If you’re experiencing severe jaw pain, it can be difficult to pinpoint what the cause might be. There are a number of dental or periodontal conditions that can cause jaw pain, but it normally comes down to this question: Is your jaw pain being caused TMJ or impacted wisdom teeth? It’s not hard to confuse the two.
There are many symptoms that can appear identical to the average dental patient, but some are exclusive to one condition or the other, and it’s important to know the distinction. If you are experiencing jaw pain, it’s always best to see a family dentist like Dr. Patrick Cieplak as soon as possible, but we’ve provided some information to help narrow it down.
Signs Your Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed
The most common symptom between both wisdom teeth and temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMD, is a constant pain in the back of your mouth, near the TMJ. If it’s a wisdom tooth issue, the pain will often extend to neighboring teeth as well.
It’s also difficult to eat in many cases. One symptom that may help identify a wisdom teeth condition is that food can often get stuck in the gum flap that covers them. This can in turn cause infection in the gums, exacerbating the oral pain.
Signs You Need Treatment for TMD
On the other hand, TMD can cause a constant pain in your entire jaw every time you bite down, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be while chewing. The pain can also extend to your neck, upper back, and shoulders in some cases. You may also experience limited jaw mobility or a noticeable grinding or clicking sound every time you open your mouth.
Thankfully, Dr. Cieplak is highly experienced and trained in treatments for both conditions. In either case, it’s important to see a dentist as soon as you are able. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, please contact our office. Dr. Cieplak will be happy to help you.