Jaw pain is often described as a throbbing, uncomfortable pain. It can happen all of a sudden, or it can start off mild and become more intense over time. However, the exact symptoms will vary depending on the root cause. Jaw pain may occur on one side or on both sides, depending upon the cause. Also depending upon the exact cause, the pain may occur when chewing or may occur at rest.
HOW IS JAW ACHE DIAGNOSED?
The dentist will perform a physical examination and ask for medical history to diagnose the condition. He may suggest a few tests which include full face X-rays so he can view your jaws, temporomandibular joints, and teeth to rule out other problems. He may need to do other tests, like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT). The MRI can show if the TMJ disc is in the proper position as your jaw moves. A CT scan shows the bony detail of the joint.
HOW IS JAW ACHE TREATED?
For mild jaw pain, home treatments like applying a cold compress and eating soft foods may help prevent worsening of pain. Over the counter medications provide relief from pain. In severe cases where pain is unbearable due to trauma or injury to the joint, surgery may be required.
DID YOU KNOW?
One of the most characteristic of these is the pain associated with coronary artery disease (angina) or heart attack, which typically occurs in the chest but can radiate (spread) to the jaw area. Some kinds of arthritis, often osteoarthritis can lead to pain when moving the joint. Less common causes of jaw ache include tumors, cysts, and infection of bone (osteomyelitis). Trigeminal neuralgia is a condition of the nervous system that causes extreme facial pain that sometimes involves the jaw area.