5 common reasons why your jaws pain


Do you experience jaw pain while chewing your food? Well! Most of us when we have jaw or facial pain, we suspect it's because of our teeth. Even if it is true in many cases, several other conditions contribute to jaw pain. Figuring out what is causing the jaw pain is very difficult as the pain can either originate from the teeth, muscles, or jaw bones. It can also come from unexpected areas like the sinuses, heart, and even your ears.

Through pain, your body gives a signal that something is not well. Reaching the bottom of the jaw pain is vital. You need to consult a dentist and your physician.


Get treatment for the cause and not the symptoms.

Many people who experience chronic jaw pain try treating themselves by taking over-the-counter medicines or painkillers. But to treat the pain properly, you require a proper diagnosis, as painkillers only address the symptoms rather than the cause. Overusing painkillers also lead to other side effects such as liver failure, kidney necrosis, etc.

So, if you have jaw pain, you need to see a dentist who will conduct a thorough dental exam. This involves dental X-rays, CAT scans, and sometimes blood work. Before doing blood work, the dental origin of the pain must be ruled out.


Some of the significant causes of jaw pain are

Dental causes lead to jaw pain and should be treated by your dentist or oral and maxillofacial surgeon. 

  • Teeth grinding: It can cause severe damage to your teeth and is a significant cause of jaw pain. It is something where an individual clenches teeth. Some people clench their teeth when stressed, and some grind their teeth while sleeping. When left untreated, it can lead to several dental issues. Practicing stress-relieving exercises or using a mouth guard at night are some of the ways to stop teeth grinding.


  • Osteomyelitis is one kind of infection that will travel in the bloodstream and start affecting bones and other surrounding tissues. When any individual has jaw osteomyelitis, it impacts the temporomandibular joint that causes jaw pain, facial swelling, and fever. This condition is curable through antibiotics or a surgical process for removing those areas of the bone that have died because of the infection.


  • Temporomandibular disorder: It is also called TMD, which mainly has an impact on the temporomandibular joint. Other than pain, this also causes your jaw to make a clicking sound when you open your mouth or while chewing. In some rare cases, this disorder can also cause your jaw to get stuck permanently in a closed or open position.


  • Dental issues: Some of the other causes of jaw pain includes abscess, gum disease or cavities. Even though these issues do not affect the jaw directly, the pain will radiate to the jaw area. In addition, when there are gaps between your teeth or damaged teeth, you will also experience jaw pain while biting or chewing. Practicing a good oral health regimen at home and consulting the dentist can assist you in decreasing the risk of developing any of these conditions.


  • Tooth abscess: This condition occurs because of the dental pulp or an infected nerve. It usually happens when you have left a dental cavity untreated for an extended period. When the bacteria starts spreading from the tooth's root, it affects all nearby bone tissues, leading to a lot of jaw pain. Going for regular dental exams and treating dental cavities early is one of the best ways to avoid these issues.


Some of the other causes of jaw pain are

  • Trauma: When your jaws suffer trauma, it can cause damage to your bones, teeth, temporomandibular joint, and muscles. This injury can be easily treated using muscle relaxants, surgery, and anti-inflammatory drugs. 


  • Heart attack: It is one serious case of facial or jaw pain. Most people experience chest pain with a heart attack, but this pain also radiates to your jaws. Some heart attack patients get pain only in their jaw. Another cause is angina, where the heart muscles lack the required amount of oxygen.


  • Cluster headaches: Even though it causes pain behind or around one of your eyes, the pain can migrate towards your jaw. Cluster headache is one of the most painful kinds of headaches.


  • Trigeminal neuralgia: It is a condition that leads to jaw and facial pain. This pain does not last long and occurs on one side of your face. It is also shooting, electrical or stabbing in nature and sometimes mimics dental pain. Trigeminal neuralgia is often misdiagnosed, and many patients try to treat it with dental procedures. This condition should be treated with specific medication and required surgical processes.


So, you can see that jaw pain occurs because of several causes. It is vital not to treat only the symptom but to seek professional assistance. You must involve your dentist as early as possible to diagnose the issues and develop a suitable treatment plan. Choose a good dentist from Mydentalplan.in and get the proper treatment. Reaching the bottom of the jaw pain requires little patience and perseverance, but once the source is known and an accurate diagnosis is made, you will get relief.




About the Author:

Suprithi Choudhary, M.Pharm (Pharmacology) Medical Content writer

Suprithi is a Pharma Professional working as a medical content writer and previously worked as a Research Scientist and Senior Research Analyst


  • C.M Academy
  • Attended the Panjab University- Chandigarh, Pharma post-graduate in Pharmacology

Special thanks to Dr Deepak Kulkarni, a dental surgeon with over 23 years of experience who proofread this blog. He graduated from the H.K.E's Dental College, Gulbarga, and has certifications in ACHS International Accreditation Education Plan; Advanced Rotary Endodontic - Restorative Continuum; and Leadership, Team Building and Customer Service Leadership from the Oscar Murphy International.

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