When should I be concerned about jaw pain?

Have you experienced sudden jaw pain when you’re biting into a delicious steak? Maybe your jaw hurts persistently when you chew?

If you’ve been slacking on your oral hygiene routine and have skipped a few dental cleanings lately, it’s a good indication your jaw pain when chewing could be caused by periodontal disease!

So how do you know if that’s the case for you? While you’re waiting for a teeth cleaning appointment with your dentist, our periodontal specialists can provide you with valuable information on periodontal disease and jaw pain.

So let’s go over why you could be experiencing jaw pain from gum disease and how to help prevent jaw pain of this type!

What does gum disease have to do with jaw pain?

To first understand the causes behind your oral discomfort, it’s a good idea to understand the relationship between your jaw and gums.

Think of your smile in basic layers. There’s your teeth at the top, your gums starting just before your tooth roots, the alveolar bone that holds your roots, and your jawbones nestled at the bottom. While there are many more layers to your oral and craniofacial structures, these layers are by far the most crucial ones.

If you’re negligent in brushing and flossing your teeth, bacteria will begin to build up between your teeth and gums. As plaque build-up occurs, your gums enter the first stage of gum disease – gingivitis, creating bleeding and sensitive gums. If this goes untreated, the bacteria will harden into tartar and continue to spread from your teeth to your gums and into your jaw bones, weakening havoc on your oral health. This stage is typically labeled as periodontitis. From here, the disease develops into the third stage…advanced periodontitis.

How gum disease progresses with jaw pain when chewing

We often have patients come to us saying, “my tooth hurts when I put pressure on it” or “my back tooth hurts when I chew”. Unfortunately, these can be telltale signs that a person is in a progressed stage of periodontal disease. It’s extremely important that you visit us if you notice these symptoms, so we can begin treatment and prevent further damage to your gums and mouth!

When gum disease enters the second and third stages, your gums will become increasingly tender. Your gums will begin to recede from your teeth, creating pockets between your gums and teeth. These pockets (often called periodontal pockets) accumulate bacteria, leading to an infection in the gums.

When your gums are receding, your jawbone begins to lose its density as infection eats away the bone supporting your roots, intensifying tenderness in the gums. Your teeth no longer have enough support from the deteriorating periodontal tissues, so your teeth become loose. This is when chewing or applying pressure to your teeth becomes painful.

What are some of the other symptoms of gum disease?

You can do a quick at-home assessment on the condition of your gums. If you recognize these common signs of gum disease, we recommend scheduling an appointment with us – no referral needed!

  • Bright red, swollen gums
  • Bleeding gums when flossing, brushing or eating
  • Receding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Consistently bad breath / bad taste in the mouth
  • Tooth/teeth pain when biting down or chewing
  • Throbbing tooth pain that comes and goes

How to prevent jaw pain with gum disease

To avoid jaw soreness that comes with gum disease, your best defense is to prevent gum disease before it happens! Here’s what you can do to prevent gum disease:

  • Brush teeth at least twice a day and between meals if possible
  • Floss every day
  • Consider quitting smoking
  • Eat a balanced diet; don’t overload on sugary, sweet, or sticky foods

Stop your jaw pain with periodontal treatment from Tampa Bay experts!

We’re here to support you and your gums. There are a number of treatment options available to treat the source of your jaw pain and we want to ensure that you have access to the most effective treatment route.

We believe that a healthy mouth is a healthy body. We’ll perform a thorough exam to diagnose your jaw pain condition and help you stop or reverse the effects of periodontal disease. Our team of board-certified periodontists are ready to assist you in getting back your beautiful, healthy smile!

If you’re looking for a top periodontist near Tampa Bay, request your appointment with us in Tampa or New Port Richey today.

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