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Facial Pain and Temporo-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD)

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There are many forms of facial pain. The most common cause is toothache. However, in many instances it can be due to other non-dental issues such as tempero-mandibular joint dysfunction (see below), headaches (e.g. migraines), referred pain (e.g. from neck or back), small nerve abnormalities (trigeminal neuralgia) and others where there is cause is unclear (atypical facial pain). Some of these pains require further investigation in order to accurately diagnose the correct origin, so that it can be treated correctly.

Temporo-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction occurs when the hinge joints on each side of our face become sore. These joints are responsible for the opening and closing of our mouths, but like any other joints in our body, these joints can suffer from wear and tear and become painful. The most common causes of this are grinding or clenching of the teeth. Other causes include previous trauma or an imbalanced bite due to missing teeth. This problem can come and go over time, but when it is present it can cause a lot of pain. Hence there are exercises and treatments that can help reduce this pain.

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