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jaw pain

What’s Causing your Jaw Pain During the Holidays?


It might be difficult for additional life activities as your calendar fills up with Christmas parties and get-togethers. Your time, money, and patience may be severely stressed because of Christmas expectations. Some people manage the additional stress by exercising, and others may find time to relax and ease their tension. However, when your stress level rises enough, for some individuals, their bodies release tension differently, which may lead to jaw discomfort or headaches. Today on the blog, our Lake Forest dentists who treat jaw pain discuss how Christmas stress can be the cause of your discomfort and what treatments might relieve painful symptoms.

What impact does stress have on your oral health?

Stress can lead to oral health disorders, including bruxism or nighttime teeth grinding. Because teeth grinding usually happens when individuals are asleep, many people are unaware that they do it. However, according to our Lake Bluff dentists that specialize in treating jaw discomfort, untreated bruxism can result in several dental issues that might seriously harm your oral health. For instance, if you grind your teeth, it may cause tension in your jaw joints, leading to temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), which can cause headaches and jaw discomfort. Additionally, whether eating, drinking, or biting, those with worn teeth are more prone to experience sensitivity or pain.

What are a few reasons why the jaw hurts?

Although there can be several explanations for why you’re experiencing jaw pain, the most common reason is stress relief. Patients who grind their teeth as a form of stress relief may develop various dental health issues resulting in jaw discomfort. Our Lincolnshire TMJ dentists share below common jaw pain causes that should prompt an investigation and monitoring by our qualified and experienced neuromuscular dentists.

  • Tooth Pain – It might be difficult to manage your activities when you have a toothache. A toothache often indicates a problem requiring diagnosis and treatment by a dentist. Cavities, dental decay, infected teeth, or injured teeth caused by jaw clenching or teeth grinding are some of the conditions that can cause tooth discomfort. If the tooth discomfort isn’t addressed, it may get worse and result in jaw damage, which is quite painful and calls for additional treatments.
  • Bruxism – Significant pressure occurs when you clench and grind your teeth, which may cause jaw tension or tooth damage. Fortunately, our TMJ dentists in Lake Forest can design a custom mouthguard that you wear while you sleep to absorb the extreme pressure and safeguard your teeth.
  • TMJ Disorder – The tiny, spherical joint that joins the jaw to the skull is called the temporomandibular joint. Unfortunately, if the joint malfunctions, it might have a negative influence on your quality of life and your dental health. Most patients complain of crippling headaches or jaw pain when they wake, which is occasionally treatable with over-the-counter painkillers. However, painkillers merely cover up the underlying issue, which will persist and get worse without medical attention, say our Lake Bluff dentists who treat TMJ d With the help of a TMJ specialist, you can experience pain relief from your TMJ disorder without taking pain relievers.

What can I do to ease jaw pain?

Holiday stress can cause jaw discomfort that ruins your spirit or leaves you replying no to parties and gatherings. Here are a few things that you can do at home to help relieve some of your discomfort. Applying an ice pack or wet heat compress to the jaw region for 10 minutes can provide relief in acute jaw pain. Additionally, over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen or ibuprofen can assist in temporarily lessening the discomfort. Nevertheless, seeing one of our Lincolnshire neuromuscular dentists is necessary to treat the underlying issue if you want to reduce the painful sensations. By examining your bite, jaw muscles, and supporting soft and hard tissue components of your temporomandibular joints, our highly qualified and experienced TMJ specialists in Lake Forest can help restore appropriate function and form.

TMJ Treatment in Lake Forest, Lake Bluff, and Lincolnshire

While the holidays are a time for joy and celebration, they may also add extra stress to your life that your body can’t handle. Despite your hectic schedule, be sure to enjoy downtime so you can unwind and reduce your holiday stress. Regular exercise might also lower your stress over the Christmas season. If you have recurrent jaw discomfort or headaches despite your stress-reduction efforts, feel free to contact our Lake Forest dental office which treats TMJ patients at Lake Forest Smiles. Call us at (847) 234-4800 or complete an online consultation request.

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