Jaw pain is a common ailment in society. In some cases, the pain may spread to different parts of the face. Jaw pain can occur due to many different reasons.
What is Jaw Pain?
Jaw pain is a type of pain that can make it difficult to speak and eat. The jawbone, also known as the mandible, is connected to the skull via the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This joint is located just in front of the ears and allows the mouth to open and close. Problems with the TMJ are among the most common causes of jaw pain. It attaches to the jawbone, teeth and gums. Therefore, problems such as infection in the teeth and gums can also cause jaw pain.
What Causes Jaw Pain?
Jaw pain can develop due to different reasons. Each cause can lead to pain of different characteristics or cause other symptoms to accompany jaw pain. Despite all this, it may not always be easy to answer the question 'Why does the jaw hurt?'. Common causes of jaw pain:
Jaw Joint (Temporomandibular Joint - TMJ) Diseases
TMJ diseases are among the most common causes of jaw pain. One of every 8 people has TMJ disease. These diseases are more common in women.
- Injury (trauma) in the jaw
- Disorders such as arthritis (joint inflammation)
- Teeth grinding
- Jaw and tooth structure (occlusal trauma) disorders
- It may occur due to conditions such as inflammation in the muscles around the jaw.
- Hearing a 'click' sound when opening the mouth
- Pain/pain in the face, ears and jaw
- Persistent headache
- Visual impairment
- Difficulty, pain while chewing
- It can be counted as a locked jaw.
- Stress can exacerbate the symptoms seen in TMJ diseases.
- Development of a carious tooth or abscess in the tooth
- Tooth that causes the tooth to become sensitive to temperature or pressure cracks, fractures
- Gum diseases
- Teeth eruption
- Tooth alignment disorders
- Teeth grinding
Joint Problems Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune joint disease that develops as a result of immune cells attacking one's own body. Rheumatoid arthritis can involve the temporomandibular joint. In the affected joint, the cartilage structure that allows the jaw to move smoothly is damaged. As a result, the person may experience pain in the jawbone.
Some Diseases Today, thanks to vaccination, diseases such as mumps and tetanus can cause jaw pain, although they are rarely seen. Mumps, a disease caused by virus infection, causes swelling in the salivary glands located near the mouth. Jaw movements may be restricted in this disease.
Heart AttackPain under the left jaw can be a symptom of a heart attack. During a heart attack, the pain transmitted from the nerves near the heart can be felt as if it were in another part of the body. This condition is called “reflected pain”. In a heart attack, left jaw pain or lower jaw pain may also appear as referred pain. The pain may radiate to the shoulder and inner arm, as well as to the jaw.
Sinusitis The spaces in the nose and under the eyes are called sinuses. Inflammation of the sinus cavities is called sinusitis. Especially chronic sinusitis can cause pain in the upper part of the jaw, that is, at the root of the jaw.
Trigeminal Neuralgia The nerve that carries the facial sensation to the brain is the trigeminal nerve. Pain may occur as a result of the pressure of blood vessels on this nerve. Multiple Sclerosis (MS) disease can also cause this condition. Jaw pain in trigeminal neuralgia is usually unilateral. This pain, which is mostly felt as upper jaw pain, is often described by patients as a stabbing or electric shock. Jaw pain caused by trigeminal neuralgia can be so severe that it is impossible to eat and drink.
Cluster HeadacheCluster headache is a type of pain that starts suddenly or appears in a certain pattern. This pain can be severe enough to wake the person from their night's sleep. Cluster headaches can cause pain in the eye and temple area as well as in the jaw.
Osteomyelitis Infections in the bone are called osteomyelitis. Anaerobic osteomyelitis, a subgroup of osteomyelitis, can affect the jawbone. If the infection in the jawbone is not treated, permanent damage may occur to the bone. These structures, called odontogenic, are usually not malignant. However, these structures can grow rapidly and affect dental health. Therefore, surgical removal of odontogenic tumors and cysts may be required.
How is Jaw Pain Treated?
In order for jaw pain to go away permanently, the condition causing the pain must be identified and treated. However, there are some applications that help relieve pain in the process until the permanent solution. These applications are:
- Putting a heated towel over the painful area on the chin
- Applying cold to the painful area (for example, wrapping an ice block in a towel and placing it on the affected area)
- Containing ibuprofen or paracetamol using painkillers
- Massaging the affected jaw joint by gently pressing and drawing circles with the index and middle fingers.
- Physical Therapy applied to the jaw joint area can be applied.
How is Jaw Pain Treatment?
- The treatment of jaw pain is based on the discomfort that causes the pain. Painkillers and exercises to strengthen the jaw joint are used in the treatment of TMJ diseases. /li>
- rheumatoid arthritis autoimmune� Since it is a serious disease, immunosuppressive drugs can be used in its treatment.
- Heart attack is a condition that requires immediate medical attention. There are options such as angio and bypass surgery in the treatment of heart attack.
- Nasal sprays containing various drugs can be preferred in the treatment of sinusitis.
- In the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia, drugs such as carbamazepine, which prevent the nerve from sending signals to the brain, can be used.
- Triptan group agents can also be prescribed to the patient for cluster headaches.
- The treatment of osteomyelitis is performed with antibiotics.
- Surgical surgery to prevent odontogenic tumors and cysts from impairing dental health in the future
- In order to successfully treat jaw pain, the underlying disease must be corrected or taken under control. Without these, pain treatment will not be effective.
- It can be treated by using night plates.
- Selective abrasions can be done in occlusal traumas.
Jaw pain is often seen as a simple ailment. However, jaw pain can be a sign of a life-threatening problem such as a heart attack. Therefore, people with jaw pain that does not go away on their own within a few days; should definitely apply to a health center and have the necessary controls done.