Jaw pain: who to consult? (list of practitioners)

costen syndrome treatment in osteopathy

In addition to discomfort, a jaw pain is also responsible for discomfort when eating or speaking. Symptoms can get worse and lead to more serious problems. This is why it is always necessary to remain vigilant in the face of these kinds of symptoms. Who to consult in case of jaw pain? We will answer this question in this article.

Definition and anatomy

La jaw pain is a painful sensation or tenderness felt in or around the jawbone. The pain sometimes spreads to the ears and neck, affects almost the entire face and causes headaches.

The jaw consists of themaxillary bone (upper jaw) and the mandible (lower jaw). The mandible is attached to the skull by the temporomandibular joint. This joint allows the jaw to move. A disorder at the level of this one can also be the cause of jaw pain.

What are the signs of jaw pain?

Jaw pain is usually manifested by:

  • pain when chewing and swallowing;
  • difficulty opening the mouth;
  • headaches ;
  • swelling of the jaw, face or gums;
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in the neck.

What causes jaw pain?

There are many possible causes of jaw pain ranging from joint problems to dental problems. In some cases, it can even just come from stress.

The stress

Stress is defined by how the body reacts and handles harmful situations. When it becomes continuous, it can manifest in physical ways like clenching your teeth.

Clenching the teeth puts excessive pressure on the jaw muscles and increases the pressure on the jaw joint. In the long term, this causes pain.

To learn more about the link between jaw pain and stress, see the following article.

Bruxism

Teeth grinding, otherwise known as bruxism, can cause jaw pain.

Although grinding your teeth is often linked to stress and anxiety, bruxism can also occur unintentionally during sleep.

In addition to damaging the teeth, the bruxism also causes tooth and jaw pain, face and neck.

 

A dental problem

Dental problems can also be the cause of jaw pain. The most common are cavities, wisdom tooth growth and tooth fracture. There are also dental abscesses (a collection of pus inside the teeth) and gum disease.

Cancer

All types of cancer that can develop and affect the jawbone are a potential factor for pain at this level. This is the case for osteosarcoma, fibrosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, sarcoma and odontogenic carcinoma.

A trauma

Jaw or facial injuries, including a dislocated or broken jaw, can cause significant pain.

Osteoarthritis of the jaw

La deterioration of the cartilage of the temporomandibular joint is responsible for pain, swelling or rubbing in the jaw.

Costen's Syndrome

Le costen's syndrome is a pathology that directly affects the ATM. One of its main symptoms is pain when opening and closing the mouth.

To learn more about jaw pain, click here

Who to consult in case of jaw pain?

Jaw pain can not only be unpleasant, but it can also lead to certain complications: infections, continuous pain, blocked jaw…

It is therefore essential to seek medical attention as soon as possible. You can see one or more specialists at a time. Here is a list of people who can help you.

A general practitioner

He will perform an X-ray or MRI to check the cause of the pain. He can also refer you to a specialist if necessary.

A dentist, orthodontist or stomatologist

Those are specialists in mouth and dental conditions. They intervene to ensure that your teeth, muscles and joints are working as they should.

The dentist may prescribe dental treatments such as the use of appliances that can realign your teeth and jaws. They may also advise you to wear aligners at night to prevent you from clenching or grinding your teeth.

A psychologist or psychiatrist 

Stress is a major contributor to jaw pain. Highly stressed people have muscles that constantly tense. This creates muscle or joint pain and tension.

You can consult a psychologist or psychiatrist to help you manage stress.

A physiotherapist

To relieve jaw pain, the therapist analyzes the posture of the patient. It also assesses the functions of the tongue, mouth and face. The objective is to decipher the real cause of jaw pain.

According to the diagnosis, the physiotherapist has several treatment options.

an osteopath

Jaw pain is usually due to restriction or hypermobility of one or both temporomandibular joints.

An osteopath will aim to restore the best possible function to the area by treating the complex system of surrounding muscles, joints and connective tissue.

Treatment may include massage and mobilization of the neck, upper back, and facial muscles.

A maxillofacial surgeon

You can go to an oral surgeon (also called an oral and maxillofacial surgeon) for further care and treatment.

This doctor specializes in surgery of the entire face, mouth and jaw.

References

https://www.msdmanuals.com/fr/professional/troubles-dentaires/troubles-de-l-articulation-temporomandibulaire/syndrome-de-douleur-myofasciale

https://www.reflexosteo.com/blog-sante-bien-etre/atm-machoire-osteopathie-35# : ~ : text=L’ost%C3%A9opathe%2C%20en%20premi%C3%A8re%20ligne, votre%20douleur%20%C3%A0%20la%20m%C3%A2choire.

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