Facts About Jaw Pain and TMJ Disorder

The joints that your jaw moves upon are technically known as temporomandibular joints, or TMJs. They’re also the reason why you may feel a popping sensation or difficulty with movement when opening and closing your jaw. If you experience chronic discomfort or pain in your jaw—a condition known as TMJ disorder—then finding relief will rely on diagnosing and addressing its underlying cause.

Why Your Jaw Hurts

  • TMJ disorder is a collective term, and it can indicate a variety of different issues that affect the strength, integrity, and alignment of your jaw’s joints. Because it can describe various conditions, the causes and symptoms of TMJ disorder can vary, too, making an accurate diagnosis sometimes more difficult.
  • The pain related to TMJ disorder is caused by the nearby trigeminal nerve group, which is the most dominant of your 12 cranial nerve groups. When your TMJs don’t work properly, they can shift as they move or become increasingly inflamed. The disturbance can irritate your trigeminal nerves, emanating the pain throughout the nerves’ paths (i.e., head, neck, shoulders, and more).
  • In addition to sensory information, your trigeminal nerves also control your jaw’s movement, and TMJ disorder can making biting, chewing, and speaking difficult or painful. In mild cases, you may feel no more than an uncomfortably popping sensation as your TMJs try to maintain their alignment. In more severe cases, movement itself can be inhibited or prevented.

Relieve Your Jaw Pain with TMJ Treatment

To find relief from your jaw pain, your dentist may suggest undergoing appropriate TMJ disorder treatment. To schedule a consultation with your dentist, call our office today at 520-296-5439. We’re conveniently located inside the Grant Road Professional Plaza in Tucson, AZ, and proudly welcome the residents of all surrounding communities.