Sometimes you may feel stabbing pain on the face or jaw area which can be due to trigeminal neuralgia. Jaw pain can be broadly divided into two kinds namely primary and secondary. When the causative factor is medical issues on the jaw or face area, it is called primary type. On the other hand jaw pain that occurs due to health problem in other parts of the body is classified under secondary jaw pain. It is easy to get treated for jaw pain of both the types with consultation of your dentist or GP.
Jaw pain can develop either on one side or both. Majority of jaw pains will cause pain on only one side. It can be caused due to headache, problems in movement of jaw, problems in chewing food, popping sounds on the jaw point, grinding of teeth and medical problems in opening/closing of mouth.
It can also occur due to temporomandibular joint disease which is shortly known as TMJ. Here the jaw pain is caused when the jaw bones do not open or close properly. Any trauma or injury to the mouth can cause jaw pain. Dental problems like cavities, rotten teeth, and misalignment of teeth can cause this problem. Some people may develop jaw pain due to arthritis on the jaw bone.
Excess of bone growth on the mouth can cause intense jaw pain when you open the mouth. Medical conditions like sinusitis, nasal infections, swollen lymph nodes, dental caries, and teeth extraction and other dental procedures, neck cancer and osteomyelitis can cause jaw pain on one side. In rare cases, when a person gets heart attack, he may have intense chest pain, palpitation, shortness of breath and constant pain in the jaw.
Jaw pain can cause mild to severe range of pain. Jaw pain is felt as staggering pain on the jaw when you laugh or try to eat.
Physical examination of the mouth, checking for jaw sliding and wear and tear on the biting surface is the main diagnoses for jaw pain. Your dentist will collect your medical history and order for X-ray (if needed) and laboratory test for ruling out fungal infections.
You cannot ignore jaw pain and you need to consult your doctor or dentist. He will examine your oral cavity and collect medical history to find out the cause of jaw pain. An expert dentist can identify the actual cause of jaw pain and prescribe medicines for curing it. Treatment depends on the cause of jaw pain. Pain killers can be taken for getting temporary relief but your doctor/dentist will have to begin treatment after finding the cause.
In case of misalignment of teeth your dentist will repair the concerned teeth for reducing jaw pain. For tooth decay, professional cleanup is done for removing plague and bacterial infection. For some cases, cavities are filled in to reduce jaw pain. In severe case of tooth decay root canal treatment is done or the infected tooth is removed.