Have you ever found yourself wondering aloud, ‘Why does my jaw hurt?’, because if so, you just might have popped the biggest question of all time. According to studies, around 13 million adults in the US suffer from jaw pain. But despite being common, there isn’t a surefire way of answering that question. In fact, plenty of reasons can amount to the jaw pain you might be feeling. We’ll break down the top 5 causes that could possibly be behind it.
Why Does My Jaw Hurt All of a Sudden?
Waking up with a sudden aching in your jaw is far from ideal. If anything, it could ruin your entire day. Although some people do suffer from chronic jaw pain, known as TMD, other times, it’s only a short-lived spark of pain. Ranging from complex to simple, here are the following reasons why your jaw hurts when you open your mouth wide:
1. Oral Infection
An oral infection can come in various shapes and sizes. Be it on your teeth, gums, or tongue, oral infections can be quite tricky to deal with. Mainly, a deeply embedded cavity or a cracked tooth can lead to jaw pain. But on the other hand, an abscessed tooth, along with gum disease, can also play a role in causing your jaw discomfort.
As odd as it sounds, cluster headaches and migraines can be the leading cause of an aching jaw. The blood vessels in your head tangle up with your facial nerves, leading to severe pain. If you notice your jaw pain disappearing right after your headache goes away, that should serve as a clear indication.
3. High Stress
At times, high amounts of stress can also have your jaw feeling sore. This is especially the case if you’re prone to clenching or grinding your teeth. You may not notice it at that moment, but the pain arrives soon enough after.
4. Sinus Infection
Allergies or a case of a bad sinus infection can also be one of the reasons why your jaw hurts. The pressure you feel in your jaw comes from the nasal congestion caused by sinusitis. If the pain is accompanied by dizziness, headache, or post-nasal drip, it could all just be because of a sinus infection.
5. Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD)
TMD is by far the most serious case of jaw pain. That’s when you know something is really up. The temporomandibular joint in your face connects to the lower jaw of your skull. This is why a sudden pain might shoot up whenever you open your mouth to chew, eat or yawn. Sometimes, you might hear clicking noises when opening your mouth, or there may be an odd pain near your ears. All of this could be a result of TMD.
How to Treat Jaw Pain
In most cases, dentists suggest avoiding any type of hard food. Moreover, try not to open your mouth too wide, or it could dislodge your jaw from its original position. Of course, if the pain gets too much, you might want to ice the area for some time. But if the aching lasts long, it might be time for you to seek professional dental care.
The Closing Word
All in all, the next time you think to yourself, ‘Why does my jaw hurt?’ Remember to take a deep breath and pay attention to the other symptoms you’re feeling. Nonetheless, in the case that the pain persists, call (281) 937-7530 to schedule an appointment with Smiles on Greatwood Dentistry for an in-depth evaluation.