A common problem that affects millions of people all over the world is jaw and facial pain. Out of which we are going to discuss more deeply about the jaw pain. It can be a debilitating condition which affects the ability of a person to eat or speak. Various things are responsible for causing jaw pain, whether we talk from teeth to jaw or sinuses to ears. It eventually means that difficulty can arise to tell someone if the jaw pain is due to a jaw issue or something else.
Jaw Pain Causes
Pain in the body can be considered as the body’s way of indicating that something is wrong. Regarding jaw pain, there are different types of possible causes that have been mentioned below.
- Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder (TMD)
It is regarded as one of the common causes of jaw pain. Sometimes it is also addressed as TMJ. The temporomandibular joints are the pivot joints that are located on each side of the jaw. Causes responsible for TMD include excess provoking of the jaw point, pain from the muscles which control jaw movement, arthritis of the protective disc which cushions the jaw point, injury to the jaw point, and a displaced disc that eventually helps to cushion the jaw movement.
Damage to the jaw point or muscles which control the jaw movement can be caused by several factors like grinding the teeth at night, involuntarily clenching the jaw due to stress and anxiety, trauma to the joint of the jaw, like getting hit on the face at the time of playing sports.
- Sinus Problems
Sinuses are known as air-filled cavities that are neighbors of the jaw joint. If they become infected with a germ like bacteria or virus, it can result in excess of mucus which forces pressure to the jaw joint and thus can cause pain.
- Teeth Clenching-Grinding
Most often, they are experienced at the time of sleep and can lead towards jaw pain and tooth damage. Teeth grinding and clenching can also happen at the time of increased emotional stress. Symptoms of bruxism (grinding) contain jaw, neck and face pain, dental problems, headaches, etc. Even excessive gum chewing can also cause jaw pain.
A crack tooth may cause intermittent, sharp or dull jaw pain which is triggered by eating or biting. A cavity may originate continuous pain that is deteriorated by hot or cold food. Some other dental problems including dry sockets and a tooth abscess may lead towards jaw pain.
It is an infection which travels through the bloodstream of body affecting an individual’s bones and any surrounding tissues. When an individual experiences osteomyelitis of the jaw, the TMD is impacted and causes jaw pain, facial swelling, and fever. However, this condition is curable in medical science with a surgical procedure or a series of antibiotics to clear the areas of the bone that have been expired by the infection.
- Dental Conditions
Causes of jaw pain may include gum disease, abscess or cavities. However, many of these issues do not affect the jaw directly, the pain can radiate in the area of the jaw. Those who have gaps in between their teeth or teeth which are severely damaged may have chances to develop jaw pain especially when the stress is forced on the jaw like biting or chewing.
Jaw Pain Symptoms
Some of the major symptoms of jaw pain includes joint and muscle tenderness, ringing in the ears, jaw locking, dizziness, earaches, clicking or popping sounds with opening or closing the jaw, facial pain that worsens when the jaw is used, limited range of motion, jaw alignment issues, headaches with or without ear pain and pressure behind the eyes, becoming overly sensitive to pain, dull aching to sharp stabbing pain, toothache, nerve-type pain like burning, fever, facial swelling, vertigo, tension headaches, etc.
Some other symptoms may exist depending upon the root cause of the jaw pain. That is why people need to seek prompt medical attention to work out the cause of their pain. With the help of it, a treatment plan can be determined. Taking help from doctors, oral surgeons and dentists in such cases can be beneficial as they are able to evaluate the jaw pain.
Jaw Pain Treatments
Jaw pain’s treatment depends upon the actual cause. The treatment includes the following:
- Surgery to remove out the damaged bone, diagnosing the problem or treating an affected nerve.
- Antibiotics if the jaw pain is due to an infection.
- Using mouth protectors like a mouth guard.
- Physical therapy.
- Pain Medication
- Acquiring the correct posture to get rid of neck and back strain
- Acupuncture or massage
- Soft diet to avoid excessive crunching and jaw movement
- Cold therapy or moist heat application
- Root canal treatment, which is a process of treating infections within teeth
As we said that treatments are based upon the actual cause of pain. Still, there are different types of treatment including injection with local anaesthetics, stretching to stretch and sooth the affected muscles, various blood pressure medications when migraines are being treated, oxygen therapy and some other medications to treat cluster headaches, extraction of tooth if the cause is from infected or abnormal tooth, relaxation therapy, vapor-coolant sprays to relieve muscle’s painful areas (called trigger points) etc. Your doctor will be the finest person to tell you about the treatment which will be best suitable according to the situation. So try to consult with them and get better results.
Jaw Pain on the Left Side
There is a condition called trigeminal neuralgia which motivates jaw and facial pain. The pain is considered as short lasting and particularly makes its impact over one side of the face. It can also be electrical, stabbing or shooting in nature and may also mimic dental pain. Such types of conditions are often misdiagnosed and lots of patients undergo unwarranted dental procedures. The success of this treatment lies in appropriate medication and surgical procedures.
Sudden Jaw Pain
If the pain strikes with a sudden effect, here are some of the home remedies by which one can get immediate relief. What one needs to do is to place ice in a plastic bag and wrap it in a thin cloth. Apply it to the face for a matter of 10-15 minutes. After that, take it off for the some time before re-applying it. One more option is to run warm water over the washcloth and then administer it to the jaw area. You may need to re-wet the washcloth multiple times to maintain the heat.
Jaw Pain Causing Headache
Cluster headache is a condition that causes pain to radiate the jaws. They typically element the pain behind or around one of the eyes, but the pain can radiate the jaws. Cluster headaches are considered as one of the most terrible types of headaches. Though other things like ear infections and migraines are responsible for the same. Tumors or cyst in the jaws and sinus infections will originate pain that radiates to the teeth. As we have mentioned earlier, jaw pain has numerous causes. It becomes crucial for the affected person not to treat only the symptoms but also to seek professional assistance.