Jaw pain and orofacial pain is often the result of an underlying temporomandibular disorder (TMD), that is affecting the position and function of the jaw joint. Dr. Pamela Cain, our dentist in Knoxville, TN, has focused her continuing education on the diagnosis and treatment of orofacial pain, studying with leaders in the field including Dr. Jeffrey Okeson.
Dr. Cain works with patients on an individual basis to address symptoms and recommend a treatment designed to address the underlying cause for lasting results.
Treating Jaw Pain in Knoxville, TN
Dr. Cain incorporates advanced technology into the assessment of your jaw function and bite. Using Tekscan™, BioEMG, JT-3D Jaw Tracking, and CAD/CAM software, Dr. Cain can thoroughly evaluate the movement and tension of your head and neck muscles as well as the force of your bite. This provides a clear picture of where the dysfunction is occurring and a foundation for successful treatment planning.
Based on the analysis of your bite, Dr. Cain will recommend a treatment plan for restoring function, comfort, and aesthetics that will also support long-term dental health. Depending on the cause of your pain, we may coordinate care with other specialists in a multi-disciplinary approach for the best possible result.
Dr. Cain may recommend additional digital scans or an MRI to further evaluate your jaw and neck area. High-level radiography can offer a more in-depth analysis of your internal nerve and tissue structure for pinpointing where there is damage, abnormality, or inflammation causing symptoms.
In some cases, it may be recommended that patients see a specialist located out of state for the best possible care and outcome. This type of comprehensive treatment for TMJ is typically not covered by insurance benefits. Dr. Cain will provide an estimate of costs once a treatment plan is created for your needs.
Conservative Treatment Options
- Mouthguard or splint therapy: used for temporary relief of jaw pain when indicated, a custom-fit mouthguard or dental splint may be needed to position the jaw correctly and reduce tooth wear and damage caused by teeth grinding. Dr. Cain has advanced training in orofacial pain and occlusal disorders and will work with you to identify the cause of your jaw dysfunction and provide a long-term treatment option.
- Restorative dentistry: addressing worn or cracked teeth and realigning the way they make contact can often be accomplished with restorative treatments such as dental crowns and tooth bonding.
Advanced Technology for Treating Pain
Dr. Cain’s advanced training makes her uniquely qualified to analyze, diagnose and treat many of the causes of chronic pain affecting the head, neck, and jaw area. Dr. Cain is one of few local Knoxville dentists with the advanced training necessary to diagnose and treat the underlying cause of jaw, temporal and neck pain.
A Level 2 DTR dentist, Dr. Cain uses advanced diagnostics to measure the force and the function of your bite. Dr. Cain has also trained with Bio Research and has incorporated the use of several leading technologies into the diagnosis and treatment of occlusal disorders. We may incorporate the use of the MLS laser for treating your jaw pain.
This advanced dental laser is designed to address inflammation and to stimulate the healing process with dual-wavelength technology.
Analyzing the bite and muscle function using DTR:
“The scan on the left (before) has noticeable interferences on the graph, and the one (after) on the right is calmer with fewer irregularities.”
Dr. Cain takes a holistic approach to evaluate your pain. In addition to the use of our advanced diagnostic tools, we take the time to examine all aspects of your bite and discuss your medical history and lifestyle habits in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of your oral and overall health.
There are many reasons for chronic pain, jaw tension, and that “tired jaw” feeling. These range from the physical to the emotional. In many cases, there is a combination of factors affecting your pain even though the physical manifestations are affecting your dental health.
The key to treatment that not only relieves pain but improves your quality of life is to identify the root cause and create a personalized treatment plan. If you suffer from chronic pain, headaches, jaw tension, or an uncomfortable bite, Dr. Cain will work with you on an individual basis to ensure the best possible outcome.
Our goal is to provide personalized, supportive care. We want to give you back your best quality of life and lasting oral health.
One Patient’s Story
“I no longer wake up tired, sleep better, eat better, just better all the way around. ” Lea Ann, patient of Dr. Pamela Cain
Jaw Pain FAQs
When should I be concerned about jaw pain?
Jaw pain is not always serious. However, if it’s causing issues in day-to-day life, then you will want to see your dentist. Jaw pain can be concerning, but in most cases it is nothing. Your dentist will be able to determine if your jaw pain is concerning, and what is causing it.
Why does my jaw hurt on one side?
The most common cause of one-sided jaw pain is TMJ. TMJ is a disorder in which the joint that helps jaw movement and function is separated from the bone. This may cause difficulty moving one’s jaw and pain in one side of a patient’s mouth.
What does cardiac jaw pain feel like?
Cardiac jaw pain is typically described as a tight pressure in the jaw. Some patients also have described it as a bad toothache. You are most likely to feel cardiac jaw pain if you have a heart condition.
Schedule A Dental Exam Today
Jaw pain can range from mild to debilitating and can impact not only your oral health but your overall well-being. If you are suffering from jaw pain or facial pain, schedule a consultation with Dr. Pamela Cain. Discovering the underlying cause of your discomfort can be the first step in getting back a smile that feels as good as it looks.
Contact our Knoxville dentist office at (865) 276-7173 or request an appointment online.