4 Possible Reasons Why You Have Jaw Pain

12 September 2016

Jaw pain can be very uncomfortable, and can even prevent you from completing tasks, like working or eating. What might have started out as a mild uncomfort could become intense throbbing around your jaw line. There are many ways to tell if the pain you’re experiencing is due to your jaw, including:

  • Broken, loose or worn down teeth
  • Increased sensitivity
  • Muscle tension and headaches

If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, it might be the result of jaw pain. The root cause of jaw pain could be the result of increased stress or anxiety, or a dental or tooth condition. If you’re experiencing jaw pain, below are 4 possible reasons why:

  1. TMD
  2. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) in your jaw can cause significant jaw pain. Signs of TMD (temporomandibular disorder) might be a clicking or popping noise when you open and close your mouth. This joint allows you to chew, speak, talk or any other actions that require your jaw to move. There are many treatments available for TMD, from relaxation exercises to mouthguards and dietary changes.

  3. Abscessed tooth
  4. Leaving a cavity untreated could eventually lead to an infection that spreads to the root of the tooth. The bacteria will infect the dental pulp and will lead to jaw pain as the infection will impact your bone tissue. It’s important to maintain regular check-ups with your dentist and have cavities filled as quickly as possible.

  5. Osteomyelitis
  6. This infection affects your bones and tissues through your bloodstream. Osteomyelitis is curable with antibiotics or possibly surgery to remove infected bone, however it will cause pain in the TMJ and potentially lead to more serious health effects such as fever and swelling.

  7. Teeth grinding
  8. It’s very common for most people to grind their teeth in their sleep, or throughout their day without realizing it. When you clench your teeth together, you can cause damage to your teeth and strain your jaw. Anxiety and stress are often the reason why most people clench their teeth.

If you’re experiencing significant jaw pain, consult with your dentist about possible underlying conditions. Some prevention or treatment options might include relaxation techniques, a change in diet, medication, tooth replacement and more. However, regular check-ups to prevent tooth decay and to maintain your overall health will ensure you stay pain-free. It’s important to seek help as soon as possible to mitigate the risk of jaw pain becoming more serious.

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