There are many thoughts that run through a person’s mind when thinking of their favorite food, but the fear of pain is usually not one of them. If you find yourself avoiding food just because your jaw hurts when you chew, do not take it lightly. A constant ache in the jaw is usually a sign of temporomandibular joint disorder, but it can also be attributed to other factors.
To find out why chewing triggers jaw pain and how you can relieve it, carry on reading this blog.
What Does It Mean When Your Jaw Hurts To Chew?
Jaw pain is usually associated with temporomandibular joint disorder, commonly known as TMJ disorder. However, it is not limited to that, as your jaw could be affected by various other reasons, leading to the pain.
If you experience sheer pain every single time you go to chew your food, it might be a sign that your jaw needs to be looked at. Consult an oral surgeon for more information, as ignoring the pain can cause severe consequences and may even lead to jaw surgery.
What Causes Jaw Pain?
Given the complex nature of your jaw, categorizing the pain is not easy. Depending on the severity, type, and location of the pain, it could be due to any one of the following causes:
The most common reason behind jaw pain when chewing is TMJ. This affects your temporomandibular joint, the specific area that connects your jaw to the skull. When this joint gets inflamed or a disc moves from its position, it can lead to unbearable jaw pain, which may act up whenever you move your mouth.
When your sinuses are blocked, it causes a great deal of pressure on your jaw. This is mainly because your sinus cavities are directly underneath the nose, so when they are under stress, the pain travels all the way up to the sides of your jaw.
Arthritis is a condition that doesn’t just affect the joints in your hands and legs but also overtakes your jaw joints. It is primarily osteoarthritis that acts up and causes a great deal of pain, tenderness, and stiffness in the jaw.
Whether you got punched or fell face-first onto the ground, the pain arising in your jaw afterward could be due to facial trauma. The signs may not be as clear at first since the injury is fresh. However, the pain might surface after some time when you go to eat or brush your teeth.
People who have a habit of grinding teeth or clenching their jaw are more likely to wear out their jaw muscles. This condition is known as bruxism, and its effects can make the person clench their jaw unconsciously.
Not many people realize this, but gum disease is also linked to jaw pain. When your gums get infected, the tissues inside swell up with inflammation. This leads to pulsating pain in the jaw, which acts up every time you chew your food or use your mouth with a lot of pressure.
Treatment for Jaw Pain
Depending on the severity of your jaw pain, you may have to undergo jaw surgery to fix the issue. This may seem scary at first, but in order to prevent your jaw from deteriorating, it is essential to take the right step.
Talk to an oral surgeon about what the procedure is like and how you can prepare for it. If your jaw makes a popping sound, followed by the pain when you chew food, it could be because of a dislocated jaw muscle. Only surgery can fix the long bouts of pain and restore your jaw health.
Here’s The Breakdown
If your jaw hurts when you chew, it might be due to inflamed temporomandibular joints, sinusitis, periodontal disease, osteoarthritis, or other jaw-related issues. For more information on treatment and diagnosis, contact Rock Creek Oral Surgery at (832) 930-7801. We are located at 14119 Grant Road, Suite 140, Cypress, TX 77429, near Jeremiah’s Italian Ice.