Is it TMJ or Tooth Pain?

Is it TMJ or Tooth Pain

Tooth discomfort and other symptoms are frequently related to problems with the TM joint. Without a dentist's examination, it is difficult to determine whether this tooth discomfort is associated with TMJ or is caused by something else.

A collection of illnesses known as TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorders result in discomfort and dysfunction in the jaw joint and muscles.

It might be challenging to differentiate between tooth pain resulting from TMJ disorders and dental pain from other conditions.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 40% of Americans experienced mouth pain in the previous year.

TMJ issues can also produce mouth and tooth discomfort, albeit in many cases this pain was probably caused by gum disease and tooth decay.

How do TMJ disorders cause tooth pain?

Sharp or dull mouth discomfort can be a symptom of TMJ issues. Either persistent or more erratic pain is possible. It could also seem like other types of dental discomfort.

Tooth pain can arise from TMJ problems for several causes. The TMJs in your body are situated close to several muscles, ligaments, and nerves, which could be the cause of your tooth pain.

This implies that pain in this location may spread to the neck and other facial regions. Headaches may result from this pain travelling upward; however, mouth and tooth discomfort may result from it travelling downward.

If you have a TMJ problem and your jaw is out of alignment, you could also feel pain in your mouth. Some teeth may be under increased pressure as a result.

Grinding your teeth as you sleep is a typical cause of TMJ issues, which may also result in tooth pain.

It's crucial to keep in mind that TMJ issues can cause more symptoms than tooth discomfort. The following are additional possible signs of TMJ disorders:
  • jaw locking, popping, or clicking
  • discomfort in the jaw, neck, and face
  • headaches
  • tinnitus

What are other causes of tooth pain?

Among the other possible reasons for dental pain are:
  • tooth decay and cavities
  • a broken filling or chipped tooth
  • damage to the mouth or jaw
  • mouth infections
  • sore or swollen gums
  • ulcers on the gum
  • an abscess
  • sinusitis
Tooth discomfort can also occur in very young children when their teeth erupt through the gums. In a similar vein, adults who have wisdom teeth that are showing through the gum line may experience dental pain.

When is tooth pain related to problems with the TMJ?

Determining whether your tooth discomfort is associated with a TMJ condition might be challenging.

However, if you also suffer from headaches and jaw clicking, which are typical symptoms of TMJ disorders, you may believe that your tooth discomfort is related to your TMJ.

If taking medication for pain related to the TMJ helps you feel better, you might also think that your tooth discomfort is a result of a TMJ condition.

Occasionally, medical practitioners will rule out other possible causes of the discomfort before making a diagnosis of TMJ issues.

You can help rule out other causes, including gum disease and cavities, by visiting your dentist. Tooth discomfort might have more than one cause in certain situations.

How is TMJ tooth pain treated?

TMJ pain may go away on its own without medical intervention. You might not need to take any action if your TMJ-related tooth discomfort is moderate and does not interfere with your ability to speak, eat, or carry out daily tasks.

You might benefit from the following if your TMJ tooth pain is more severe or persistent:
  • a mouthguard
  • facial exercises that aid in jaw and face relaxation
  • applying hot or cold packs to the face
  • anti-inflammatory drugs
  • methods for relaxing (such as journaling, yoga, and meditation)
  • practicing good posture
Tooth pain associated with TMJ can also be lessened by eating soft foods and refraining from chewing gum.

The bottom line

Tooth discomfort, jaw pain, facial pain, and neck pain can all be symptoms of TMJ disorders. They may also make chewing challenging.

If your TMJ condition is the cause of your tooth pain, wearing a mouthguard and relaxing your face with exercises might be beneficial.

To relieve TMJ-related pain, your dentist might also advise using hot or cold packs for your face or prescribing anti-inflammatory drugs.

Without a professional evaluation, it can be challenging to differentiate between tooth pain that is caused by TMJ issues and dental pain that has other causes.

It is a good idea to discuss any mouth pain you are experiencing with your dentist.

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