What Could Be Behind the Soreness in Your Jaw

Jaw pain can make your life miserable. It might stop you from eating as you would normally, and it might even stop you from enjoying athletic activities or everyday events with family and friends. If the pain continues for several days, it’s important to identify the root cause of the problem and resolve the issue effectively. In this blog, we’ll look at the most common causes of jaw pain.

TMD (Temporomandibular Disorder)

The true cause of TMD is not always clear in some patients, but is often the result of stress or continuously grinding teeth. By working with your dentist, you can uncover the cause of the jaw pain and ensure that the TMD is professionally diagnosed. Dentists will often use x-rays to determine the extent of the issue. They may also refer you to a Oral Surgeon Specialist with training in treating TMDs.  To relieve the pain symptoms of TMD before the appointment, it’s important to try to relax the jaw muscles and stop clenching and grinding your teeth.


The nerve supply of the teeth follows a path around or near the jaw. This means that many people who suffer jaw pain could simply have a cavity within their teeth that is causing the sensation. Often, when the cause of the pain is a cavity, the jaw pain is felt at the same time as pain in the affected tooth. But sometimes jaw pain may actually precede the tooth pain, which can be disconcerting. If you suspect that you have cavity-related jaw pain, it’s important to speak with your dentist and arrange an appointment to ensure the problem is evaluated and resolved.

Tooth Abscess

An abscess is an infection in and around the tooth.  This infection could be caused by an untreated cavity or gum disease. Initial symptoms of an abscess include throbbing pains while chewing and swelling of the face and jaw.  Over time, these symptoms may disappear, but this usually means the infection has started to dissolve the jaw bone.  Swelling of the mouth requires immediate attention of a Dentist.   

Proactively addressing jaw pain can help to both alleviate fears and answer questions. But when pain persists, expert dental treatment is required. To learn more about your particular symptoms, schedule an appointment with one of our Dentists today.