Are you experiencing jaw discomfort or soreness? Is the pain spreading behind your eyes, in the neck, shoulder, or back?
Dental causes of jaw pain often include teeth grinding, tooth decay, gum disease, and TMDSs. However, several medical conditions can be contributing factors.
While many get relief with over-the-counter medications, it is best to see a dentist for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
6 Causes of Jaw Pain You
B L O G | S U N R I S E D E N T I S T R Y
Jaw health plays a central role in
keeping the body healthy when it
comes to chewing and digesting the
food you eat.
When jaw pain develops, it not only
compromises your ability to eat but
may also affect other areas of your
health depending on the cause.
How the Jaw Works
The jawbone consists of an upper
bone, a lower bone and two joints,
known as the temporomandibular
joints or TMJ.
When chewing, speaking or
swallowing, the upper jaw remains
immobile while the lower jaw moves
up, down and side to side. Several jaw
muscles and ligaments enable the
jawbone to work as it does.
The joints included in the jawbone
connect the jaw to the skull. Each
joint consists of a ball and socket with
a disc between these structures to
cushion the load.
Along with the teeth and gums, the
jawbone, its joints, muscles and
ligaments work together so jaw pain
can develop out of any one of these
areas. Here are eight possible jaw pain
6 Causes of Jaw Pain
1. Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding, also called bruxism,
typically occurs during sleep. Upon
waking, you’ll likely experience
soreness in the jaw and a mild
headache. High stress levels can
promote teeth grinding at night.
Crooked teeth can also be a cause. A
mouth guard, molded by a dentist,
can prevent teeth grinding and
eliminate jaw pain.
2. Pain Involving the Jaw Muscles
Pain in the jaw muscles, a condition
known as myofascial pain syndrome,
can cause chronic jaw pain to develop
over time. Pain may be coming from
the muscles themselves or the
sheaths (called fascia) that encase the
muscles. Symptoms of myofascial
pain syndrome include limited jaw
function and/or a clicking or popping
noise when you move your jaw.
If you have arthritis, poor posture
or have suffered a trauma to the
mouth or spine, these conditions
can give rise to pain in jaw
A dentist who specializes in
treating TMJ can help you manage
jaw pain by identifying and