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All Posts in Category: General dentistry

jaw pain

Why Do I Have Jaw Pain?

Every day we use our jaw in multiple ways without even thinking about it. That is until we experience jaw pain and may require a nigth guard. Our jawbone connects to our skull at a pair of joints close to the ear canals known as the temporomandibular joints or TMJ. What might be some of the reasons for our jaw pain? Besides chewing food, our teeth should not be in contact with each other. If that takes place, it is called parafunctional contact. These are some examples of it:

jaw pain

Not wearing My Sports Guard

A sports guard keeps your teeth safe during contact sports and is often mandatory equipment in many team sports. The guard material of the sports guard helps absorb impacts and spreads the force of such impact over a larger area, often preventing concussion. If you or your child is a keen sports player, investing in a custom-fabricated mouth guard is a necessary and highly recommended expense.

Grinding or Clenching My Teeth at Night

If you unconsciously grind, gnash or clench your teeth at night, you have a condition called Bruxism. This condition is generally stress-related, besides possibly causing damage to your teeth it can, in addition, be the cause of jaw pain. Wearing a night guard, therefore, becomes a must. A night guard is worn at night, and not only protects your teeth but also separates the upper and lower jaw, promoting relief of muscle spasm, TMJ pain and reducing wear and breakage of teeth. 

Having Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder

Pain at our temporomandibular joints (TMJ’s) is one of the most common reasons for jaw pain. It is more common among women and is often felt after an illness, jaw injury or an episode of acute stress. It can also be due to arthritis or other conditions that attack the cartilage that projects the joints. Of all these causes, stress may be the largest contributor. Some TMJ disorder symptoms include:

  • A popping or clicking sound when you open or close your mouth,
  • Headaches, and/or
  • Soreness and stiffness in your jaw or neck area.
  • Restricted jaw opening
  • Difficulty chewing

jaw pain

If you need a sports or night guard or require temporomandibular joint (TMJ) treatment for whatever reason, it is best to contact your local Peterborough dentist, Dr. Ralph Bastian. For more information on how we can relieve your jaw pain with a teeth guard, do not hesitate to get in touch

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Why Do Wisdom Teeth Need to Be Removed?

There are various reasons why wisdom tooth extraction is required. Wisdom teeth, or third molars as they are otherwise called, are the last teeth to erupt in our mouths. They generally emerge between the ages of 17 and 25 years. Anthropologists believe wisdom teeth were the answer to our early ancestors’ diets of rough food that required a lot of chewing power. With our modern diet, however, wisdom teeth are not really needed any more. 


Not everyone will have problems with their wisdom teeth, but most people are likely to develop problems with at least one of their wisdom teeth. What are some of the problems experienced that require wisdom teeth to be removed?

  • Your jaw may not be large enough to accommodate your wisdom teeth, causing them to become impacted, which means they cannot break through your gums.
  • Impacted wisdom teeth cannot erupt when the tooth lies at an awkward angle and they are physically prevented from erupting into the mouth. This  can cause pressure pain to the adjacent tooth. In some cases a cyst can form that can destroy jaw bone. 
  • In many cases the wisdom teeth can be partially erupted and serious infections can occur from tissue breakdown and food impaction.

A lot of orthodontic work is done on teenagers, long before wisdom teeth are expected to erupt. Any problems with wisdom teeth such as crowding adjacent teeth or wisdom teeth emerging at odd angles can negatively impact ongoing orthodontic treatments. It may even spoil the results of already completed treatments. Orthodontists will then recommend the family dentist monitor the wisdom teeth with X-rays or visually and remove if they feel it is necessary.    

Patients with fully impacted wisdom teeth are referred to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.  The removal of the wisdom teeth can be done at the dentist’s or oral surgeon’s office. It may be removed with local anaesthetics at a dentist office or with sedation or general anesthetics by the oral maxillofacial surgeon at the hospital.   

Dr. Ralph Bastian provides a range of routine extraction and complex surgical treatments related to orthodontics, aesthetics and wisdom teeth. Contact us today for any wisdom tooth extraction treatments. 

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