Jaw pain can indicate a small health issue or an even bigger health issue. The main takeaway is that it’s not normal and if you experience it, there’s likely an underlying problem. At StarImage Dental Boutique & Oral Surgery in Southlake, we can help patients find relief from jaw pain.

But first, it’s important to identify which issues might be causing the jaw pain to begin with.

young woman massaging her jaw bone due to pain

1. Trauma

One of the top causes of jaw pain is one that will be pretty obvious if you experience it. If you take a bad fall and hit your face or someone hits you in the face, it can obviously cause jaw pain. The trauma may have broken your jaw, knocked it out of place, or just badly bruised it. You may experience bruising, swelling, pain, and loose or knocked-out teeth with trauma. In most cases eating soft food and taking over-the-counter pain relievers will ease your discomfort. However, if you knock out a tooth, it’s loose, or you think you broke your jaw, definitely visit a doctor as soon as possible.

2. Heart Attack

Although it likely sounds odd, jaw pain is sometimes a symptom of a heart attack. Pain that starts near a cluster of nerves can often show up in other areas of the body. This sensation is called referred pain. Jaw pain might be the only symptom of a heart attack that you experience. Jaw pain can also be referred pain from the shoulders or lower back.

3. Sinus Problems

The spaces under your eyes and inside your nose, the sinuses, can cause jaw pain if they remain inflamed or swollen longer than three months. You may have chronic sinusitis if you experience this sensation. Chronic sinusitis can cause other symptoms such as difficulty breathing through the nose. You may also experience tenderness under the eyes and aching in the upper jaw. You will need to visit a doctor for treatment.

4. Trigeminal Neuralgia

Another common cause of jaw pain is this condition that’s caused by a blood vessel pressing against the trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve is what carries messages from the brain to the face. Multiple sclerosis can also cause trigeminal neuralgia. Side effects usually include cheek or jaw pain that feels like a stabbing sensation or jolt of electricity. In some cases, the pain might be so severe that you can’t eat or drink.

5. Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are headaches that happen in specific patterns for a short time. They can cause serious pain on one side of the head and cause you to wake up in the middle of the night. Cluster headaches usually cause pain around the temple and eyes. They also commonly cause jaw pain.

6. Tumors or Cysts

Another common cause of jaw pain is a cyst or tumor located in the jaw. If any sort of growth happens on the jaw, they can push against your teeth and cause pain. Whether these are cancerous or not, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible to prevent permanent bone tissue damage. Don’t ever leave an unknown bump alone. You never know what it could mean.

7. Osteomyelitis

This is a bone infection that can affect the lower jaw. Without treatment, the infection can cut off the jaw’s blood supply and cause permanent bone tissue damage.

8. Diseases

Although vaccines have gotten rid of a lot of diseases, some people still get sick and may experience jaw pain from mumps or tetanus. Mumps is a virus that causes the glands that produce saliva to swell. The swelling can cause jaw pain. Tetanus is a bacteria infection that occurs from a cut or scratch. One of the early signs is tight or stiff jaw muscles. Tetanus can cause lockjaw and hospitalization.

9. Joint Problems

Rheumatoid arthritis can attack the jaw joints and cause severe jaw pain. It’s an autoimmune disease that mistakenly attacks healthy tissue and causes it to swell up.

10. Dental Problems

Dental problems are another common cause of jaw pain. The most common dental problems associated with jaw pain include:

  • Toothache from cavity or abscess
  • Gum disease (damage to the jaw bone)
  • Wisdom teeth
  • Grinding or clenching
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Cracked, crowded, or temperature-sensitive teeth

If you think you have any dental problems, please do not hesitate to contact our Southlake dental office for a consultation.

11. TMJ Disorder

The last possible cause of jaw pain is TMJ disorder. TMJ disorders occur when there is an imbalance between the jaw joints, muscles, and nerves. When there is an imbalance, the jaw tries to correct itself and in the process, it strains itself from overcorrection. It’s common to experience jaw pain, neck pain, back pain, frequent headaches, clicking and popping in the jaw, and other symptoms with TMJ disorders. Fortunately, Dr. Green can provide you with TMJ treatment in Southlake, TX that can relieve your symptoms.

Contact Your Southlake TMJ Dentist For Jaw Pain Relief

If you’re experiencing jaw pain and you suspect it’s from TMJ disorder or other dental problems, please do not hesitate to contact our Southlake dental office for help. Call us at (817) 587-4566 to book an appointment today.