What Does It Mean If You Have Jaw Pain on One Side?

September 8, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — dr_dawoud @ 1:33 pm
Close-up of a woman with pain on one side of her jaw

What does it mean if you have jaw pain on only one side of your face? This rather odd form of discomfort can have multiple causes; many of them aren’t too serious, but it’s important to be aware of the possibilities so that you can seek the right sort of care. Below are 4 possible explanations from your dentist for why your jaw might hurt on one side.

1. TMJ Disorder

Your temporomandibular joint, or TMJ for short, is the joint that keeps your lower jaw attached to your skull. You have two TMJs – one on each side of your head, right in front of the ears. If there is an issue with one of your TMJs, you are likely to experience significant jaw pain on that side. Other possible symptoms of a TMJ disorder include ringing in the ears, headaches, and limited jaw movement.

The good news is that you can often find relief from your TMJ disorder with the right treatment. In many cases, a dentist may be able to address your symptoms with a customized oral appliance; there might also be some steps you can take at home, such as performing certain stretching exercises.

2. Sinusitis

Have you had a cold recently? If so, you may have swollen sinuses; this condition is known as sinusitis. The sinuses are very close to your jaw. Consequently, the pressure from inflamed sinuses can easily result in jaw pain. Your discomfort may be associated with sinusitis if you also have a stuffy nose or a fever.

It is often possible to treat sinusitis with antibiotics. Of course, you will definitely want to make time to visit your regular physician to see what they recommend.

3. Dental Problems

Sometimes your jaw pain may be a side effect of a more serious oral health issue. For example, it could be the result of wisdom teeth that aren’t able to erupt properly. It can also be a symptom of serious tooth decay or gum disease. Take note of concerning oral symptoms such as tooth pain or bleeding gums; they could indicate that your jaw pain is connected to a problem with your smile.

Naturally, your dentist can help if you’re suffering from an oral health issue. Be sure to get in touch with your dental practice as soon as possible if you think you have an urgent problem with your teeth or gums.

4. Heart Attack

On rare occasions, pain on the left side of your jaw might be a symptom of a heart attack. If this is the case, you may notice other warning signs as well, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, and cold sweats. You should seek emergency treatment immediately if you have any reason to think that your jaw pain may be due to heart problems.

About the Practice

At D&G Dental of West Orange, our dental experts are dedicated to bringing patients comfortable, compassionate care that takes advantage of the latest technology. The services we offer include personalized oral appliances for TMJ disorder as well as same-day appointments for urgent dental issues. To schedule a consultation at our practice, visit our website or call (973) 731-2200.

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