Jaw & Facial Pain

TMJ Dentistry in Lethbridge, Alberta

Suffering from jaw and facial pain? The culprit might be your jaw muscles

When discussing jaw and facial pain, Lethbridge dentist Dr. Lachman explains: โ€œThe primary jaw muscle responsible for chewing is called the masseter muscle. It lies at the sides of your jaw just behind your cheeks. Itโ€™s the also the muscle that causes you to clench your jaw.โ€

You use your masseter muscle a lot. Think about how often you use your jaw as you:

Because we use it so much itโ€™s one of the most common locations for trigger points in your body. A trigger point is a contracted muscle, that can send pain signals to surrounding areas such as your jaw, face head, or ears.


How well is your jaw working?

If you answered yes to even one of those questions, something isnโ€™t right. These symptoms are indicators that your jaw joint may be unstable.

Suspecting TMJ Disorder?

Living with pain is hardly living at all.

A healthy Temporo-Mandibular joint (TMJ) is quiet. When you use it on a day-to-day basis, you shouldnโ€™t experience discomfort. The muscles that control your jaw should work in harmony, allowing you to open and close your mouth smoothly and silently without jaw and face pain.

TMJ often starts with a misaligned bite

As with anything you use repeatedly, over time you will probably experience wear and tear. The same holds true for your teeth. Think about it. You use them continuously, day-in and day-out.

Each day, your teeth contribute to your ability to talk, breathe, eat, drink and swallow. You chew with them, bite with them, grind them, brush them, floss them and generally (although you may not see it this way) abuse them.

Worn teeth can lead to a misaligned, or โ€œbad biteโ€. When this occurs, the wear and tear on your teeth is considerably more rapid and severe. The erosion of your teeth can lead to:

and an assortment of other symptoms, like jaw and facial pain.

TMJ treatment may help

TMJ treatment starts with a diagnosis of the problem. By reviewing your dental and medical history, and conducting a series of diagnostic tests, Lethbridge dentist Dr Karstan Lachman can help to uncover any problems with your bite that could be contributing to your jaw and facial pain.

The first step is to relax those jaw muscles. Once this is achieved, you may find your pain subsiding.

Phase 2 TMJ treatment involves keeping your jaw muscles relaxed over the longer term. This often involves correcting any dental issues that could have caused the jaw muscles to become overworked in the first place.