5 Reasons Why You May Experience Jaw Pain

A large number of individuals suffer from persistent jaw and face discomfort. Pain in or around the ear, soreness of the jaw, pain when biting, and headaches are all common symptoms. Many conditions can cause face discomfort, making it difficult to identify and treat the root cause of the jaw and facial pain.

Below are 5 common conditions that can cause jaw pain.

1. TMJ disorder

TMJ disorder is a condition that occurs when something goes wrong with your temporomandibular joint. This is a joint that connects your jawbone to your skull. There is one joint on each side of your jaw. TMJ disorders can produce symptoms like pain in your jaw joint and soreness in muscles that control your jaw movements. TMJ disorder can occur for a number of reasons including genetics, arthritis, jaw injury, or bruxism (jaw clenching).

The TMJ disorder treatment usually includes pain relievers, anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, and antidepressants. Sometimes, your doctor may prescribe additional treatment like physical therapy and mouth guards.

2. Cluster headaches

Cluster headaches are a type of headaches that occur in cyclical patterns or cluster periods. This type of headache is one of the most painful and debilitating. Along with pain in your head, cluster headaches can produce symptoms like eye redness, stuffy nose, face swelling, jaw pain, and drooping eyelids. Things that can increase your risk of developing cluster headaches include:

  • Being male
  • Ages from 20 to 50
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol use
  • Family history of cluster headaches

The treatment of cluster headaches may include oxygen inhalation, triptans injections, octreotide injections, local anesthetics, and dihydroergotamine. Your doctor may also recommend remedies to prevent cluster periods or make them shorter.

3. Acute sinusitis

Acute sinusitis is a condition that affects the spaces inside your nose and head (sinuses). As a result, sinuses become inflamed and swollen. With acute sinusitis, you may experience symptoms like difficulty breathing through the nose, facial pain, and headaches. Acute sinusitis is often caused by the common cold, and resolves within 2 weeks. Sinusitis that lasts longer than 12 weeks is considered chronic.

The treatment of acute sinusitis includes saline nasal spray, nasal corticosteroids, allergy medications, and over-the-counter pain relievers. If acute sinusitis worsens despite the treatment, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.

4. Dental problems

Dental problems are one of the most common causes of jaw pain. Common dental problems that can be associated with jaw pain include tooth cavities, abscesses, wisdom teeth growth, gum disease, and tooth grinding or clenching. If jaw pain is related to dental problems you may also experience symptoms like teeth sensitivity, bleeding gums, bad breath, or pain when chewing.

If you suspect your jaw pain is related to dental problems, be sure to visit your dental specialist as soon as possible. Depending on the underlying cause, your doctor will prescribe you treatment.

5. Trigeminal neuralgia

Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic condition that affects the trigeminal nerve. This is a nerve that carries sensation from your face to your brain. With trigeminal neuralgia, the trigeminal nerve becomes extremely sensitive. Even mild face stimulation like applying cream or brushing your teeth may trigger severe pain. The other symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia include:

  • Episodes of severe pain, like an electric shock
  • Pain in areas supplied by the trigeminal nerve
  • Pain affecting one side of the face at a time
  • Episodes of several attacks lasting from days to weeks

While this condition is extremely painful, a variety of treatments are available to increase the quality of your life. The conservative treatment options for trigeminal neuralgia include anticonvulsants, antispasmodic agents, and botox injections. When trigeminal neuralgia doesn't respond to conservative treatments, the doctor may recommend surgery to improve the quality of the patient's life. 

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Tuesday, 07 December 2021

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