Mandibular pain can be caused by various medical conditions.
The lower jaw is a bone located on the lower part of the skull and is used for chewing, speaking, swallowing, etc.
Some of the following diseases often cause discomfort to the lower jaw:
- arthritis of the lower jaw,
- rheumatoid arthritis (is worst in the morning after awakening for at least an hour),
- dental problems,
- tooth abscess (infected tooth),
- Teeth grinding or bruxism (usually bilateral pain), severe clenching of the jaws or teeth grinding during sleep (bruxism) tire the mouth muscles.
- Fibromyalgia, fibromyalgia is a disorder that causes muscle pain in the jaw and other areas of the body.
- trauma to the face (for example, a slap in the face, punch, or a ball in the face), An injury to the jaw caused by facial trauma or surgery can cause severe pain.
- enlarged cervical lymph nodes (cause pain below the jaw),
- craniomandibular dysfunction (CMD),
- myofascial pain syndrome. Myofascial pain syndrome is a muscle pain in the jaw area and other parts of the body, which is treated by a treatment of special points (trigger points).
- A blood clot blocks blood flow in the heart and is the most common cause of a heart attack.
A heart attack causes a feeling of pressure in the chest, cramps throughout the chest and pain that radiates into the left arm.
The sudden pain can also spread to the neck, lower jaw, shoulder or along the arm.
Trigeminal neuralgia can lead to the most severe pain stitches in one half of the face in the following areas:
- Upper jaw
- Lower jaw.
Causes of jaw pain when chewing
- dislocation of the lower jaw,
- Fracture of the lower jaw.
Jaw and earache
Teeth grinding (bruxism)
Often this pathology in children causes pain in the ear and lower jaw.
Teeth grinding is known as bruxism.
These disorders cause pain in the lower jaw and surrounding tissues with restricted movement of the mouth.
Salivary gland cancer in the throat, throat and mouth can cause ear and jaw pain.
The salivary glands are located in front of the ear.
This tumor occurs rarely.
Extracting a tooth can lead to inflammation of the bone and nerves, causing pain in the jaw and ear in the process.
The pain may radiate to other areas of the head such as jaws, ears, eyes, etc.
Sinusitis causes pain. The symptoms can radiate to the ears and into the jaw.
If the jaw muscles are tense, you can feel pain.
Mandibular pain when opening the mouth
Infection of the wisdom tooth
One of the most common causes of pain in the lower jaw is an infection of the wisdom teeth.
Dysfunction of the TMG
Another cause of the jaw pain could be a disorder of the temporo-mandibular joint.
This occurs when the bones that lie between the lower jaw and the skull are incorrectly jointed.
The causes can be many:
- dental disease,
Pregnancy can promote dysfunction of the TMG because the hormone levels in pregnant women cause a loosening of the ligaments. The changed posture also influences the jaw position.
Muscle discomfort could cause jaw pain when moving and touching.
There are diseases in which the muscles of the lower jaw are very tense and can cause pain when opening and closing the mouth, such as chewing.
The causes include trauma, drafts or cold.
- strychnine poisoning,
- tonsillitis (tonsillitis),
- Cheek burn (Noma, Cancrum oris),
- peritonsillar abscess,
Causes of severe jaw pain after dental surgery
Tooth filling In this procedure, the most common cause of jaw pain is the length of time the mouth had to remain open.
This tires the jaw and causes pain when closing the mouth.
Jaw pain often arises after devitalization.
The most common cause of pain is the duration of the operation.
The mouth remains open for many minutes during treatment.
Tooth extraction is very painful.
The dentist eliminates nerves, veins and arteries inside the tooth and damages the roots of the surrounding teeth.
The doctor removes the teeth that are lifeless.
The wisdom tooth appears late and often does not have enough space. That’s why it’s often pulled.
What are the symptoms of temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD)?
People with TMD experience pain that can be temporary or persist for years.
Women are more prone to it than men and most often the dysfunction occurs between the ages of 20 and 40.
Symptoms of TMD include:
- pain on the face, lower jaw, neck and shoulders;
- pain when chewing, speaking or opening the mouth (for example, when yawning);
- lower jaw, which “blocks” and keeps the mouth open or closed;
- some activities (chewing, spitting and swallowing) cause a noise or cracking in one of the temporomandibular joints (right or left) when opening or closing the mouth (even without pain);
- hearing problems, shoulder pain;
- deviation of the jaw at the mouth opening;
- restricted mouth opening (vertically 3 fingers would have to fit into the mouth);
- fatigue of facial muscles;
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus).
What to do? Therapy for temporomandibular dysfunction
At the beginning, the presentation to the family doctor or dentist is recommended.
Patients ask me if heat or cold would be better. The best thing is to put on an ice pack in the first 24 hours after the acute pain, but after that a heat application is better.
Painkillers such as paracetamol, ibuprofen or codene relieve the pain.
If TMD is caused by a disease such as arthritis, injecting cortisone into the lower jaw can reduce pain and swelling of the surrounding soft tissues.
Usually, people feel less pain in the first 24 hours.
The pain improves for a few weeks to many months, in some cases an injection completely cures the problem.
Physiotherapy and osteopathy
The doctor may order laser therapy to reduce inflammation in the temporomandibular joint.
Osteopathy can be helpful because it puts the lower jaw in its correct position.
If the conservative treatment attempts are unsuccessful, surgical therapy can be considered to solve the problem.
Even a temporomandibular prosthesis is only used in an extremely small group of people.
These people have serious symptoms that have existed for a long time and affect jaw function.
Surgery can produce side effects and the doctor must inform the patient about the postoperative course.
Natural remedies for jaw pain
Change of lifestyle
There are many self-help measures to improve TMD, including:
- eat soft food,
- warm the jaw for 10-20 minutes,
- do not grit your teeth,
- massage the muscles around the temporomandibular joint.
Biting splints (plastic splints that are adapted to the teeth) are used to prevent teeth grinding.
They cover the teeth at night to reduce mouth closing and bruxism.
The biting splint is adjusted by the dentist.
How long does the jaw pain last? Prognosis
Many patients with TMD experience an improvement over time: most people do not need surgery.
Often the symptoms improve under conservative therapy.