You might think that there would be no way you would confuse tooth pain and jaw pain. However, orofacial pain can sometimes be confusing. The various parts of your mouth and jaw, and even your sinuses share such close real estate, one ache could easily be mistaken for another. Your Urbandale dentist, Dr. Jessica Lawson will explain how to tell the difference between TMJ disorder (TMD) and toothaches.

Common Toothache Causes

The primary causes of a toothaches are generally either severe cavities or tooth damage. Periodontal disease can sometimes cause a toothache-type feeling, but symptoms are rare unless you are in advanced stages, usually. Bacteria inhabit your mouth by the thousands, so there are various types of infections that can cause issues. When decay allows germs to enter the dental pulp below your gumline, the nerves will be directly affected, hence a toothache. The good news is that if you keep up with your six month dental checkups and wear an athletic mouthguard when you participate in sports, you are much less likely to succumb to issues that might cause these types of toothaches.

TMJ Discomfort Explained

Maybe your teeth seem in perfect order, you practice meticulous oral hygiene and go to your six month dental checkups without fail. How in the world could you have a problem with your teeth bad enough to cause actual pain? If your TMJs are the source of your discomfort, you have an entirely different issue at hand. The two joints that connect your lower jaw (mandible) to your skull’s temporal bones are commonly known as TMJs. They are small but complex little joints that make it possible for you to chew, yawn, cough, and sneeze. When your TMJs become irritated and inflamed, you may have a chronic problem called TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder). Symptoms can include clenching and grinding your teeth (clinically known as bruxism), headaches, earaches, backaches, neck pain, dizziness, and obviously jaw and mouth pain. Fortunately, you are in good hands if you visit your Urbandale dentist. Dr. Lawson can check your teeth and jaw to figure out what is causing your toothache.

TMJ Help from Urbandale Dentist

If you are having any kind of mouth or jaw pain, we can provide you with potential treatment options. To schedule a consultation with Lawson Dentistry, call us at (515) 278-4366. We proudly serve patients from Urbandale, Johnston, Grimes, Waukee, and the surrounding communities.