Pain in jaw when chewing can suggest an issue within the jaw bone itself, or it might signal a disorder from any of the nearby tissues, nerves, and structures of the head and neck. Specific chronic autoimmune conditions can likewise lead to jaw pain. Jaw pain may indicate a worrying underlying disease. Consulting with a doctor can eliminate any serious causes of jaw pain when chewing.
What Causes Jaw Pain When Chewing
Trigeminal neuralgia, or tic douloureux, is an extremely painful disorder of the trigeminal nerve that causes sharp, stabbing episodes of pain when chewing in the majority of areas of the face, including the right or left, jaw. The pain is usually felt on one side, but in some cases on both. The Trigeminal Neuralgia Association describes this disorder as the most painful and agonizing medical condition understood, saying it is sometimes described as “the suicide disease.” It is considered to be unusual, happening in fewer than 200,000 individuals in the United States. It is more common in those over 50 years of age.
The pain of trigeminal neuralgia comes in short, stabbing flashes during episodes that may last for days or months, then solve for months or years, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Attacks are related to triggers that use any pressure to trigeminal nerve. Regular everyday activities like brushing the teeth, and hair might set off an episode. Often talking, consuming, and even a gust of wind on the face will suffice to cause pain. A variety of medications are used for treatment. Several surgical choices are likewise offered.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders
Temporomandibular joint disorders, or TMJ conditions, are a common cause for pain in the jaw. The condition arises from an issue in the joint connecting the jaw to the skull, or with the muscles used for chewing. The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is prone to harm from numerous causes consisting of arthritis, teeth grinding, or misalignment of the teeth. Merck Manuals Medical Library says that even frequent gum chewing can lead to damage to the TMJ. Pain in the jaw when chewing near the TMJ can also originate from persistent clenching of the jaw, and cheek muscles. TMJ conditions may be hard to identify, as they imitate a number of other conditions. Pain worsened by finger pressure on the joint when the mouth is open, typically shows a problem with the TMJ.
Inflammation of the sinuses due to allergies, viruses, fungis, or bacteria can result in upper jaw pain when chewing, and facial pain. The Cleveland Center explains sinusitis as a typical condition, impacting about 40 million Americans every year. Sinusitis typically follows symptoms of a cold, or other breathing infection. The accurate area of pain triggered by this condition relies on which sinus cavities are involved. Inflammation or infection in the right maxillary sinus of the cheek bone often produces pain in the right jaw when chewing, and upper teeth.