If You have an Excruciating Jaw Ache, You Can Find Useful Remedies, Advice, Treatment Information and Resources Here (Updated for 2017)
If You Have an Emergency, Please Call NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or visit A&E (Accident and Emergency) at your local Hospital
Did You Know that Your Jaw Ache Could be either a Medical or Dental Problem?
An aching jaw can be easy to dismiss as something that will go away on its own; however, when the jaw ache becomes more pronounced and does not go away even after long periods of time, it might be a good idea to consult your Doctor so you can get to the root cause of that aching jaw. Some of the jaw ache problems that people experience are related to dental concerns, so you can also consult your dentist if you suddenly have an aching jaw that turns persistent.
Jaw Ache Topics in this Page
(Clicking a link below will jump to that topic)
- Jaw Ache Symptoms >
- Broken Jaw Due to Sports Injury
- TMJ (Temporomandibular Jaw Joint) Disorder Video >
- Jaw Ache Causes >
- Migraines, Jaw Ache, Jaw Pain, TMJ and Sleep Apnea Connection >
- Treatment Options for Jaw Ache >
- Could a Bad Bite be Why You Have Jaw Ache?
- Jaw Ache Medicines >
- Non-Surgical Treatments for Jaw Ache >
- Surgery Options for Jaw Ache >
- Medical Massage for Jaw Ache, Jaw Pain and TMJ Disorder >
- Anatomy of the Jaw Joint (TMJ – Temporomandibular Joint) Video >
- Ask One of our Expert Dental Advisors Here about Your Jaw Ache Problem >
- More Jaw Ache and Pain Related Information >
- Useful Resources
Is This You? If you have Jaw Ache, you may or may not have TMJ (Jaw Joint) Problems. You should of course, always seek the advise of a Dental or Medical health professional for further advice.
TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint or ‘Jaw-joint’ Problem) Symptoms:
- Bloodshot eyes
- Blurred vision
- Pressure behind eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Watering of the eyes
- Headache or Facial pain
- Migraines or headaches
- Forehead pain
- shooting pain in jaw area
- Teeth and gum problems (Your teeth may not be sitting together properly)
- Clenching of your jaw during the day or at night
- Grinding of the teeth at night (bruxism)- You may not be aware of this as you are asleep!
- Tooth pain
- Limited opening of your jaw
- Clicking or popping of the jaw area/joint
- Inability to open your jaw smoothly
- Jaw moves slightly to one side when opening
- Inability to bite together properly or eat properly
- Clicking or popping jaw joints
- Ear Pain, Ear Problems
- Ear pain without infection
- Balance problems, vertigo, dizziness
- Throat problem
- Tired and sore neck
- Shoulder aches
Broken Jaw Due to Sports Injury – Spare a Thought For This Brave Guy. First Round, First Punch KO with a Broken Jaw
- If you think you have a broken jaw due to a sports injury or any kind of accident, visit your local Hospitals A&E Department immediately or call 999 if you need an Ambulance.
- If you feel it is not an immediate emergency then call NHS Direct on 0845 4647 or call NHS 111 if it is available in your area. Both are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and can provide medical advice and advise you on the best local service to offer the care you need. Less severe injuries can be treated in minor injuries services and NHS walk-in centres, which can treat patients without an appointment.
Could a Bad Bite be Why You Have Jaw Ache? Watch the Video on TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) Disorder.
Jaw Ache Causes
We at This is Dentistry understand that having the right information about jaw ache can help you in getting the medical and/or dental assistance you need. Listed below are just some of the possible causes of jaw ache related to dental concerns; if you believe that your aching jaw may be connected to a dental issue, make sure that you consult your dentist and physician as soon as possible to get the help you need.
- Problems with Teeth – An aching jaw can be the result of teeth that are not aligned properly; a jaw tooth ache can also be connected to decaying or heavily worn teeth, fillings are damaged or loosened crowns.
- Problems with Gums – Infections involving your gums can also lead to an aching jaw, and can progress to more serious dental problems when left untreated. Loose teeth can also be the culprit for a gum problem that can manifest itself as a persistent jaw ache.
- Problems with your Jaw – An aching jaw can be a sign that your jaw joint is not working properly; this is especially true if you have difficulties opening your mouth wide, and if you hear a clicking or snapping sound every time the jaw joint is moved.
- Degeneration of the Jaw Joint – Jaw ache can be a manifestation of the jaw joint’s degeneration. This is especially true when the jaw area has been injured in the past, and this injury has resulted to the onset of arthritis. Some of the most common injuries that can happen to the jaw joint can come from certain dental treatments or procedures, overstretching the joint of the jaw when one yawns, or direct and forceful trauma to the jaw area.
- Misalignment of the Jaw – This occurs when the alignment of the jaw with the rest of the skull is not in its proper form, resulting to the improper movement of the jaw joint. The misalignment can be caused by trauma to the jaw area (which can result to a dislocated jaw); the incorrect position of the articular disc (a thin disc which is locate inside the jaw joint) can also be the cause of the improper alignment of the jaw. A common symptom of a misaligned jaw is the clicking or grinding sound when the jaw is stretched, usually when a person opens his or her mouth widely.
- Myofascial Pain – Facial pain can be the result of these factors: frequent teeth clenching or teeth grinding, stress, biting on the nails or any other hard items/surfaces, and facial injuries. The pain in the jaw and facial areas come from the unnecessary pressure put on the jaw joint, and can lead to long-term injury to the jaw joint itself, if not detected or treated in its earliest stages.
- Diseases or Medical Conditions – Pain in the jaw area can also be a sign of a disease of a medical condition such as rheumatoid arthritis, neuralgia or an infection. It is important to seek urgent medical attention if the jaw ache is experienced along with chest pain, shortness of breath, sweating, and pain radiating to the arm and shoulder areas – this may be signify the onset of a heart attack.
Migraines, Jaw Ache, Jaw Pain, TMJ and Sleep Apnea Connection. Is a Dentist the Best Person to Treat Such Conditions?
Jaw Ache Treatment
An aching jaw can effectively be dealt with using the following treatments:
- Replacement of Missing Teeth – Teeth loss can result to your teeth not being properly aligned, so replacing the missing teeth with prostheses can help alleviate the symptoms of an aching jaw.
- Teeth Adjustment – Adjusting the position of teeth, and how the lower and upper mandibles come together, can do wonders in easing jaw ache symptoms.
- Relaxation Exercises – Learning how to avoid grinding your teeth together can do wonders for your aching jaw, since your jaw is saved from the added stress that teeth grinding can bring. Instead of grinding your teeth when a stressful situation arises, you can instead turn to relaxation exercises.
Treatment Options for Jaw Ache
Once the underlying cause of the jaw ache symptoms is determined, the treatment can then be readily planned. The options mentioned below are all aimed at providing relief from the pain and discomfort to the jaw ache patient:
Jaw Ache Medicines – Over the counter painkillers or medicines, such as Ibuprofen and Paracetamol, can be used to ease the pain and discomfort that a jaw ache patient feels. These medicines are available without a prescription, but it is best to consult the pharmacist regarding the proper intake or dosage of these painkillers, to ensure safety and efficiency.
Non-Surgical Treatments for Jaw Ache – Managing one’s stress level can do a wonders in the treatment of jaw ache (for those symptoms that are caused primarily by stress). Relaxation exercises, stress management, hypnotherapy, or even counseling can all help in managing pain in the jaw. If teeth clenching or teeth grinding are the causes of an aching jaw, a bite splint may be provided by the dentist. The bite splint (made from soft of hard plastic) prevents the upper and lower teeth from coming into contact with one another, avoiding the friction and unnecessary pressure to the jaw joint.
Medical Massage for Jaw Ache, Jaw Pain and TMJ Disorder
Surgery Options for Jaw Ache
Surgery is usually the last resort when dealing with jaw ache – it is generally considered only when medicines and non-surgical jaw ache options were not successful in treating the issue. Discussing the surgical procedure with the dentist or dental surgeon in a very detailed manner is necessary, as part of the preparation for the surgery; the open communication between the dental surgeon and the patient will also ensure that the patient will have the power to decide on the best option available for his or her jaw ache treatment plan.
There is no need for you to suffer in silence with the discomfort brought by jaw ache. Get in touch with your dentist now so you will have the information you need on what options are available, so you can start deciding on a treatment plan that can best address your specific jaw ache symptoms and problems. Life without the pain and discomfort of jaw ache can be yours – you just have to make the first step towards that goal in the soonest possible time.
Need to Speak to an Expert about Your Jaw Ache, Jaw Joint or TMJ Problem?
More Jaw Ache and Jaw Pain Related Information
- Bruxism (Grinding of Teeth at Night) >
- TMJ Disorder (Jaw Joint Problems) “A Must Read” for those with Jaw Problems, Headaches or Migraines>
- TMJ Treatment >
- Jaw Joint Problems >
- Headaches >
- Aching Jaw >
- Teeth Grinding >
- Wisdom Tooth Pain >
- Occlusion (How the Teeth Sit together) >
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- If you are in need of urgent help, contact your GP, Hospital, or NHS Direct on 0845 4647.
- nhsdirect 0845 4647
- British Dental Health Foundation 0845 063 1188
- SOJ Institute (Dr Stuart Orton-Jones – Expert in Occlusion in the UK)>
- British Dental Association
- TMJ Association Ltd
- Arthritis Care