason for it can often help with finding the right treatment option to manage it. Some contributory reasons can be an uneven bite, excessive clenching and grinding habits, abnormal joint development, or an infection. If you are experiencing TMD, your dentist can help try to figure out what is happening and can discuss the best options for management. A variety of management options are available including sleep appliances (night guards), Botox treatment for TMD, physiotherapy for the muscles of the jaw and involvement of an ENT to assess the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) itself. Your dentist will review the benefits and risks of each option with you and will let you know what they think will work best for your situation.