Why Does My Jaw Hurt
Nearly everyone suffers from an aching jaw at some point in their lives. The reasons for jaw pain vary from simple, easily treated situations to complex problems requiring an advanced treatment plan. Here are five causes of jaw pain.
Dental problem– Jaw pain can spring from things like a cavity, cracked tooth, infection, and gum disease. Don’t neglect to make an appointment with your dentist if you suspect that a dental problem is at the root of your aching jaw.
Stress– Are you stressed with work and daily life? One of the sneaky ways that life’s weight shows itself is through a tense jaw. Too much jaw clenching and teeth grinding will undoubtedly result in an unhappy mouth.
Sinus– If you struggle with your sinuses, you’ve probably experienced the unique way that sinus pain and pressure masquerades as jaw pain. You can suspect a sinus issue if your jaw pain comes along with things like dizziness, post-nasal drip, and forehead pressure. Your doctor can help to determine if your jaw pain comes from a sinus issue.
Headache– Migraines and cluster headaches are notorious culprits behind an agonizing jaw. In the case of a migraine, blood vessels and nerves combine to create intense discomfort. If your jaw pain subsides as the problem eases, there is a decent chance that the migraine caused the jaw pain. Check with your doctor if severe headaches persist.
- Tender jaw
Acute Salivary Duct Stone
A salivary duct stone is the most common disorder of the salivary glands . They can range in size from tiny particles to stones that are several centimeters in length.
You can try treating this at home and going to the doctor if things don’t work. You can stay well hydrated, apply warm compresses, and massage or “milk” the duct with the stone in it. Another tip would be to suck on lemon drops or other hard tart candy throughout the day. Pain is treated with NSAIDs like Ibuprofen. If things do not get better or you cannot find the stone, it’s best to go to your doctor.
Top Symptoms: swelling on one side of the face, swollen jaw, painful face swelling, spontaneous jaw pain, painful jaw swelling
Urgency: Phone call or in-person visit
Pain Under The Jaw Right
The pain under the jaw on the right or left can be explained by several reasons:
- inflammatory processes involving the jawbone,
- dental problems,
- lymphatic changes, including cancer.
It does not matter what symptoms are accompanied by pain under the jaw on the right, consultation with a doctor is mandatory.
If the pain does not cause any particular discomfort, it is not yet a fact that the basis of this investigation is not serious. It is not a secret for anyone that initially many diseases are not expressed by visible signs at all. Only then, with time, a weak pain can grow into exhaustion. That’s why, not the lotions and pain medications you need to eliminate pain, and competent medical treatment.
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Rheumatoid Or Psoriatic Arthritis
These forms of arthritis occur because your immune system attacks healthy joints. Both rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis are identified as autoimmune conditions.
You may experience joint pain throughout your body at different times, including in your TMJ, and certain triggers may cause the pain to flare up.
Pain In The Neck Under The Jaw
Most often, pain under the jaw and in the neck is associated with lymphatic inflammation or angina. Both these and other causes are associated with infection in the body: in the lymph nodes or tonsils.
Also under the category of pathogens of painful symptoms in the neck under the jaw include the following diseases:
- migraine is a neurological disease. Pain usually has one-sided localization. It becomes more intense in bright light or with a sharp change in lighting at loud sounds, at sharp smells. Migraine is accompanied by a strong thirst, nausea, vomiting, visual impairment, visual peculiarities: “lightning” or “flies” in the eyes, speech disturbance, increased sleepiness. The attack can last 4 hours – 3 days.
- Carotidinia is one of the varieties of migraine.
- infectious diseases of teeth.
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Somethings Wrong With Your Bite
When you have a good bite, all of your teeth are lined up with each other when you chew, Dr. Glickman explains. But with a bad bite, you may only have a few teeth line up, like the ones in the back. Bad bites can come in various forms, like an overbite or underbite .
Having an uneven bite means your jaw cant function as it should, which can create wear and tear and resultant pain in its joints and muscles, Dr. Glickman says. Doctors can usually fix this with braces, but in extreme cases, surgery may be necessary.
When To See A Medical Professional For Jaw Pain
Talk to a dentist or healthcare provider if your jaw pain doesnt go away after a few days, or if you experience:
- Facial pain or swelling that doesnt improve after a few days
- Worsening pain
- Trouble opening or closing the mouth or chewing
- A bad taste in the mouth
- Sensitive, swollen, red, or bleeding gums
Seek emergency medical attention or call 911 if you have:
- A high fever
- Extreme pain or neck stiffness
- Vision changes
- Redness or swelling around the eyes
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe bleeding
- Intense pain that goes away, followed by a burst of salty liquid that smells or tastes bad
- Pain in the arms or shoulders
- Light-headedness or confusion
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Gum Pain In Back Of Mouth
When you experience gum pain in back of mouth, it is time for the dentist or, in some cases, a doctor. The gum can be very sensitive and, once sore, make eating a nightmare.
You may have issues swallowing, too, since the pain is at the back of the mouth. So we may be looking at a situation where swallowing may be an issue, but we shall see.
Before we can conclude that will be an issue, we have to look at all the diseases that carry such symptoms. There are several conditions that will apply to this type of symptom, but it will probably be one of them seldom would it apply to multiple.
Since it would be rare for the gum pain in the back of your mouth to be several conditions, we have to verify which one it is. The process of elimination is your friend, and you should use it to decide.
This practice will help by seeking out the symptoms and comparing them with the available data.
Once you can confirm the condition based on your research, you can proceed to look for treatment. We tell you the causes of any disease and give the known treatments for your benefit.
You can decide what you want to do, but always remember we admonish you to consult your physician first. Here are known conditions that cause gum pain in the back of the mouth.
How To Prepare For A Neurosurgical Appointment
- Write down symptoms. This should include: What the pain feels like , where exactly the pain is located , if it is accompanied by other symptoms , duration of pain , pain-free intervals , severity of pain
- Note any triggers of pain
- Make a list of medications and surgeries related to the face pain , current medications
- Write down questions in advance
- Understand that the diagnosis and treatment process for TN is not simple. Having realistic expectations can greatly improve overall outcomes.
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Pain In The Back Of The Head When Lying Down
Cluster headaches are rare but extremely painful. They get their name from the cluster periods in which they occur. People with . These periods or patterns of attack may last weeks or months.
Cluster headache symptoms
Cluster headaches may cause pain in the back of the head or the sides of the head. They may get worse when lying down. Other symptoms to watch for include:
- sharp, penetrating, burning pain
The symptoms of many headaches can be reduced with over-the-counter pain relief medications such as acetaminophen . Some medications, like Extra-Strength Tylenol, can help if you have chronic headaches.
Treatment is most effective when its based on the exact cause of your headache.
If Youre Dealing With Jaw Pain Head To The Doctor
If you have a good relationship with your primary care doctor, theyre not a bad place to start, but dentists can usually pinpoint the problem and get you on the road to recovery pretty quickly too. Its also worth noting that when accompanied by other symptoms, jaw pain can be linked to serious health issues like chronic headaches caused by a TMJ disorder, and it can even be a sign of heart attack. Getting it checked out can either offer peace of mind or the chance to treat the underlying cause at the root of your pain.
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Common Characteristics Of Jaw Pain
Jaw pain can most likely be described by the following details.
- Aching pain in your jaw, ear, and/or face: Especially when chewing or attempting to open or close your mouth
- This is the hinged joint just in front of your ear.
- Locking or sticking of the TMJ
- An uneven appearance of the teeth and bite: This may either be a cause or a result of your jaw pain.
What Is Jaw Pain
Jaw pain can be an aching or sharp pain that may affect your ability to eat and speak. When severe, jaw pain can be an extremely debilitating condition.
Jaw pain can be caused from tension in your jaw or from chronic conditions like temporomandibular joint disorder.
But conditions that affect different parts of the face like the sinuses, ears, and teeth, can also cause jaw pain.
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Disc Displacement With Reduction
The most common TMJ problem related to the disc inside that joint is called disc displacement with reduction. Normally, the position of the disc depends on its shape as well as the degree of pressure that is put on it. The shape of the disc is something youre born with, and therefore is rarely, if ever, a medical problem.
But the pressure thats placed on that disc through tight or imbalanced muscles and/or dysfunctional joint movement is something that healthcare providers can diagnose and treat. Excessive pressure is generally caused by the way-too-tight jaw muscles affect the fit of the joint, as well as the other soft tissue that affects it.
Disc displacement with reduction is the first of three stages of disc displacement. With disc displacement with reduction, youll likely hear joint noises when you open and close your jaw, and bringing your lower jaw forward reduces these noises.
You may also get pain when you chew, yawn, talk, or if you grind your teeth. Opening your mouth may be difficult, too, but this is not always a symptom. Without treatment for disc displacement with reduction, this TMJ problem may progress to the second and possibly third stages.
Stage two is disc displacement without reduction where, like before, you get clicking and popping in the joint. This time, though, the joint may from time to time lock up, and you may also have some intermittent problems when opening your mouth. Stage three is where the problem becomes chronic.
Temporomandibular Joint And Muscle Disorder
Several things can cause TMD jaw pain. Its also possible to experience TMD due to several causes at the same time. Causes of TMD include:
- pain from the muscles that control jaw movement
- injury to the jaw joint
- excess stimulation of the jaw joint
- a displaced disc that usually helps cushion the movements of the jaw
- arthritis of the protective disc that cushions the jaw joint
Damage to the jaw joint or the muscles that control your jaw movement can be caused by several factors, including:
- grinding your teeth at night
- involuntarily clenching your jaw due to stress and anxiety
- trauma to the jaw joint, such as getting hit in the face while playing sports
There are also less common causes of jaw pain. These include:
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Occipital Neuralgia And Pain At The Base Of Skull
A sharp jabbing pain that feels like an electric shock at the back of your head could be a symptom of occipital neuralgia. You may also find that your scalp is tender to touch and even a simple task like brushing your hair can cause pain. This type of pain can be caused by inflammation in the nerves at the back of your head.
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons says that occipital neuralgia causes pain in the base of skull which usually radiates to just one side of the head, but can often be felt on both sides of the head.10
To help ease the pain caused by occipital neuralgia, AANS recommends using gentle heat treatments and rest for headache relief. A soothing massage can also help to get rid of the headache pain caused by occipital neuralgia. You can also use essential oils to relieve the pain.
Doctors treat occipital neuralgia and migraines differently, so its important to know your symptoms to get the appropriate treatment for your headaches.
Headache Relief: Preventing And Treating Migraines And Other Headaches
Headaches inflict their misery in a variety of ways, from a dull, steady ache to a blinding, throbbing pain. Nearly everyone has them at least occasionally, but an unfortunate few experience near-constant head pain. This Special Health Report, Headaches: Preventing and treating migraines and other headaches, offers in-depth information on the most common kinds of headaches and the treatment strategies that work best for each, including a number of self-help and alternative techniques.
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How To Alleviate Jaw Pain
Do you have mild pain in your jaw? You may not need medical treatment! Here are a few ways you can get relief:
- Apply a hot or cold compress. Heat can help your muscles relax, giving you relief from aches and stiffness. Alternatively, a cold compress can numb the pain and reduce swelling.
- Take over-the-counter pain relief. Medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can temporarily relieve your pain.
- Rest your jaw as much as possible. Stick to a diet of soft foods that dont require a lot of chewing. Itll help you avoid overworking your jaw muscles!
- Massage your jaw. It can help release pain and tension in your jaw. Try some techniques on your own or visit a specialist for help .
If youre experiencing jaw pain on one side, use the tips outlined above for some relief. Although it should typically resolve on its own within a few days, you can always seek treatment from your dentist for peace of mind!
About the Author
Dr. Nicholas Brong is passionate about helping patient achieve and maintain optimal oral health. He earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of California in San Francisco. If youre experiencing one-sided jaw pain, Dr. Brong and his team can help you get the prompt relief you deserve. To make an appointment, visit our website or call 288-1066.
Pain Below The Lower Jaw
The lower jaw has a lot of anatomical receptors, the damage of which leads to pain. Mainly it is necessary to pay attention to the pathologies related to the submandibular lymph nodes. The possibility of lymphadenitis, an inflammatory process that occurred as a result of the introduction of infections into the lymph nodes, is not excluded. Acute lymphadenitis causes severe pain under the jaw, high body temperature and general weakness. Refusal of timely treatment can lead to a chronic form of the disease. Here the pain is already acute. In both these forms of lymphadenitis, purulent formation is possible, in medicine known as abscess and phlegmon.
Neoplasms in the submandibular lymph nodes are usually metastases that have penetrated from any organs. The pain in this case can be completely different. Other signs include: over time, body temperature is increased, weight loss, weakness.
When the hypersensitivity of the tongue pain gives in the lower jaw. What in this case can awaken the pain under the jaw? Long conversations, chewing too hard products, consuming hot – cold, sour, sharp and other products.
Inflammation of the tongue with something similar to the symptoms resembles the previous version, but the language in this case is distinguished by thickening and bright red color. May cause a phlegmon or abscess.
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Ruling Out Other Conditions
An important part of the process of diagnosing trigeminal neuralgia involves ruling out other conditions that cause facial pain.
- joint pain in the lower jaw
- giant cell arteritis where the medium and large arteries in the head and neck become inflamed and cause pain in the jaw and temples
- a possible nerve injury
The GP will also ask about your medical, personal and family history when trying to find the cause of your pain.
For example, you’re less likely to have trigeminal neuralgia if you’re under 40 years old. Multiple sclerosis may be a more likely cause if you have a family history of the condition or you have some other form of this condition.
However, trigeminal neuralgia is very unlikely to be the first symptom of MS.