Whether it's eating or talking, we are constantly using our mouth and jaws. However, there are certain conditions that can lead to jaw pain. These conditions can be due to purely dental reasons, or at times, also due to systemic conditions. Given below are the various causes and treatment options for pain in the jaw while opening the mouth.
Wisdom Teeth Infection
One of the most common causes of a paining jaw is infection of wisdom teeth. This is generally caused due to tooth decay. When a wisdom tooth gets infected, the caries progress at a very fast rate. It is not very easy to maintain oral hygiene at the back of the mouth, as the wisdom tooth region is relatively difficult to access. This leads to a swelling of the gums, which in turn causes jaw pain. In most cases, there will not only be pain in the jaw while opening, but also restricted jaw movement. The treatment for such cases will consist of getting the wisdom tooth treated or extracted. However, this should ideally be done under a cover of antibiotics, so as to restrict the spread of infection.
Another cause of jaw pain could be a temporomandibular joint disorder. This occurs when the bones that articulate between the jaw and the skull, are adversely affected. There are many conditions that can affect this joint, like arthritis, osteoarthritis, etc. At other times, even an ear infection can lead to radiating pain in the region of the jaw. There may be other conditions that can lead to pain in the jaw region, like direct or indirect trauma, stress, constant teeth grinding, etc. The treatment for this will consist of treating the underlying cause. Thus, if the problem is due to a degenerative disease like arthritis, the treatment will consist of limiting this condition. In case of trauma, there may be need to treat the patient on an emergency basis.
The presence of any muscular disorder could be a reason behind a hurting jaw. Sometimes, there may be conditions where the muscles of the jaw are very unyielding, thus making it difficult to open and close the mouth easily. As the muscles are in a state of contraction, the amount of mouth opening will also be restricted. In other cases, over-stretching the lower jaw beyond its limit can cause damage to the muscles of the face, and so, over time, the person may suffer from pain. The treatment in such conditions will consist of giving muscle relaxants, and doing certain jaw exercises to help slowly train the muscles to expand.
There are many other causes that can lead to some amount of pain in the jaw. There are many systemic conditions, including tetanus, strychnine poisoning, tonsillitis, mumps, cancrum oris, peritonsillar abscess, scleroderma, fits, etc. which affect the jaw or its muscles. The treatment for these conditions will vary accordingly.
A paining jaw is a condition that needs to be taken seriously, because if not treated in time, it can lead to irreversible damage to the jaw and related structures.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is solely for informative purpose and not intended to replace the advice of medical experts.