What's Causing My Jaw Pain: A Few Possibilities By fairfaxfamilydentalcare on March 26, 2024

woman holding jaw in pain

Are you experiencing jaw pain? At Fairfax Family Dental Care, we can begin to help you by discussing your symptoms and performing an in-depth exam. There are several causes of jaw pain and effective treatment options available to you. Nearly all of the contributors can have serious effects on your oral and overall health so it’s important to visit a dentist promptly. Reach out to our FairfaxVA, office, and until then, let’s review some common causes together.

Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Most people do not have room for wisdom teeth, also known as third molars, to erupt. When they become stuck under soft or hard tissue, it can cause immense pain. When you visit our dentist, we’ll use x-rays to take a closer look at the growth pattern of your teeth and determine the next step.

Unlike many dental offices in the Fairfax area, we’re able to handle even the most complex wisdom tooth removals in-house. We combine local anesthetic with sedation for a more comfortable procedure.

Advanced Decay or Damage of a Molar

Sometimes, when a tooth is damaged, you experience pain in your jaw rather than a toothache. Our molars can become compromised in several ways–the two most common being cracks and cavities. 

To reduce your symptoms and restore your health, a filling may be sufficient. In the case of molars, a dental crown might be the best option for you.

Root Canal Infection of a Molar

If the decay not only affects the outer portion of a tooth but the inner portion as well, we’ll most likely recommend root canal therapy. Despite its reputation, root canal therapy will involve far less pain than your current state and will help restore your comfort. 

We use advanced technology to perform root canal treatment and like our other procedures, can pair sedation if you’d prefer a deeper level of comfort.

Our team will do everything possible to save a decayed natural tooth but in some cases, tooth extraction is the best way to improve your health–now and in the future. If that’s the case, we’ll thoroughly discuss all of your tooth replacement options. Dental implants, for example, offer incredible health and cosmetic benefits and are recognized as the very best way to complete your smile.

TMJ Disorder

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is one of the main culprits when you’re experiencing jaw pain. Keep in mind that your symptoms might fluctuate depending on your stress levels, how much sleep you’ve been getting lately–and even your diet. 

If you’ve had consistent jaw pain, it’s important to get screened for Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). Left untreated, it can cause a host of problems in addition to discomfort. We can often provide relief to our patients in the form of a custom oral appliance that is worn while you sleep. 

Crooked Teeth Affecting Comfort

Crooked teeth not only detract from your appearance. Misalignment, specifically problems with your bite or the way your teeth come together when your mouth is closed, can also cause jaw pain and contribute to the development of TMD. 

With Invisalign clear aligners, straightening your smile is simpler than ever before. These trays can be removed for brushing, flossing, and eating so you can continue to clean your teeth like you normally would and enjoy an unrestricted diet.

Contact Us to Find Relief

At Fairfax Family Dental, we offer comprehensive restorative and general dentistry. We also handle emergencies and are often able to see you on the same day. If you’re in pain, don’t hesitate to reach out to us now. Message our team to get started.


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The Fairfax Family Dental Care office building.

Fairfax Family Dental Care

Our team of compassionate dental professionals uses state-of-the-art technology for every procedure we offer. As the premier emergency dentists in Fairfax, we are here to offer relief at any time of day or night, seven days a week. Our dentists are affiliated with professional associations including:

  • American Dental Association
  • American Academy of Implant Dentistry
  • The American Orthodontic Society
  • Virginia Dental Association

To schedule an appointment or receive immediate dental care, call: (703) 385-0303 or contact us online.

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