Many adults suffer from chronic jaw pain. Some common symptoms include pain in or around the ear, tenderness of the jaw, pain when biting, or headaches. Many things can cause facial pain, which can make it difficult to diagnose and treat. Your dentist will conduct a thorough exam, which may include X-rays, to determine the cause of the pain.
Do you have a painful jaw? If your jaw feels tender or uncomfortable, you may find it difficult to manage even the simplest tasks such as chewing or opening your mouth wide. In some cases, the pain can be so severe that sleeping seems impossible, and other daily tasks are difficult to do.
Going to you dentist or physician may be needed to determine the reasons behind your jaw pain. However, given below are some of the most common causes of your painful jaw.
Tooth decay can cause your jaw pain, especially if the affected tooth is already abscessed or pus is present. Even if the problems affects only the tooth involved, the pain may also spread to the gums or to the jaw.
An abscessed tooth means that the inner pulp area is already infected, causing the extreme discomfort. The same can be said for gum disease, which may make the jaw feel tender and painful.
Teeth grinding can also lead to jaw pain. This problem is mostly done unconsciously, such as when one is suppressing a negative emotion, during stressful moments, or while sleeping. Too much pressure placed on the teeth when they are ground together can harm the jaw, causing great discomfort.
Another cause of jaw pain is temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, which involves the temporomandibular joint of the jaw. Aside from a painful jaw, a TMJ disorder also involves a clicking sound when the jaw is opened wide.