Patients typically fail to realize that while they are experiencing jaw pain it rarely has anything to do with their jaw or mouth. Certainly, some patients have TMD or TMJ problems affecting their bite motion, but many do not. Jaw pain is usually just a symptom of some other underlying medical condition in another area of the body. It could be a signal that the body is dealing with another injury or infection. In some cases, it actually has been masking a heart condition and in others an autoimmune disorder.
Jaw Pain Causes
Stress is a serious condition we all have to deal with in one situation or another. It is healthy to have some level of stress but when it reaches critical levels it can cause a variety of health problems. This includes grinding their teeth or clenching their jaw. It also can affect facial muscles too, causing stiffness and pain.
Jaw pain can also be caused by ear infections. Your jaw and your ear are very close to one another. Because the TMJ is a very well-used joint, when the ear has an infection and is swollen, the tubes behind the jaw will grow to be inflamed and painful.
One serious jaw pain which should not be ignored is when it occurs in the lower left of the mouth. This is an indicator that the patient has potential heart conditions. The pain in the heart muscle can sometimes manifest itself in the lower left jaw.
Despite all of the listed causes of jaw pain, the leading cause is an infected or an abscessed tooth. Any gum disease or gum infection coupled with an abscessed tooth can lead to intense jaw pain.
Anyone dealing with jaw pain that does not abate over time and lasts longer than a few days needs to contact us to be evaluated to ensure the pain is not indicative of one of the more serious conditions or diseases. Please contact our office today.