7 Causes Of Jaw Pain And How To Treat It!

a woman putting her hand on her cheek

Jaw pain typically radiates to other parts of the face and is a common concern. It may develop due to issues with the nerves or blood vessels, toothaches, sinus infections, or other conditions.

Mostly, jaw pain results from temporomandibular joint disorder. While jaw pain doesn’t need immediate medical attention in most cases, it may signify a more serious underlying condition that requires treatment.

Anyone with persistent, worsening, or severe jaw pain should consult a doctor for a diagnosis.

As a leading provider of night guards for jaw pain, we discuss some causes of jaw pain and how you can treat it:

1. Vascular conditions

Sometimes, issues with the blood vessels may lead to jaw pain.

Giant cell arteritis is a condition that causes inflammation of the blood vessels in your arms, neck, and head.

The inflammation narrows your arteries, reducing the blood flow.

Usually, it affects people older than 50. Some symptoms comprise:

  • Pain in your jaw and tongue
  • Dizziness or changes in vision
  • Headaches
  • Flu-like symptoms

Angina is when there’s poor blood flow through the heart's blood vessels. The most common cause of angina is coronary artery disease.

The most common symptoms comprise a crushing/squeezing feeling, heavy pressure, tightness, and chest pain.

Sometimes, these feelings spread to the neck, shoulder, jaw, back, and arms (typically the left).

2. Arthritis

The two most common types of arthritis that affect the jaw joint are psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Arthritis is swelling and tenderness of a joint brought on by an autoimmune disorder or by wear and tear.

Symptoms comprise:

  • Locking jaw
  • Trouble opening/closing your mouth
  • Pain
a woman having a toothache

3. TMJ (Temporomandibular joint and muscular disorders)

TMJ are conditions that affect the joints and muscles used for chewing. They may involve issues associated with the following:

  • Nerves, blood vessels, ligaments
  • Teeth
  • The muscles of the face, neck, and jaw
  • The cartilage disk at the joint

While there’s no known cause in most cases, teeth grinding is linked to stress and poor posture.

TMJ may lead to symptoms like:

  • Poor diet
  • Locking of the jaw
  • Aching in the ear, face, or head
  • Grating, clicking or popping sound when opening/closing your mouth
  • Pain with chewing

4. Nerve damage

Chronic pain can be caused by trigeminal neuralgia, a condition of the main nerve of the face.

The pain may feel like burning or sudden shock. The symptoms may come and go, and even talking or vibrating can trigger it.

a woman having a toothache

5. Infection

A tooth infection may cause tremendous jaw pain, which may also radiate to your face.

Infections may begin because of a breakdown of the tooth, which can allow decay to begin.

The infection may start in your tooth and then spread down to the tooth’s root. If not treated, it can spread to the bone.

There are other complications of untreated tooth infection as well. So, it’s best to see a dentist when having dental issues so that the condition doesn’t become more complex.

6. Injury

Some jaw pain can be a result of an injury, like a dislocated/broken jaw.

The following are the most common causes of damage to the jaw:

  • A dental procedure
  • A fall
  • Sports injury
  • Car accident
  • A work accident
  • A blow to the face from assault

All of these injuries require immediate medical treatment to keep airway complications at bay.

7. Excessive teeth clenching and grinding

In medical terms, we refer to teeth grinding and clenching as bruxism. Some people grind/clench their teeth without realizing why they’re doing it.

It can happen at night or during the day.

While the cause of bruxism is unclear, most believe it’s due to stress. Symptoms may comprise:

  • Teeth sensitivity to hot and cold
  • Worn-down teeth
  • Headaches
  • Ear aches
  • Sore jaw muscles

Other causes

Other causes of jaw pain comprise sinus issues, which may cause pressure behind the cheeks, eyes, and nose.

Sometimes, this pressure can lead to jaw pain.

Wisdom teeth usually come in between the ages of 17 and 25 — when they push up through the gums, they can cause jaw pain.

How do night guards help with jaw pain?

Sometimes, the discomfort with TMJ is related to the contractions of jaw muscles. By keeping the teeth slightly apart, a nightguard prevents grinding and clenching. This allows the muscles to relax, decreasing the strain on the painful joint.

Shop night teeth guard from Clear Comfort Night Guards and protect your teeth from jaw pain and bruxism-related damage 

At Clear Comfort Night Guards, we develop night teeth guards for varying levels of bruxism at a reasonable price. We offer custom soft, durable, ultra-durable, and ultra-thin night guards made by skilled dental technicians. Visit our website now to order custom dental guards!

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Clear Comfort Night Guards dental lab is located in Los Angeles County, California. Our lab has been servicing dentists for over 10 years by delivering thousands of perfectly fitted custom night guards, dentures, crowns, bridges, and other dental appliances.

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