Do you suffer from jaw pain on one side when you wake up or eat something? Maybe your jaw hurts on both sides or just one – right or left side. Whether at work, spending time with your family, or chilling with friends, nothing can be more irritating and worrisome than jaw pain, and it can drive your mood and energy away.
There are numerous different causes of jaw pain on one side. So, the most important thing when looking for its treatment is diagnosing the reasons behind your jaw pain. The jaw is a delicate part of our body, and excessive clenching or other actions can lead you to a more painful state, incurring jaw pain on one side.
Read on to learn more about jaw pain.
Table of Contents
What Is Jaw Pain on One Side?
The jawbone, also known as a mandible, connects to the human skull at a pair of joints called the temporomandibular joints or TMJs, located just in front of the ears. These joints let us open and close our mouths. Jaw pain on one side may be a symptom of something as common as a toothache or even something serious like a heart attack.
The jaw also holds the teeth and gums, which may be sensitive to cold, pressure, or heat and can get infected if you don’t keep them clean.
What Causes Jaw Pain on One Side?
Here are some causes of your jaw pain on One side.
Sinusitis is one of the most common causes of jaw pain on one side. It usually occurs due to allergies or colds. Sinusitis can lead to swelling nasal cavities behind the cheeks and results in jaw pain on one or both sides. Other symptoms of Sinusitis may include nasal congestion, yellowish mucus, weakness, and facial pain. It’s good to see an expert dentist if the symptoms don’t get better within 7-10 days.
Jaw pain on one side is often associated with oral problems such as wisdom teeth eruption, cavities, periodontal disease, clenching, malocclusion of teeth, and grinding. Jaw pain on one side, right or left, can be due to dental issues and may also cause other symptoms like:
- Sore gums
- Difficulty when chewing and swallowing
- Teeth sensitivity
- Mouth sores
- Painful teeth
Another very common cause of jaw pain on one side is TMJ disorder. This joint, located between the skull and jaw, has a disc inside and keeps the bones separate, assisting proper jaw movement. An injury or misalignment to the joint’s disc can cause pain and soreness. Its other symptoms include ear pain, headaches, and popping on either side of the jaw.
Osteomyelitis is a life-threatening bone infection that develops when bacteria invade your bone. A jawbone infection can result from a severe dental condition, oral surgery, or a mouth injury. The infection can permanently damage your bone if it is left untreated. It is best to get dental assistance if you experience:
- Numbness in your mouth
- Worsening pain in the jaw
- Difficulty opening & closing the mouth
- Bad breath
- Inflammation in the teeth or jaw
Tumors and Cysts
A tumor or cyst is a rare but possible cause of jaw pain on one side. Cysts are full of fluids, and tumors are clumps of tissue. While it mostly severely damages your dental health by damaging the mouth tissue and bone, some are also cancerous. If you notice the following, immediately visit the dentist:
- Formation of lumps near your teeth
- Single or many white patches
- Inflammation of your jaw or other facial areas
- Bleeding sores
Symptoms of Jaw Pain on One Side
The specific symptoms of the jaw and facial pain vary depending on its cause. They may include:
- jaw alignment problems
- a pop or click sound when you open or close the jaw
- ringing in the ears
- facial pain that gets worse when you use your jaw
- joint and muscle tenderness
- a limited range of motion
- tension or other headaches
- nerve-type pain, like a burning sensation
- facial swelling
- jaw locking
- pain that ranges from a dull ache to a sharp or stabbing sensation
People should take jaw pain on one side seriously and must see a dentist as soon as possible.
How to Alleviate Jaw Pain on One Side?
Do you have mild jaw pain on one side? Some ways that can relieve your pain are:
- Take over-the-counter pain relief- Medications like ibuprofen (Advil) and acetaminophen (Tylenol) temporarily relieve jaw pain on one side.
- Rest your jaw as much as possible- Restrict your diet to soft foods that don’t need a lot of chewing to help you avoid overworking your jaw muscles!
- Apply a hot or cold compress- Heat helps jaw muscles to relax and relieve aches or stiffness. Alternatively, a cold compress numbs the pain reducing swelling.
- Massage your jaw- Massaging the jaw can help relieve dental pain. You may try some techniques on your own or better visit a specialist for help (i.e., massage therapist, healthcare provider, physical therapist).
So, if you ever experience jaw pain on one side, use the tips mentioned above for some relief. However, even after applying these tips, jaw pain typically doesn’t resolve on its own within a few days; you should always seek treatment from the dentist for peace of mind!
Contact Brooklyn Blvd Dental in Brooklyn Park & Brooklyn Center, MN, to Prevent Jaw Pain on One Side Today!
Brooklyn Blvd Dental can help keep your oral health in great condition, preventing jaw pain on one side and any other lingering dental issues from worsening. If you ever feel unusual toothache or jaw pain on one side, immediately visit us for the best treatment before things get worse because it isn’t something to be ignored.