Orofacial pain isn’t the same as an average toothache, and only the top dentists in Virginia Beach can tell the difference. The subject is more complicated than you might think because orofacial pain can include a variety of clinical problems that involve the chewing (masticatory) muscles and/or TMJ (temporomandibular joint). Typical problems may include TMJ (temporomandibular joint) discomfort; muscle spasms related to the jaw, head, and neck; migraine headaches, cluster or frequent headaches; or pain associated with the jaw, face, or teeth.
Consider this: The average person swallows approximately 2,000 times per day, an action that causes the upper and lower teeth to come together forcefully and push against the skull. Anyone with an unstable bite, teeth that are missing or poorly aligned teeth could have experience discomfort as the muscles are forced to strain and work harder in order to bring the teeth together. It is also possible to experience pain as the result of subconscious clenching or grinding of the teeth, an injury to the head and neck, or improper ergonomics.
A large percentage of people may also experience pain that radiates to the cheeks, ears, sinuses, eyes, or side of the head. Many others notice clicking when the jaw moves or a locking sensation when the jaw is opened or closed. The problems that are known to cause orofacial pain are typically grouped in the following categories:
- Sleep disorders
How a Dentist Can Help
To bring you some relief, the dentist will start by taking a medical and dental history to determine if any injury has occurred in or around the facial area. A physical examination of your temporomandibular joint, head and neck are also necessary. By maintaining or correcting your bite, Virginia Beach dentists can promote optimal health to reduce or eliminate your orofacial pain or discomfort. For more help, call to schedule an appointment today.