Orofacial Pain Treatment Questions and Answers
If you are having an unusual level of pain in your face and jaw you may be suffering from undiagnosed Orofacial Pain. At Koala Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders we can assist in the diagnosis and treatment of orofacial pain in both a medical and dental manner. We have 10 orofacial pain clinic locations. We Serve Patients From All Over the USA. Locations in Bloomington IL, Peoria – Dunlap IL, Lafayette IN, Mishawaka IN, Columbia MO, Kansas City MO, Albuquerque NM, Brewster NY, El Paso TX, Wausau WI.
The Koala Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders specializes in dental treatments for sleep apnea and orofacial pain often stemming from a variety of TMJ disorders. The center’s founder, Dr. Rod Wiley, has been a dental practitioner for over 30 years and has specialized in oral appliance therapy for obstructive sleep apnea, neuromuscular dentistry, and general orthodontics. Today many Americans suffer needlessly from undiagnosed sleep disorders and preventable Orofacial Pain caused by pain disorders in the mouth and jaw, and here at Koala Center for Sleep & TMJ Disorders we can help.
How can I relieve my jaw pain?
Dealing with Orofacial Pain can be difficult and simply letting it be can cause a great deal of difficulties in your everyday life. Some methods that you can perform on your own are taking proper doses of over the counter pain medications and/or muscle relaxants, making changes to your diet to allow your jaw some rest, applying a hot cloth or other moist form of heat to the inflamed joint and medically guided physical therapy to properly stretch the jaw muscles and help correct overall issues with your posture.
Involuntary clenching of the jaw from stress while awake and asleep can be a major cause of TMJ and also present one of the simplest non-medical solutions to facial pain. It is recommended that you make sure to relax your jaw regularly and try to avoid clenching your teeth as a stress response, it is also important that you let your jaw relax as well when you relax. Sleeping on your back may also help with pain management if you are suffering from TMJ, it will take pressure off of the jaw and provide support to your neck and upper body. Jaw Clenching and Teeth Grinding during sleep is something that our dental experts at Koala can help you with.
Some simple facial massages can also aid in jaw relaxation. Press into the sore area of your jaw using your index and middle finger and rub in a careful, circular motion 5 to 10 times. Follow this up by gently opening and stretching your mouth and jaw then repeating the massage until you feel some relief. A neck massage may also provide some much-needed tension relief in your jaw.
What is Orofacial Pain?
Orofacial Pain is a dental term to refer to a specialized field of dentistry that deals with the diagnosis, treatment and long-term management of pain in the associated regions of the face, specifically the mouth and jaw. Orofacial pain can manifest as headaches, the clicking or locking of the jaw, pain while performing activities with the mouth, pain concentrated around or behind the eyes and/or a notably deep and near constant ache within the jaw itself. While most long facial pain is caused by TMJ disorders, Orofacial Pain specialists do not limit their care to these muscle groups and are also skilled at diagnosing other disorders related to jaw movement, neuropathic disorders, neurovascular pain disorders, headaches, and other sleep disorders
When should I be concerned about Jaw Pain?
There can be many differing causes of jaw pain, some more serious than others, though all jaw pain that is either increasing or persistent over a long period of time should be investigated by a medical professional. Failure to get TMJ symptoms addressed could result in serious complications such as tinnitus, dizziness, balance difficulties and possibly even permanent damage to your jaw, impacting speech and ability to eat. In some cases, jaw and facial pain may be the result of infection or nerve damage, both of which would require treatment. Treating the pain is important as even taking unseen problems of underlying causes out of the equation, constant gritting and grinding of your teeth due to pain can cause damage to your teeth which can add to the pain and may incur additional treatment costs.
A serious cause of aches and pains, which are often described more as cramping or squeezing pain, in the jaw or face can be angina, which is discomfort caused by poor blood flow to the heart. While this jaw pain is often accompanied by additional chest pain, it can manifest in unexpected ways or places. This type of heart attack reaction has been most observed in women.
Osteomyelitis is another serious source for jaw pain that should be addressed as soon as possible. Osteomyelitis is a type of bone infection that can often develop in the jaw as an uncommon side effect of dental surgery where a bacterial or fungal infection was able to make its way from the bloodstream into the bone marrow. This infection is dangerous as it can spread from the initial location and possibly cause bone death. Some symptoms to keep an eye out for that differentiate Osteomyelitis from other forms of jaw pain are a fever, bad breath and unexplained numbness in the teeth, jaw, and lips. If you experience any of these symptoms in addition to worsening jaw pain, you should seek a professional opinion as soon as possible as a timely antibiotic treatment can prevent further complications.
Is orofacial pain a dental speciality?
Orofacial Pain itself is a dental speciality and many dentists, especially at Koala, are skilled in diagnosing and treating TMJ and related issues. If the root cause of the TMJ or TMD is caused by a problem in tooth & jaw alignment a dental solution rather than a medical solution may be the best option. Here at Koala We specialize in Neuromuscular Dentistry, which focuses on the muscles that support the bite and does not require invasive procedures such as surgery or Botox injections to take the strain off the muscles. We use a method known as TENS, which stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Neural Stimulation, a treatment which confuses the muscle memory and assists in finding the natural alignment of the jaw. This is then accompanied by a dental orthotic to promote the proper rest position for the jaw.
Why does my mouth and face hurt?
Pain caused primarily by the jaw is collected under the umbrella of a TMJ disorder, which stands for the temporomandibular joint. However, there are numerous causes of facial pain, the most common being headaches, injuries, or blemishes such as cysts or ingrown hairs. It may also be the result of underlying nerve damage, jaw misalignment or dental problems such as dead nerves or cavities.
Infections or Inflammations from various sources could also be the cause of the pain, many of these can be treated by antibiotics and are primarily a medical rather than a dental concern. Some of the most common infections are sinus or ear infections but some more serious examples include
If you think the source of your jaw or facial pain may be caused by a temporomandibular joint disorder feel free to make an appointment at your nearest Koala Center for Sleep and TMJ Disorders, we offer a free consultation and diagnosis for TMJ and will move forward with treatment recommendations from there. We have locations in Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New Mexico, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin all of whom offer expert care for facial pain caused by TMJ or other dental difficulties.