Why Does My Jaw Hurt? (Medical Explanation of Jaw Pain)

You’re probably asking, why does my jaws hurt? Jaw pain, which sometimes radiates to other areas of the face, is a common concern. It can develop due to sinus infections, toothaches, issues with the blood vessels or nerves, or other conditions. Read through to get more information on this topic.

Why Does My Jaw Hurt

What is Jaw Pain?

Jaw discomfort may indicate a simple toothache or perhaps something more catastrophic like a heart attack. The temporomandibular joint sometimes referred to as TMJs, is where your jawbone, also known as a mandible, joins your skull.

 You can open and close your lips using these joints, which are located directly in front of your ears.

Your teeth and gums, which are susceptible to pressure, heat, and cold, are also held in your jaw. Infection is another possibility if you don’t keep them clean.


Why Does My Jaw Hurt?

Here’s a look at the most likely causes of jaw pain.

1. TMJ Disorders

This is one of the most common reasons for jaw pain. About 1 in 8 people may have a TMJ disorder. It’s more common among women.

Women are twice as likely as males to experience TMJ issues, which may impact 5 to 12% of persons worldwide.

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, it’s interesting that TMJ issues are more prevalent in younger people than in many other chronic pain conditions (NIDCR).

3. You’re Stressed to the Max

According to Dr. Moreno Hay, stress often causes people to naturally clench their teeth as a reaction. There before?

Your jaw muscles may feel tight and sore as a result of teeth grinding and clenching (bruxism), which can happen both at night and during the day. If the damage is more serious, you can also experience discomfort in your teeth.

Wearing a mouthguard at night, monitoring your clenching throughout the day to stop, and engaging in relaxation methods like meditation or breathing exercises before bed will often help ease jaw pain caused by teeth grinding.

4. Your Sinuses Acting Up Can make Cause Jaw Pain

Why Does My Jaw Hurt?

If you frequently get sinus infections or sinusitis, you are aware that the most obvious symptom is the inability to breathe through your nose, but jaw pain may also present itself.

 According to Dr. Moreno Hay, when your sinuses (the hollow regions in your skull and face bones) swell up.

 they might lead to pressure and pain in your cheekbone, upper jaw, or upper molars as well as headaches that are made worse by head movement.

5. Arthritis Might be Wearing Away at Your Joints

Have you ever heard your jaw moving with a strange crunching or grinding sound? According to Dr. Moreno Hay, arthritis can affect every joint in the body, including the TMJ.

The deterioration of the joint surfaces and increased bone friction during movement are the causes of an arthritic joint’s potential for making grating noises.

Other arthritis symptoms that you can feel include stiffness, swelling, and pain in front of your ear or earaches.


6. You Have a Severe Headache Can make your Jaw Hurt

According to Dr. Moreno Hay, cluster headaches are a particularly painful variety of headaches that are frequently felt behind the eyes and come with a variety of additional symptoms like tears and face and jaw discomfort as well.

They tend to occur in cycles lasting anywhere from weeks to months, followed by intervals of remission and are quite uncommon compared to other forms of headaches.

 Along with throbbing pain on one side of the head, a stiff neck, nausea, and increased sensitivity to sound and light, migraines can occasionally also cause jaw pain.

They frequently occur as a result of factors like hormonal fluctuations, strong lights, changing weather, and elevated stress.

7. Acute Salivary Duct Stone (sialolithiasis)

The most frequent condition affecting the salivary glands is a salivary duct stone (where you make spit). They might be as small as dust or as large as stones that are several centimeters long.

When all else fails, try treating this at home before seeking medical attention. You can massage or “milk” the duct with the stone in it, stay hydrated, and use warm compresses.

Sucking on lemon drops or other hard, tart candies throughout the day—known as sialogogues—will help you produce more saliva. Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs are used to treat pain.

It is best to visit your doctor if things do not get better or if you cannot locate the stone.

Medical Treatment For Jaw Pain

Most medical professionals would first advise non-invasive treatments for your jaw pain. After using these remedies, you should consult your dentist if your jaw pain persists.

To find pain relief, more procedures can be required.

1. MouthGuard

mouthguard is a plastic dental protector worn on your upper or lower teeth that’s custom-fitted for your mouth. Although you can purchase one at a pharmacy, a dentist will make you one that may fit better and last longer. Wearing one at bedtime can help stop you from unconsciously grinding your teeth.

2. Muscle Relaxers

 If your pain doesn’t respond to the mouthguard, your dentist may prescribe muscle relaxers to relieve jaw tension. However, these don’t always help people with TMD.

3. Botox Injections

More invasive treatment methods include Botox cosmetic injections. When injected into the jaw muscles, the botulinum toxin found in Botox may keep your jaw muscles from clenching.

This helps to relieve jaw pain due to TMD. These injections will last for months at a time and may require re-injection later.

4. Jaw Surgery

 In very rare instances, a doctor will recommend jaw surgery to correct TMD problems. This treatment is usually reserved for people with severe pain and pain that’s due to structural problems in the jaw joint.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why Does My Jaw Hurt on One Side?

In some cases, jaw pain on one side can indicate underlying oral health problems. Some common issues that cause jaw pain are cavities, an abscessed tooth, gum disease, tooth decay.

2. Why Does My Jawline Hurt for no Reason?

Jaw pain can be a sign of something as common as a toothache — or even something as serious as a heart attack.

3. When is Jaw pain Heart-Related?

Jaw pain can occur as pain radiates or spreads from the chest to other areas of the body.

4. What Causes Pain in the Jaw Near Ear?

One source of ear and jaw pain may be related to your temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

5. How do You know if Jaw Pain is Tooth Related?

If the pain seems to lessen or dissipate, it may be TMJ pain.

6. What Does a Jaw Infection Feel Like?

redness inside the mouth, or outside the mouth on the face or jaw. sensitivity to hot or cold food and drink in the affected area. 

7. How Long Does Jaw Pain Last?

Most flare-ups last anywhere from two days to a few weeks. Symptoms of a TMJ flare-up can include one or more of the following: Pain in and around the jaw joint – constant or intermittent

8. Why Does my Jaw Hurt by My Ear?

The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is usually the source of pain when it comes to the jaw and ear.

TMJ issues may get better on their own. In the event that your symptoms don’t go away, TMJ exercises might help. When experiencing excruciating discomfort, you shouldn’t perform TMJ exercises.

The AAFP advises delaying starting a TMJ exercise program until your discomfort has subsided. Start slowly when performing TMJ exercises. At first, you could have some discomfort, but it should pass quickly.

TMJ exercises should be performed when you’re at ease. It could be ineffective to perform them if your muscles are strained. After performing TMJ exercises, if your discomfort persists, schedule a visit with your doctor.

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