The jaw is a part of the skull that forms the frame of the mouth and supports the teeth. There is an upper jaw and a lower jaw that are attached to each other with the help of ligaments, tendons, and muscles. The lower one is attached to the upper one and the rest of the skull with the help of the jaw muscles, that perform the function of the movement of the lower jaw during chewing, talking, yawning, etc. At times, due to overuse or over stretching, it can lead to sore jaw muscles, which can be painful and annoying. Though the feeling of soreness can be felt on both sides, some individuals may suffer from it on one side only.
Jaw pain is a common ailment that occurs in individuals of all age groups. It can be classified into two categories - primary and secondary. It can have numerous causes, which may be temporary or may need prompt medical attention. Given below are a few causes:
- The pain on one side may be caused due to a traumatic injury, due to a fall or a heavy blow on the face, leading to a fracture. The symptoms may include swelling accompanied by pain, soreness, bleeding, and misalignment of the joint.
- Another main reason is due to the inflammation or injury caused to this area. Sometimes, this condition also leads to temporomandibular joint disorder, which is also known as TMJ disorder. This disorder, also referred to as Costen's syndrome, occurs when either the joint or the muscles become stiff. Sore jawbone, pain when opening mouth, clenching and tightness in the jaw are some of the symptoms of this disorder.
- Inflammatory diseases, like arthritis can also be a reason. This condition causes inflammation of the muscles and weakens the joints. This disorder, which can be quite painful, is mostly seen in the elderly.
- The presence of tumors or extra outgrowths can result in pain when chewing.
- Some other causes include tetanus disease, toothache, habitual grinding of teeth and jaw clenching, tooth abscess (which is the infection of the nerves and soft tissue in the teeth), and infection of the jawbone (osteomyelitis).
This condition is as annoying as it is painful, hence it is necessary to consult a doctor. In case of mild soreness, home remedies, like avoiding chewy foods, performing mild exercises, etc., can help. Application of cold or warm compresses is effective when it comes to pain relief.
The doctor may also prescribe some pain killers or anti-inflammatory medications to reduce the inflammation. In case the symptoms are severe and the pain is quite unbearable, the patient may have to undergo surgery as a corrective measure. Its recovery time may depend on ow the patient responds to the treatment.
There are also a few exercises, which can provide relief from the pain and discomfort. If the pain is persistent, then consult the doctor who may provide appropriate treatment. Wish you good health!
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.