When you wake up, do you experience jaw pain on one side? Your jaw might hurt from both sides or just one side – left or right. Whether you’re working, hanging out with friends, or spending time with family, nothing can be more annoying and debilitating than a jaw pain that’s draining your energy.
The most important thing when seeking treatment for a painful jaw is to diagnose the reason for the pain. If you clench your jaw excessively or otherwise, you may experience jaw pain on one side of your body.
Common Causes Of Jaw Pain On One Side
1. TMJ Disorders
The joints and the muscles of the hinge are impacted by TMD or TMJ disorders. You may experience difficulty opening your mouth or hear a clicking or popping sound from your jaw when you have TMD. Soreness and tenderness are also common symptoms. Additionally, you might experience ear pain and a sore jaw when chewing or swallowing.
Bruxism, or grinding of the teeth, is one of the most common causes of jaw pain. In contrast to what you do while chewing or eating, bruxism has nothing to do with the movement of teeth. This occurs because of unproductive grinding or clenching of the teeth. Patients with bruxism often grind their teeth while they sleep, which results in:
- severe teeth damage
- gum infections
- painful jaw joints
Night-time grinding is much worse than daytime grinding. While you’re sleeping, your natural protective reflexes do not function, so the grinding gets worse. The majority of sufferers will wake up with jaw pain on one side of the face, either left or right. Additional symptoms include discomfort and soreness. There are several factors that cause teeth grinding, including:
Colds can cause sinusitis, which is swelling of the nasal cavities. Allergic reactions and certain health issues can also cause sinusitis.
One or both sides of the face may experience pain in the jaw due to inflammation of the maxillary sinuses.
Sinusitis symptoms may also include:
- yellowish or greenish mucus
- inflammation and pain in the face
- headaches and earaches
- blocked nasal passages making it difficult to breathe through your nose
- reduced sense of smell and taste
If sinusitis persists for more than seven days, it’s best to consult a doctor.
4. Dental problems
It is common for your jaw to hurt on one side due to oral health issues. Dental problems that can cause a painful jaw include:
- Tooth decay
- Wisdom teeth eruption
- Missing teeth
- Gum disease
- Tooth grinding
You may experience the following symptoms if the cause of your jaw pain is a dental issue:
- pulsating tooth pain
- bleeding gums
- tooth sensitivity
- mouth sores
- bad breath
- dry mouth
- painful chewing or swallowing
Osteomyelitis is an infection of bones caused by certain bacteria, which travel through the bloodstream and affect bone and tissue. Face inflammation, pain, and fever result when it occurs in the jaw. Infections occur most commonly due to bacteria entering the body through a fractured jaw or a poor teeth cleaning routine after dental work or surgery. More men than women are affected by this condition, which affects the lower jaw bone.
6. An abscessed tooth
A tooth abscess is another cause of painful face and jaw. Infection occurs when dental pulp, which contains nerves, tissues, and blood vessels, is exposed to bacteria. Infections that multiply and reach the gum and bone cause pain in the mouth and soreness in the jaw.
How To Immediately Get Rid Of The Jaw Pain?
1. Heat or ice packs
If you have pain or inflammation in the jaw, apply an ice pack or heated pad for 10 minutes. A warm environment helps relax an overactive jaw muscle, and a cold environment minimizes swelling. Replicate the process for a few times after removing the pack.
2. Pain relief medication
Ibuprofen or acetaminophen are OTC pain relievers that relieve pain and discomfort.
3. Massage therapy
You can reduce muscle tension and ease painful joints by massaging the affected area. Rub the sore area gently with your index and middle fingers. Move your fingers in a circular motion. Your neck can also be massaged.
How to prevent such issues in the long run?
Identifying the cause of your painful jaw is crucial to knowing how to prevent future problems. In the case of osteomyelitis, antibiotics are necessary to treat the infection.
1. Wear A Nightguard
By investing in a nightguard, you can ensure you don’t clench or grind your teeth while sleeping. Your jaw will be painless throughout the day and you will not wake up with a sore jaw in the morning. Your teeth are protected, and teeth grinding is minimized as well. By visiting your dentist, you will be able to determine the best treatment for your condition.
2. Reduce stress
Stress and anxiety are the root causes of both teeth grinding and TMDs. Managing your everyday stress and working on stress management can significantly improve jaw pain. You can use the following techniques to reduce stress:
- physical exercise
- talking to loved ones
3. Visit your dentist regularly
Regular dental visits will help you maintain good oral health. Additionally, it will prevent any dental issues from getting worse. Whenever you experience a toothache or pain on one side of your jaw, you should see your dentist immediately. It may be necessary for your dentist to extract your tooth or perform a root canal.
If your jaw hurts on one side, you shouldn’t ignore it. Make sure you address the problem before it worsens.