What is Jaw Pain?
Jaw pain is any discomfort in the jaw area of the face. These areas include the lower jaw, the temporomandibular joint and the soft tissues around the jaw.
Jaw pain on one side is something that may occur at once or slowly over time. This pain can be quite stressful especially if it is severe.
Jaw pain on one side lead you not to be able to open your mouth. This may make activities like yawning, eating and drinking quite problematic.
Other activities that may also be affected include swallowing and touching of the jaw area when you are showering.
What are the causes of jaw pain on one side?
Jaw pain on one side of the face is one clear indication that there are a number of disorders that are affecting you. If you experience pain on one side of your jaw, then you may be suffering from temperomandibular joint disorder. This is a disorder that is characterised by pain, tenderness and trouble in opening the mouth.
The other cause of jaw pain on one side can be stress exerted on the temporomandibular joint. Temperomandibular joint is a soft joint that gets painful if stress is put on it. TMJ is located in front of the ears on each side of the head. There are a number of muscles, tendons and ligaments that surround this joint. If there is wear and tear of this joint, it may be painful. Injury and other diseases are other factors that can make this joint pain.
Jaw pain on one side can be caused by diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. Jaw pain on one side may also be caused by other conditions and infections.
What are the symptoms of jaw pain on one side?
Jaw pain on one side may be characterised by a number of signs. This may range from pains on areas that are in coordination with the jaw to the pain on the jaw itself. When you have pain on the jaw due to infections, you are likely to suffer from fever. This is because this pain is likely to interfere with the inflammatory process.
Jaw pain may be accompanied by a number of symptoms like:
- Dizziness. One symptom is feeling dizzy. You may feel sleepy as there is an urge to do so to escape pain that is on your jaw. When you start falling asleep even during the day, then it’s a sign that the pain is getting severe and immediate medical attention should be administered.
- jaw pain on one side near ear is another symptom that may accompany jaw pain. This is because these two are neighbours. A pain in the jaw will be easily felt on the ear section.
- Fatigue on the facial area is another symptom that accompanies lower jaw infection. To avoid this fatigue, you need to seek medical attention from qualified medical personnel.
- Fever is another symptom that will accompany the jaw pain on one side condition.
- Due to the pain caused by this condition, you are likely to have headache. This will need you to take some pain killers so that this headache calms down.
- The patient may experience jaw pain on one side when opening the mouth.
- Neck pain is another symptom that you will experience once you have jaw pain on one side.
- Jaw pain on one side of the face when eating
- Other symptoms of jaw pain on one side include; shoulder pain, swelling on the jaw or whole of the face, tooth ache.
Symptoms that indicate that jaw pain is getting worse
In extreme cases, the jaw pain on one side may be accompanied by some symptoms that will show that the situation is getting out of control. This is a case where you need to seek immediate medical attention. These symptoms include.
- Chest pains especially when the climate changes from warm to cold.
- Experiencing difficulties in breathing
- Difficulty in breathing
- Having locked jaws
- Experiencing vomiting and nausea
- Abnormal sweating
How disorders of the tempero mandibular joint can lead to jaw pain
Jaw pain on one side of the face can be a sign of infection of the joints. Some of the joint disorders that may lead to jaw pain are age related wear and tear of the joints of the jaw. This is a condition that is common in old people. Another condition is the abnormal alignment of the jaw. When there is dislocation of the joints of the jaw, you will experience jaw pain on one side of the face.
Dental conditions that causes jaw pain
Jaw pain on one side is common in severe dental conditions. Some of the dental conditions that may lead to jaw pain on one side of the face include:
- Dry socket which is as a result of tooth extraction. When your tooth gets removed, the teeth socket is likely to remain unfilled. This may lead to pain of the jaw if it is infected. This pain is also likely to be severe during cold times due to the sensitivity of the skin.
- Injured tooth is another thing that will lead to jaw pain on one side. The teeth nerves are very sensitive. This means that any alternation in the way the teeth are may lead to jaw pain on one side when opening the mouth.
- Decay of the tooth can also contribute a lot to jaw pain on one side. This is because once the tooth decay extends to pulp, it may result to injury of nerves and blood vessels. Once this are affected they lead to a very severe jaw pain on one side when eating.
Common FAQs about jaw pain on one side
To know the facts i.e. cause, symptoms and treatment of jaw pain on one side, there are a number of questions that many people have always asked. These are questions people do ask when they go to see medical personnel at the health facilities. Other can be the ones that medical personnel throw to you. It is a two-way thing. Some of these questions are:
- What causes the jaw pain on one side?
- When the pain did begin?
- Did the pains start abruptly or it has taken time to grow?
- Is the pain constant or it keeps on fluctuating?
- What are the symptoms that accompany this problem?
- Does the pain affect other activities like eating and drinking?
When you are asked such a kind of questions, it is good to provide the right information so that you are given the right medication. Be sure of when and how the problem started so that the doctor can know how far it has gone. You may be operated or be given some medications that will help reduce this pain. In extreme conditions surgery may be the better option.
Complications that may result from jaw pain on one side
There are a number of complications that may result from jaw pains. These complications will vary depending on the cause of the problem. A pain in the jaw may lead to permanent damage of tissue and joints that surround it hence dislocations. This is contributed a lot by the pain affecting the joint that holds the jaw in position.
Poor nutrition and deficiency of essential ingredients of the body is another complication that may arise due to jaw pain. Once you have the pain on your jaw, eating and drinking are likely to be a problem. This may result to poor health as you don’t take enough food to sustain your body needs.
Stress, frustration and unhappiness are other complications that result from jaw pain on one side of the face. If your jaw pains all the time, you will be in pain and stress. This is why you will need to seek medical attention as soon as you realise you have this problem. This stress is much more when you are eating or drinking. The best ways you can keep off this jaw pain on one side of the face is by reducing stress and improve on your posture. This is achieved by reducing excessive chewing and regular training your jaw muscles. It is good to train your jaw muscles so that they are strong enough to stand any pressure.
Jaw pain in one side of the face may affect your physical and mental well being. So it is better to get it treated at the earliest.
Written by Anju Mathew
on July 12th, 2011. The article was last updated on August 29th, 2011