Jaw pain refers to some form of physical irritation that occurs in the jaw. That being said, it may also spread to other parts of the face. Jaw pain is a common ailment. It usually does not necessitate urgent medical treatment. Although this is reassuring, jaw pain may also be a symptom of a more severe root problem.
Jaw pain can be triggered by a number of causes. Sinuses, ear infections, dental complications, injured nerve endings in the jaw, heart attacks, and other causes may all lead to it. As a result, determining what’s really causing your jaw pain may be complicated. Jaw pain can impair the ability to talk and eat, depending on the underlying cause and extent of the pain. If the jaw pain is serious, escalating, or constant, you should see your doctor or dentist as soon as possible.
Some other symptoms of jaw pain (apart from the obvious pain in the jaw), are reduced mobility of the jaw and mouth, tenderness in the mouth joints and muscles, jaw misalignment, clicking and popping sounds when you move your jaw and mouth, ringing sound in the ears (tinnitus), headaches, ear pain, pressure behind the eyes, vertigo or dizziness, lockjaw, swelling of the face, or fever (may be indicative of infection)
Common Causes of Jaw Pain
- TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) Disorder
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a set of muscles, bones, and nerve endings that enable you to move your jaw. TMJ disease is described as any illness that impacts one or more of these connective tissues. TMJ disease can be triggered by a variety of factors, like
- The jaw joint has been injured. This might occur if the TMJ’s blood vessels, muscles, or nerve endings are harmed.
- Excessive joint tension. Temporal arteritis is a disease that affects the eyes. As the arteries in the temples get inflamed, it causes this disease. Chewing with vigor and over a prolonged period of time triggers it. This disorder will wreak havoc on the TMJ and induce headaches.
- A disc that cushions the jaw has been displaced.
- The protective disc that cushions TMJ has contracted arthritis.
- Frequent grinding or clenching of teeth also called bruxism.
- Physical Trauma
Any fracture or strain to the body is referred to as a traumatic event. TMJ suffering will most likely result from a heavy blow to the mouth. A fractured or dislocated jaw can cause intense pain. If you yawned very widely, for example, you could dislocate your jaw by stretching your mouth too fast and too wide.
- Underlying Dental Conditions
Jaw pain may be caused by gum disease, cavities, missing teeth, tooth abscesses, or even a gap between teeth. These disorders can cause jaw pain by damaging the blood vessels and nerve endings in the gums.
- Sinus Problems
The sinuses are cavities full of air near the TMJ. When the sinuses swell, they can get clogged with mucus or pus, exerting pressure on the joint and resulting in jaw pain.
- Cluster and Tension Headaches
Stress is the most common cause of these headaches, and they can be severe. Cluster headaches are characterized by discomfort behind or near the eyes, but the pain can also spread to the mouth.
- Myocardial Infarction
Better known as a heart attack. The most severe trigger of jaw pain is this. You may be experiencing myocardial infarction if the jaw pain is abrupt and followed by shortness of breath, chest pain/discomfort, faintness, sweating, and nausea. Seek emergency attention should you experience these symptoms.
Consult your doctor, dentist, or oral surgeon if you have serious and chronic jaw pain, or if you have a variation of the symptoms mentioned above. Your jaw pain may belly underlying dental or medical issues that are far more serious and harmful.