When pain in the face at the ear, in the cheek, jaw bones, the joint of the jaw bone, the area of lateral teeth is felt but the dentist is unable to identify the faulty tooth, it is very likely that the source of pain is chewing muscles or joints.
Why do chewing muscles or jaw bone joints ache? Probably, you have heard a dozen of times people saying that “when life was hard, I clenched my teeth and survived”. It is thought that many people clench teeth when they feel tension, anxiety or make decisions. Yet, each of us does it in a different way. If we are more sensitive, constant tension is felt at work or in general in life. At night, the state of stress is less controlled, and it may manifest itself as rubbing teeth against each other. The cause of this phenomenon is not quite clear. It is considered that it is a phenomenon of the central nervous system or a form of a sleeping disorder. However, many agree that the decisive factor here is psychological tension. According to the World Health Organisation, 80 per cent of diseases are related to stress.
Due to constant teeth clenching or grinding (see Prevention of Consequences of Teeth Grinding), teeth abrade faster (see Prevention and Treatment of Dental Abrasion), chewing muscles and jaw joints start aching. Patients complain about a headache, facial pain (most often at the ear), more difficult mouth opening and chewing, sounds in the joint. If it is accompanied by incorrect dental bite, symptoms may become even worse. It is similar to wearing wrong shoes: one needs to walk a lot but shoes are bad and legs start aching. Disorders of chewing muscles and joints are also caused by former head and neck traumas.
Upon occurrence of similar symptoms, a visit to a competent professional should be paid to determine the causes and receive help. Otherwise, a vicious circle starts: a headache, pain in the face or joint causes additional anxiety – the fear of severe head diseases. In case of a chronic pain, treatment becomes less successful.
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