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Common Causes of One-Sided Jaw Pain

Few things are as excruciating as jaw pain. This is because the jaw has an abundant nerve supply, and pain will thus radiate to multiple parts of your body. The pain radiation also makes it hard to pinpoint the exact area that is causing the pain and intervene appropriately.

Most people with one-sided jaw pain will visit a family medicine specialist assuming that this is the initial symptom of a heart attack. Most online articles will recommend wisdom teeth removal by a Taylorsville Utah-based dentist as the solution for one-sided jaw pain.

While wisdom teeth issues are the leading causes of unilateral jaw pain, they are not the only ones. To this end, a dentist will first conduct tests to pinpoint the exact cause of your jaw pain. Other than a diseased or impacted wisdom tooth, here are the other things that might result in jaw pain.


Grinding of teeth causes severe dental damage and is among the primary causes of jaw pain. While some people will grind their teeth when stressed or excessively stimulated, most do it in their sleep. This leads to the destruction of dental enamel, infection of the gums, and fatigue of the jaw joints.

Engaging in stress-relieving exercises and wearing a nighttime mouthguard will protect your teeth from the effects of bruxism. Even so, when it causes jaw pain, the solution might be covering your damaged teeth with crowns, bonding, or veneers.

If too extensive, a dentist might recommend removing the teeth the filling the gap with implants or bridges.

Temporomandibular Disorder

This affects your jaw’s temporomandibular joint. This is the joint formed at the articulation point between the mandibular and temporal joints. It supports daily tasks like yawning, talking, swallowing, eating and other activities.

Other than a popping or clicking joint sound and generalized difficulty in opening your mouth, the condition is characterized by jaw pain. In severe cases, a temporomandibular disorder causes your mouth to stay stuck in a closed or open position.

Dental Abscess

This results from the infection of your dental nerve or pulp because of an untreated cavity. Bacteria spread from the infected tooth roots into the surrounding bone tissues resulting in significant jaw pain. Regular dental exams are the best choices for keeping dental cavities at bay.

With the exams, a dentist will pick dental cavities in their initial stages and intervene.


person in the dentist clinic

This is a blood-borne infection that will affect your bones and the surrounding tissues. The most commonly affected joint by osteomyelitis is the temporomandibular joint. The disease will cause facial swelling, fever, and generalized pain.

Fortunately, osteomyelitis can be treated by an antibiotic course or surgical procedure that removes the jaw sections that are severely affected by the bacteria and cannot be saved.

Most people will manage their jaw pain with ice and OTC pain relief medications. This might give you some pain relief, but they are temporary and do not address the root cause of the pain. Get a dentist to evaluate your oral health and treat the above and other issues appropriately to get rid of your jaw pain permanently.

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