Are you wondering why does my jaw hurt on one side? Well, there can be several reasons for this. From catching a cold to having TMD syndrome, several causes might have led you here. You have to look out for the symptoms to treat them immediately.
Jaw pain is a condition that can be frustrating and worrisome for patients. It is one of the most common complaints for those with temporomandibular disorders or TMDs.
The cause behind jaw pain depends on the person’s particular complaint. However, there are some general causes that you should be aware of when it comes to jaw pain, and you even think sometimes, why does my jaw hurt on one side?
For example, TMJ syndrome (TMD) typically causes ear symptoms, clicking, and headaches in the front area of your head. Other conditions such as infectious arthritis, inflammation in your neck muscles (myalgia), and trauma can also cause this type of pain.
Let’s take a closer look at its symptoms, causes, possible treatments, and preventive actions to fight this condition.
Why does my jaw hurt on one side?
You may notice that when you open your mouth wide, your left or right jaw looks different from the other. You may have a condition in which one is more forward while the other is lower than usual.
There could be one that is distinctly higher than the other. These differences can make it harder to chew food and speak comfortably.
A skewed relationship between your two jaws can happen for many reasons. But often, these issues are due to an imbalance in the muscles and tendons that attach to your cheeks (the muscles of mastication), and over time, this difference begins to irritate the jaw bone.
Therefore, if you’re experiencing tooth clenching and jaw pain, this may result from jaw misalignment.
Symptoms of jaw pain on one side
Jaw pain is a common ailment that frequently affects the face, head, and neck. As well as being painful, it is also an uncomfortable experience to have one side of your jaw locked in place at any time.
It is the sole reason many people wonder, “why does my jaw hurt on one side?” when they suffer from this condition.
In addition, it may be challenging to distinguish between areas that are just uncomfortable and those that require medical treatment. Following is a list of typical symptoms we’ve put together to make it easier for you to identify the root cause.
- Pain in one side or both sides of your face while eating (e.g., pain in the jaw joint)
- Sharp pain near the jaw joint while chewing or biting
- Pain in the jaw joint while breathing through the mouth
- A sudden headache or a feeling of pressure on your head during mealtime
- Pain in one of your ears with eating or swallowing (this is caused by pressure about a nerve that goes to the ear)
- Pain along an incisor tooth as it protrudes over your archwire from wearing an upper denture
- Bump on the side of the face from fall and impact to the side of the face
- If you hit something hard, like pavement, you can get a bump on one side of your face
- Pain on one side of the face when taking deep breaths
- Cannot open mouth to eat
Common causes for neck and jaw pain on one side
Still thinking, why does my jaw hurt on one side? Many individuals experience jaw pain on one side of their neck as they suffer from certain conditions because more than one part of the body is affected due to this pain. Here are the most common reasons for these types of situations:
1. Muscle strain or spasm
Muscle strain or spasm is the most common cause of jaw pain on one side. It may be caused by an accident, trauma, stress, or poor posture. Muscle strains on one side of your body can create a misalignment in your spine. For example, you are tilting the head to one side when you look down.
Many people suffer from TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) and aren’t even aware of it. It’s a disorder that affects the jaw joints and can cause pain on one side of the neck. The discomfort in the jaw muscles may be caused by an inability to open and close the jaw normally. It’s a common condition that can easily be treated with physical therapy and stress management techniques.
Benign or malignant tumors in the jaws or neck can cause debilitating pain symptoms and impair movement. The same goes for spinal cord tumors near the head and neck region. If you are experiencing this pain, it can be one of the reasons.
4. Low blood pressure
Low blood pressure is characterized by reduced blood flow, making it difficult for your muscles to obtain the oxygen and nutrients they require to perform correctly. It may be challenging to stand up, feel dizzy, and lead to one-sided jaw pain.
Grinding your teeth together, for example, during sleep, often damages certain teeth or bones. This process can lead to many symptoms, including headaches and impaired speech, movement, vision, and chewing ability. Hence, it can be one of the reasons why you are experiencing jaw pain left side near ear.
This condition causes pain and numbness in specific regions of the body, particularly the hands and fingers. Although the particular neuropathy etiology is unknown, many people are increasingly being diagnosed with it. The nerves in this disorder are destroyed due to stresses and injuries that might occur over time. This is especially common in the elderly.
7. Thyroid dysfunction
In such cases, the thyroid gland produces insufficient hormones, which causes severe symptoms. This can affect every part of the body and cause weight loss and several health problems, including digestive issues and difficulty swallowing. You might experience one-sided neck and jaw pain as a result, in addition to other signs and symptoms like fatigue and interrupted sleep.
8. Movement disorders
A diagnosis of an illness like Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis may cause you to experience severe and incapacitating jaw pain. When the muscles contract unevenly or when spasms restrict movement, you could feel discomfort in these situations. This might involve tense muscles, cramping, and trouble chewing.
Why does my jaw hurt when I eat and how to reduce pain
If you’re thinking, “Why does my jaw hurt when I eat?” or suffer from the previously stated symptoms, it is advised to take extreme caution and put potential pain relief remedies to work. Fortunately, several solutions are available to assist you in quickly getting rid of this condition.
1. Massage Treatment
Giving yourself a brief massage is an even more efficient technique to reduce some of the tension in your jaw muscles. Massage therapy frequently aids in improving blood flow through muscles, which aids in accelerating the healing process and reducing any swelling that may develop in your jaw.
2. Mouth Rinse
It would be best to rinse your mouth with lukewarm water laced with a pinch of salt and apply cold compresses to your jaw. This will assist in removing any extra plaque and bacteria from the gum area. It can be helpful if you have access to warm water, even if this is not the ideal option for reducing edema!
3. Don’t bite your cheeks
This can cause muscle tightness and eventually cause pain. If you’re suffering from one-sided jaw pain and tend to clench your teeth or bite your cheeks, make sure you get them checked by a dentist who can diagnose the problem and help fix it.
4. Take a painkiller
Analgesic (pain medication) cream or over-the-counter painkillers can help in the short term or if muscle relaxation is incomplete. You can either rub the cream on affected areas or take the medicine by mouth. Doctors sometimes prescribe painkillers for severe TMD.
5. Try acupuncture
The use of acupuncture will help reduce muscle tension and thus relieve pain in your jaw area. The treatment combines the insertion of needles into specific points on the body and pressure applied by massage.
After reading up on how acupunctures work, you’ll need an appointment with a licensed acupuncturist or see a practitioner on your own.
6. Hot Ice Massage
To use ice to relieve one-sided jaw pain, ask your dentist if it’s okay to take an ice pack in your mouth after they have finished cleaning your teeth.
When massaging the affected area with ice, start slowly by gently rubbing it over the affected area and then make sure it is cold. Let the ice sit on the affected area for a minute before going to your dentist.
7. Squeeze Some Oil In Your Mouth
Essential oil with a strong flavor can be used to help get rid of one-sided jaw pain. You should make sure to choose an oil with a solid aroma to be able to start the process right away. Avoid using oils with citrus or intense flavors because their smells irritate you.
Tylenol is a very effective pain reliever that can sometimes be used for people suffering from one-sided jaw pain. This medication is excellent for you because it reduces the amount of pain you experience and alleviates any soreness and swelling in your mouth.
If you have this pain, try taking it after each meal or dosage when you wake up. You can take two pills per day or split them into two doses throughout the day.
9. Toothpaste with salt and peppermint
Dentists often recommend using salt and peppermint toothpaste on one-sided jaw pain, which may help control the swelling on your face. However, the salt content may discolor your teeth after using this product.
To avoid this, ask your dentist to make a custom toothpaste of only salt and peppermint. As soon as the pain starts, you should use a pea-sized amount of your toothpaste so that it doesn’t end up staining your teeth and gums.
Dietary guidelines to prevent jaw pain on one side
The best approach to relieve jaw strain is to relax it as much as possible. This is particularly effective because your muscles and bones tighten when stressed. A tight muscle in your jaw or neck can create various problems, so try not to tense up too much while eating and chewing.
Everything that you eat can be a problem. Try not to put too much food into your mouth at once, and only take small bites as you eat. The less quantity you put into your mouth at one time, the less chance you put too much strain on your jaw muscles.
It’s also wise to avoid drinking lots of liquids when eating. Even though water is an excellent beverage for many people, it can create more problems for TMJ sufferers since the extra flow can stretch the jaw muscles and cause pain in the area around it. Try things like a broth or smoothie instead. Smoothies that aren’t too solid but aren’t too runny or sweet will be best for your needs.
We hope you now have the answer to why does my jaw hurt on one side. If not, it might be time to consult a doctor and get a definitive way to cure your condition.
With the recent changes in lifestyle and overall climate, it is no wonder minor problems in the body, like jaw pain or neck pain, are getting very common. But instead of treating these problems the right way, people start panicking and waste loads of fortune on medical services.
While such issues can be fixed with essential remedies and treatments at home, it would be best to treat your teeth and gums when treating your sore jaw. This is because the leading cause of your pain may be an issue with one or more of these areas!