Facial spasms are abnormal muscle contractions in the face. They can make your jaw feel sore or difficult to open or close and create cranioficial pain in the head, face, temporomandibular joints (TMJ), mouth, teeth, and neck. The pain can be constant and dull or throbbing, sharp, and burning.
Sometimes this pain occurs after dental treatment such as root canals, extractions, or periodontal treatment. This type of pain can be pin-pointed to a specific cause and addressed. In other instances the discomfort develops slowly over time without any specific or apparent trigger, making it more challenging to diagnose and correct.
In these cases, we often see muscle spasms going hand-in-hand with displaced jaw joints, also known as “Craniomandibular Dysfunction.” Because the nerves and muscles are so complex in this area, when these muscles are in spasm, the problems can be far-reaching. People suffer from additional symptoms they would never think to associate back to their jaw, such as:
• Headaches and Migraines
• Pain behind the eyes
• Earaches or ringing of the ears
• Clenching or grinding of the teeth
• Neck, shoulder, or back pain/stiffness
• Numbness, or tingling of the fingers
• Sinus Problems
The facial spasms and related issues are typically the result of a “bad bite”. When your bite is unstable your muscles must work extra hard. This extra work causes them to become shortened and stiff. Eventually they become strained and pain sets in. You begin to feel tense and uptight. Ultimately, the muscles spasm, further increasing the pain. You may begin to notice little muscle knots in the facial area of your jaw, or large defined jowl muscles forming.
Causes of a “bad bite”:
- Ill-fitting dentures
- Auto Accident
- Blow To Face
- Poor Crowns
- Missing Teeth
- Misaligned Teeth
- Jaw Joint Displacement
Dr. Arhiri at Premier Smiles can conduct a thorough exam to confirm whether TMD may be causing your facial pain and spasms. Treatment may be simple or require several steps. Sometimes, simple changes in diet, stress reduction, and sleeping can garner relief. In more advanced cases, a patient may require muscle relaxers, a night guard, restoration of certain teeth, orthodontics, or permanent appliances.
For more information on how Premier Smiles can help you with facial pain and spasm problems, call 610-647-7611 today.