What Are Some Causes for a Painful Jaw?


Quick Answer

Causes of a painful jaw include temporomandibular joint disorder, soft tissue and joint disorders such as osteomyelitis, rheumatoid arthritis, jaw alignment disorder and age-related wear, reports Healthgrades. Other causes include heart attack, oral cancer and dental conditions such as tooth decay, a dry socket, impacted teeth and tooth abscesses. Trigeminal neuralgia may also cause jaw pain, adds MedicineNet.

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Temporomandibular joint disorder results from problems in the facial muscles or the jaw. It may cause jaw pain, ear pain, tenderness in the jaw muscles, a popping sound when opening the mouth, and problems with opening or closing the mouth, claims Colgate Oral Care Centre.

Osteomyelitis of the jaw impacts the temporomandibular joint, leading to fever, jaw pain and facial swelling. Treatment options include antibiotics or surgery. Dental disorders such as cavities and gum disease may cause pain in the jaw area. Maintaining proper dental hygiene and visiting a dentist lowers risk for these conditions. Dental abscess results from nerve infection due to an untreated cavity, notes Colgate Oral Care Centre.

A heart attack may cause jaw pain with chest pain or pain in the shoulder and arm, shortness of breath or sweating, says Healthgrades. Trigeminal neuralgia causes severe facial pain that may include jaw pain, states MedicineNet.

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