Pain is never a pleasant experience. If you experience pain in your hand, arm or leg, it’s usually pretty simple to pinpoint the cause, and you can let the affected area rest. Single-sided jaw pain, however, is less easy to heal, as you need to use your jaw. It can also be caused by a number of different problems.
A facial injury is pretty easy to identify. I can occur as the result of any one of a number of different incidences, including a car accident, a fall, a sports related collision, or a hit to the head.
The temporomandibular joint (TMD) is the hinge connecting your upper and lower jaws. When the joint becomes inflamed or irritated, you may be suffering from temporomandibular disorder, or TMD. The pain can be worsened by chewing and is often accompanied by several other symptoms, including:
|•||Trouble opening your mouth.|
|•||Pain while yawning.|
|•||Clicking or popping while chewing.|
|•||Headache or earache.|
Pain on one side of your jaw may also be caused by a dental issue. You may have a cavity, the result of tooth decay, which has opened a hole in your tooth and exposed the dentin. You may have a broken tooth. You may also have an infection. In this instance, bacteria has gotten into your tooth or gums, or even into the bone itself.
Your jaw can be affected by arthritis, which can lead to some severe pain. Osteoarthritis is a condition in which the joint has begun to deteriorate. Or you may be suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, and the joint is inflamed.
Bruxism, the clenching and/or grinding of your teeth, can wear down the enamel of your teeth. It can also put extreme pressure on your jawbone and joint. Clenching can put as much as 500 pounds of force on your teeth and jaw, understandably leading to pain.
Jaw pain can be the cause of a number of different issues. Contact our office to discuss your symptoms with us to find the cause and determine a solution.