Jawbone Pain Symptoms that May Need Medical Attention

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Andrew Slavin, DMD, FACS

Andrew Slavin, DMD, FACS

September 19, 2022

Jawbone pain on the left side or right side of your face is not a normal condition. It can be a sign of an acute or a chronic problem with part of the bone, a tooth or the joint between your two jawbones. When you have a new jawbone pain on the right side or left side of your face that does not go away after a day or two, it might be time to take prompt action and make an appointment with your dentist.

Types of Jawbone Pain

Jawbone pain may start suddenly, which is called acute pain. This might happen if you bite into something hard and feel immediate pain. The pain may be dull and achy, constant and throbbing or intermittent. The other type of jawbone pain is chronic. This type of pain usually has a slower onset. It lasts for a couple of months or longer. It is often related to problems with the bone or the joint between your upper and lower jawbones.

Other Symptoms You Might Notice

When you have jawbone pain, you may notice other symptoms at the same time. One or more of your teeth in the area of the pain in your jaw might also hurt. Your gum tissue may be inflamed, swollen or sensitive. You could notice a popping sound when you open your mouth wide, such as when you are yawning. Jawbone pain may happen at the same time as an earache, headache, congestion, face pain or fever. When your jawbone pain is accompanied by any of these additional symptoms, an evaluation by our dentist could provide answers.

Possible Causes of Jawbone Pain on the Left Side or Right Side of Your Face

A sudden onset of pain in your jawbone could be due to an infection around the root of a tooth or deep within your gum tissue. When the pain is in your upper jaw, it could be related to your sinuses. Inflammation in your sinuses could cause the pain to spread into your jaw. An ear infection may cause similar pain in your jawbone. An injury, such as getting hit in the face with an object, could be the cause of your sudden-onset jawbone pain. Sometimes sudden pain in the left lower side of the jaw can be a symptom of a heart attack.

Chronic pain in the jawbone has different causes. Some people develop temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). This could be a result of grinding your teeth at night. Ongoing jawbone pain could also be due to malocclusion. People with arthritis may develop stiffness or pain in the jawbone.

Treatment Options for Jawbone Pain

The treatment options for jawbone pain depend on the cause of the pain. An ear or sinus infection causing your pain is typically treated with antibiotics. An infection of your tooth, gum tissue or jawbone tissue can also be treated with antibiotics. If an injury to a tooth or the bone itself caused the pain, oral surgery may be needed in order to relieve your symptoms. If you have TMJ, your dentist might make you a customized mouth guard. Jawbone exercises could help with stiffness caused by arthritis. If you have malocclusion, our dentist might refer you for orthodontic care.  And clearly, if your pain is caused by a heart attack you need to seek immediate attention.

Your oral health is a priority for us at the Good Samaritan Dental Implant Institute. When you have any new pain in your mouth or jaw, it is important to have it evaluated as quickly as possible.

Andrew Slavin, DMD, FACS

Andrew Slavin, DMD, FACS

Hello there, great choice moving towards the personal dental health care you desire!

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