Why Does My Jaw Hurt: Understanding the Possible Causes and Seeking Relief


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Jaw pain is a public issue affecting millions of people worldwide. Jaw pain may be mild or severe and disturb your class of life.

Many reasons can cause jaw pain, such as toothache, grinding teeth, or gum disease.

Jaw pain may also indicate a serious issue, including a heart attack or a broken or dislocated jaw.

Your jawbone, also called a mandible, connects to your skull at a pair of joints known as the temporomandibular joints, or TMJs.

These joints are just in front of your ears, letting you open and close your mouth.

Discovering what causes jaw pain can be difficult.

The pain can originate in the teeth, bones, or jaw muscles. Also, it may come from an unexpected area like the ears, sinuses, or even the heart.

Common Causes of Jaw Pain

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder

TMJ disorders can result from issues with the joint that links your jawbone to your skull.

This condition can cause pain, popping or clicking sounds when closing or opening your mouth, and difficulty chewing.


Grinding or clenching your teeth, often done unconsciously during sleep, can lead to jaw pain, headaches, and tooth sensitivity.

Dental Problems

Cavities, gum disease, or dental infections can cause referred pain in the jaw area.

Dental Procedures

After specific dental procedures, like getting a filling or having wisdom teeth removed, it’s common to experience temporary jaw pain or soreness.


An injury or impact to the jaw, face, or head can cause jaw pain.

Sinus Problems

Sinus infections or inflammation can cause discomfort in the jaw area due to the proximity of the sinuses to the jaw joint.


Certain types of arthritis can affect the jaw joint and lead to pain and stiffness.

Stress and Tension

Emotional stress and tension can cause you to tighten your jaw or grind your teeth, leading to jaw pain.

Self Treating

It can be subject to on why your jaw hurts. You may need surgery if you have a broken jaw.

You’ll need dental treatment if your jaw hurts because of an abscessed tooth or periodontal disease.

  • Consumption of easy-going food.
  • Applying cold or heat to the jaw.
  • Doing mild stretching exercises to relax and fortify your jaw muscles.
  • Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs).
  • Stop clenching your jaw, grinding your teeth, or biting your nails.

Medical Treatments for Jaw Pain

Medical workers and providers may use the following treatments:

  • Muscle relaxants.
  • Physical therapy or exercises to ease tight jaw and neck muscles.
  • Mouth guards or other orthodontics to protect your teeth, joints, and muscles if you grind your teeth.


Protecting the Jaw

Wear a seatbelt when you ride or drive an automobile.

Wear defensive headgear if you play sports where something or someone might hit your jaw very hard.

Taking Care of Teeth

Floss & brush your teeth and get regular dental checkups.

Managing Stress

Stop grinding the teeth, as it might cause pain.


A blow to the jaw can cause:

  • Bruises
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Loose or knocked-out teeth

Usually, over-the-counter pain medication or steps like eating soft foods will help ease your discomfort as you heal.

But if the pain won’t go away, or you can’t open and close your mouth right, you’ll need medical care. Issues with teeth alignment can also sometimes cause jaw pain.

Learn more about the different treatment options for overbite and jaw pain.

Dental Issues

A bunch of problems with your teeth can lead to jaw pain.

  • A toothache, generally because of a cavity or an abscess
  • Teeth that are crowded, cracked, or sensitive to pressure or temperature.
  • Gum disease can damage your jawbone
  • Wisdom teeth are coming in
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw.

See your dentist straight away for these difficulties.

Joint Problems

If you have a type of arthritis known as rheumatoid arthritis, it could attack your temporomandibular joints.

It’s an autoimmune disease, which means your body mistakenly attacks healthy tissue and makes it swell up.

That may damage the spongy, soft cartilage that keeps your jaw moving effortlessly, making it feel stiff and sore.

Heart Attack

Jaw pain can sometimes signal a heart attack.

Pain that starts near a constellation of nerves, like your heart, can be felt someplace else in the body.

This is called referred pain. Referred jaw pain may also be a sign of joint problems, such as in the shoulders or the lower back.

Sinus Problems

If the spaces inside your nose and under your eyes (sinuses) stay inflamed or swollen for longer than 3 months, even with treatment, you may have chronic sinusitis.

It mainly makes it hard to breathe through your nose and makes the area around your eyes feel tender, but chronic sinusitis also can cause aching in your upper jaw.


This agonizing condition can happen when a blood vessel presses in contradiction with the trigeminal nerve, which transmits messages to your brain from your face.

It can also be caused by numerous sclerosis. Trigeminal neuralgia generally affects one side of your cheek or jaw and can feel like a jolt of electricity or stabbing pain.

The pain can be excruciating, keeping you from eating or drinking anything.

Cluster Headaches

These are excruciating headaches that happen in specific patterns or often happen in a short amount of time.

They cause severe pain on one side of your head, often waking you up at night.

Cluster headaches usually affect the area around your eyes and temple, but the pain can also spread to your jaw.


This is an infection that happens in a bone. It can affect your mandible or lower jaw, a condition called anaerobic osteomyelitis.

If it’s not treated, the disease can destroy your jaw’s blood supply and permanently damage the bone tissue there.

Cysts or Tumors

These are developments in your soft tissues or facial and mouth jawbone.

Occasionally called Odontogenic Cysts and Tumors, they’re not often cancerous but can multiply and disturb your teeth.

In some cases, surgery is recommended to take them out.


If your jaw pain is severe, persistent, or accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it’s essential to seek medical or dental attention.

A healthcare professional can properly diagnose the underlying cause of your jaw pain and recommend appropriate treatment or management options.

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