Orofacial Pain: What is it?

Indianapolis IN TMJ TreatmentPain involving the chewing muscles or temporomandibular (jaw) joint is often classified as Orofacial Pain. For some, it manifests through muscle spasms in the head, frequent headaches, or pain in the teeth and face. Others may experience pain in the eyes, ears, sinuses, cheeks, or the sides of the head. In essence, orofacial pain consists of a number of problems, and often varies from person to person.

To better understand how orofacial pain may begin, consider the following example: The average person swallows up to 2,000 times each day, causing the upper and lower teeth to meet. This results in pressure applied to the skull. For those with a misaligned, unstable bite, or missing teeth, the muscles will work harder to bring the upper and lower teeth together. The added strain upon the muscles will cause pain.

Also caused by muscle tension and strain are headaches. Dental professionals believe that up to 75% of headaches are caused by tension related to an individual's bite. Headaches resulting from dental-related issues may include the following:

  • Pain behind eyes
  • Teeth Grinding
  • Clicking or popping of the jaw joint
  • Earaches
  • Neck and shoulder pain

What Can Dentists Do To Alleviate Orofacial Pain?

If you believe that your pain is related to a dental issue or unstable bite, you'll be glad to know—Dentists have a variety of treatments at their fingertips to help alleviate orofacial pain. Although not a permanent remedy, an orthotic, or splint, can be worn over teeth to stabilize an individual's bite. Other corrections such as reshaping teeth, building crowns, or attaching an appliance can establish a healthy bite, permanently. Physical therapy, including massage and relaxation techniques also helps relieve pain.

Whatever the cause for your orofacial pain, Winding Ridge Dentistry is committed to helping you. We understand that a correctly aligned bite is often to blame for orofacial pain. Even so, we'll begin with a thorough examination of your medical and health history to determine the best treatment for you with one goal in mind—to eliminate your pain. Do not wait any longer. Call Winding Ridge Dentistry today.

Posted on behalf of Winding Ridge Dentistry