Some people experience facial pain for unknown reasons. They try different things to ease the pain, and it may go away, but the underlying cause is unknown. Eventually, the pain returns. Facial pain has different causes such as migraines, sinus infections, and trigeminal neuralgia or TMD. We can help identify the source of the pain.
Facial pain may be a symptom of TMD. Let’s start by learning more about this condition and the causes and symptoms of TMD facial pain.
What Is TMD?
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD) references a group of conditions causing pain and dysfunction in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and the muscles controlling jaw movement. TMD conditions usually fall within these three categories.
- Pain from irritated muscles controlling jaw function, the neck, and shoulders.
- Displaced disk, joint displacement, or condyle injury (the rounded edges of the lower jaw).
- Degenerative or inflammatory joint disorders affecting the TMJ such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.
Causes of TMD Facial Pain
The TMJ can become displaced and affect the nerves, muscles, and bones that surround it. The facial muscles may become strained or have spasms because they have to work harder to allow for the misaligned bite. Because of the additional strain, facial pain can radiate from the TMJ.
Symptoms of TMD Facial Pain
TMD facial pain may occur suddenly and severely or be dull and recurring. The pain is commonly on one side of the jaw. It can be temporary or chronic. Pain may intensify while yawning, chewing, and clenching or grinding the teeth.
The pain can be greater upon waking in the morning. It may also be present with other TMD symptoms like popping or clicking of the TMJ, migraines, or limited jaw movement. If you’re experiencing unexplained facial pain, seek a proper diagnosis.
In our practice, we provide joint vibration analysis (JVA) as a noninvasive way to detect vibrations in your TMJ using electronic recordings to assist in diagnosing TMD. We also have the Cone Beam CT Imaging System which uses 3D technology to get high-quality images of hard and soft tissues for accurate diagnosis of TMD.
Finding the cause is the first step to getting rid of the pain. We can review your medical history and do a comprehensive examination to find the source of your pain, then make further recommendations based on your needs. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation. We serve patients in Chicago, Illinois, and the surrounding areas.