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Experiencing jaw pain on either one or both side of your mouth? It is bound to be bothersome. Nothing is more irritating than a stabbing, sharp pain impulse while you are with the family, having leisure time and just want an out.

There are a wide variety of causes that make the jaw pain. Therefore when you are looking for appropriate treatment, get to the main root with your dental professional.

Your jaw bone is a sturdy yet fragile part of your body, and one of the main reasons for pain in the jaw on one or more side is excessive clenching.


Other than that, here is a list of other reasons why this happens

1. TMJ Disorders

TMD Temporo Mandibular Disorder or TMJ disorders can cause improper function of the mentioned joint and the hinge muscle. This issue presents signs like difficulty while opening the oral cavity or a click and pop sound from the jaw.

In addition to that, a sore, painful and tender jaw is not rare. Moreover, you may experience pain in the ears, along with your jaw aching at the time of chewing or swallowing.

2. Bruxism

It is another disorder of excessive teeth grinding, also known as bruxism. It is one of the leading reasons why there is jaw pain on one side.

Bruxism is not related in any way to the movement of teeth while chewing or eating on a daily basis. It is basically non-useful clenching or pressurizing. It is most prevalent while a person goes sleeping. The signs are as follows:

  • severe teeth damage
  • gum infections
  • painful jaw joints

Nighttime grinding comparatively is worse than daytime. The reason behind this is, because your natural protective instincts do not work while you sleep, which means grinding can aggravate.

This is the way many patients wake up with intense jaw pain on one side of the face, be it left or right. Discomfort and soreness are added factors.

Here are some causes of teeth grinding: 

  • stress
  • anxiety
  • drugs
  • caffeine

3. Sinusitis

When your nasal cavities swell up during the cold season, the infection is known as sinusitis. Apart from that, certain other health conditions and allergies can result in this problem.

When the maxillary sinuses inflame, the person experiences jaw pain on one or both sides of the face.

Here are a few other signs of sinusitis:

  • yellowish-green mucus
  • Facial pain and inflammation
  • Head and ear aches
  • blocked nasal passages
  • difficulty in breathing via your nose
  • fatigue
  • reduced sense of smell and taste

Mostly it is said that sinusitis does not need medical intervention; it gets better on its own. However, you must consult a physician if this issue and its symptoms stay on for more than 7 days.

4. Dental problems

Some oral health issues can often make your jaw hurt on one side. Few common such conditions causing a painful jaw to include the following:

  • tooth decay
  • wisdom teeth protruding out
  • missing teeth
  • gum disease
  • tooth grinding

If the reason behind your jaw ache is dental trouble, you may experience these extra set of symptoms:

  • tooth pain in impulses
  • gum bleed
  • tooth sensitivity
  • mouth sores
  • halitosis – bad breath
  • xerostomia – dry mouth
  • painful chewing or swallowing

5. Osteomyelitis

It is a bone caused by a certain bacteria that comes through via blood and affects bones and tissue. Osteomyelitis – when it occurs in the jaw comes with fever and inflammation in the face.

The infection results from bacteria entering the body through a jaw fracture or poor teeth regime. This is why appropriate teeth cleaning is a must, and the best would be getting a deep dental cleaning.

As a matter of fact, this condition mainly occurs in the lower jaw bone and affects men more than women.

6. Abscessed tooth

Another reason behind the painful facial area along with the jaw is an abscessed tooth. When the dental pulp containing nerves, tissues, as well as blood vessels expose off to bacteria – infection develops.

And when it multiplies and reaches the gum and bone, it results in pain in the oral cavity and soreness in the jaw.

Want To Get Rid of Your Jaw Pain?

Until you get access to appropriate medical care or if the pain is mild or temporary, you may not need medical treatment at all. If the cause and condition are not serious, follow these methods for relief:

1 Heating or Cold Pads

Making use of a heating pad or an ice pack is effective in getting rid of pain and inflammation of the jaw. All you have to do is apply that ice pack or heating pad to the inflamed area and hold it in place for 10 minutes at least.

As for heat, it will help relax an overactive jaw muscle, while cold will minimize the swelling. After the designated time, take the pack off, reapply and repeat for certain times.

2. Medications for Pain Relief

Pain killers available OTC – over the counter such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can significantly help in soothing the pain and discomfort.

3. Massage therapy

You may not think of it as something important, but massage therapy really works. Rubbing the affected area with slight pressure reduces muscle tension and provides relief to the painful joints.

Gently rub the affected area with your index finger and thumb in a circular motion for maximum results.

4. Rest Your Jaw

Rest your jaw when possible. Choosing foods that don’t require a lot of chewing can help you avoid overworking your jaw muscles.

5. Relax

Relaxing helps a lot. If the jaw pain is because by grinding or clenching your teeth – bruxism, various relaxation techniques may help you stop doing it as a response to stress. Your muscle relaxation can also help alleviate pain.

5. Change Sleeping Position

Try using a different position to sleep. If you have the habit of sleeping on the same side with your hand on the jaw, it could be the reason for pressure on your muscles.

In such a situation, switching your side of sleeping may help relieve your pain. Although, you can try this even if your pain is because of an entirely different cause. Changing posture will, anyways, be of great help.

6. Watch What You Eat

Eating a soft diet can help with the pain. Try avoiding hard to chew foods completely, such as bread, steaks, and toffees etc.

It is best to cut fruits and steamed vegetables into small pieces for eating. Avoid chewing gums. Taking calcium and magnesium vitamin supplements – dosing 600mg calcium to 300mg magnesium as well as a multivitamin.

7. Do Not Chew On One Side

Make sure you chew the food using both sides alternately or at the same time to reduce the pressure on one side. Moreover, chew with the back teeth instead of biting with your front ones.

How Can We Prevent This Issue In Longevity?

The best way you can avert such situations from happening in the future is to treat the root cause of this jaw pain either on one or both sides. Here’s an example for better understanding. An osteomyelitis patient should take antibiotics to eliminate the infection and respective medicines for eradicating the pain.

Making use of a night guard

As one of the primary reasons for jaw pain on one side is bruxism, a night guard is a good way to keep your teeth from clenching at night. It also helps prevent the jaw pain you may experience in the morning after.

A night guard will keep the face pain-free throughout the day. It is a protective gear for your teeth and aids in minimizing the frequency of teeth grinding.

Stress Reduction

The root troubles are stress and anxiety when it comes to teeth grinding and TMDs. That is why controlling stress factors every day and working on their management significantly reduces jaw pain.

Use these techniques for distressing the environment:

  • Be mindful
  • Practice meditation
  • Exercise regularly
  • Vent out to your loved ones

Regular Visit To The Dentists’

Do not miss scheduled appointments with the dentist, as it will help you keep your oral health in great shape. Moreover, you won’t have to worry about lingering dental issues.

In any case of pain on one side of the jaw or sudden tooth pain, immediately visit your dentist. Your dental professional will take care of everything. Jaw pain on one side should not be ignored; work on it before things get worse.

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