Introduction to Jaw Pain
Jaw pain may be associated with many conditions. In majority of cases the problem originates from teeth. Jaw pain can be simply classified as primary and secondary. Primary jaw pain develops as a consequence of the condition of the very jaw while secondary jaw pain occurs in the jaw but originates from other tissues and organs. In secondary jaw pain the pain actually radiates from the injured or damaged organs to the jaw.
The actual cause of jaw pain must be identified in case it lasts for longer period of time or is recurrent. In case of primary jaw pain the patient is treated by a dentist or ENT specialist while jaw pain caused by illnesses of other locations requires suitable specialist depending on the affected organ.
Jaw pain may affect both sides of the jaw or is located only on one side of the upper or lower jaw. The pain is not a solely symptom. Patients additionally complain about the headache, clicking or popping sounds in the jaw joint, difficulty in moving the jaw, difficulty in talking or chewing etc.
Causes of Jaw Pain on One Side
In many cases temporomandibular joint dysfunction is a cause of jaw pain on one side. In such patients the pain is located to the temporomandibular joint and also radiates toward the ear, cheek bone or neck. There is a clicking or popping sound each time the jaw is closed or opened. Headaches and difficulties opening the mouth are two more problems associated with temporromandibular joint disorder.
Trauma to the jaw is another cause of jaw pain on one side. The injury may cause only contusion of the soft tissues around the jaw or if the blow has been severe enough the jaw bone may be fractured.
One of the frequent problems that cause jaw pain on one side is cavity. Even other teeth problems such as broken teeth and teeth that have been pulled out may induce pain in the jaw. The pain also affects people suffering from severe gum infections and gingivitis.
Even though jaw arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis etc) does not occur so often it may be the cause of jaw pain on one side. The pain may also originate from bony growths or bones spurs that do not commonly affect the jaw but may develop under certain circumstances.
And there are several more not so common causes of jaw pain on one side. They include abscess of the jaw, tumors of the jaw, dental surgeries, paranasal sinus infections, osteomyelitis of the jaw, trigeminal neuralgia, inflammation of the parotid gland, actinomycosis etc .