Jaw pain causesLuisma Tapia/Shutterstock
These are things your dentist wishes you knew, and one of them is that jaw pain can be caused by a variety of things, from sinus pressure to cavity-related nerves to temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ). “The jaw has connections that can be triggered through any mouth activity, like chewing, sucking, or brushing,” says Jake Bateman, DDS, who practices dentistry in Kingsport, TN. “Misalignment of the jaw can also contribute to significant pain.”
For any pain that lasts more than a few hours, or that happens on a recurring basis, seek medical attention. There are many treatments that can help with jaw pain, most of them involving dental care. The first step should be to see a dentist to find out if the pain is being triggered by an offset jaw, a bite that needs correcting, or another dental problem such as a cavity, other decay, or mouth trauma. A dentist can also determine if the pain is coming from a bone issue, a nerve issue, or whether there is something wrong with the tissue surrounding the jaw. These are the pain signals you should never ignore.