Why Do I Have Jaw Pain & Tenderness?

“I have jaw pain & tenderness. Why?”


Jaw pain & tenderness during the day.

Jaw pain refers to an uncomfortable feeling or the popping sensation that is associated with tooth pain, tenderness, aching of the other areas of the neck or face, and difficulty in chewing. In some cases, this condition is also known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder or TMJ.  Jaw pain is a common day or night disorder that can be caused by a number of factors. The following are some of the common causes of jaw pain/tenderness:

1. Teeth grinding

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Sentinel Hard Custom Dental Night guard (pictured)

Teeth grinding can be a major cause of jaw pain. This is because nighttime clenching or grinding causes severe damage and destruction to your teeth. If you do grind, it typically only happens in short bursts; it’s not all night.  Each instance may only last for 30 seconds to a minute.   You may well sleep with your mouth open 90% of the night (doubtful), but still grind the heck out of your teeth during the 10%.
You can clench up to 130% harder at night than during the day, because your protective reflexes are turned off.
According to psychological studies, stress is the main cause for many people who grind their teeth. It is imperative to practice healthy techniques to lower stress. This will help to ensure that this destructive behavior is done away with so as to curb the consequences that otherwise may lead to other dental issues.



2. Temporomandibular disorder

Temporomandibular disorder abbreviated as TMD is another serious cause of the jaw pain. The temporomandibular joint is the part that is affected by this disorder that then causes the aching of the jaws. Apart from the aching, you will most often feel clicking sound from the jaw when you are chewing and/orwhenever you just open your mouth. When this condition is not treated, it may even cause the jaws to be stuck permanently closed or open.

3. Osteomyelitis

Osteomyelitis is a condition that is caused by an infection that is spread throughout the body via blood stream. This condition, therefore, affects the bones and the tissues that surround the bones. In this case, the osteomyelitis that affects the jaws and the temporomandibular joint is seriously affected thus causing much pain on the jaws and other conditions that include the facial swelling and fever. It is, therefore, important to look for the necessary treatment for this condition. Luckily, there are proven antibiotics and surgical procedures that have worked in curing and removing the affected areas of the bone.

4. Abscessed tooth

Abscessed tooth results from a dental pulp or just an infected nerve. This serious condition happens due to the prolonged dental cavity left untreated. In this case, the bacteria that caused the infection can easily spread through the root of the tooth to the bone tissues in the surrounding and thus causing the aching of the jaw. One of the best practices to take control of this condition is to practice excellent hygiene & make sure to visit your dentists for regularly scheduled cleanings and dental checks.

5. Dental conditions

Jaw pain can also be caused by other dental conditions that include cavities, gum disease, and abscess among other conditions. The other dental condition that may cause jaw pain is the teeth arrangement.  Dental conditions such as gum disease and cavities can be reduced through practicing the best dental care or oral health care. The other conditions that are caused by stress can be prevented by practicing stress management.

How to prevent jaw pain

Are you experiencing jaw pain & tenderness on just one side of the mouth?

Perhaps you are affected by one of the conditions listed above. Fortunately, you have just landed on the most sought after solutions that can help you deal with jaw pain or tenderness. Here are some preventive measures that you may want to consider.

· Wear a night guard. A night guard is important in a number of ways. It is an effective tool that can help stop you from damaging your teeth, crowns, dentures, and the jaw. It also serves in stopping jaw aching, and in giving you a good night sleep. Therefore, when you wear a night guard every day before going to bed, the harmful effects that result from clenching and grinding are greatly reduced.

· Medication. This is also another effective way to curb jaw pain. Medication use should be recommended and prescribed by your doctor.

· Take time to relax. As mentioned earlier in this article, one of the causes of jaw pains or tenderness is grinding or clenching due to stress. Therefore, taking a time to relax is a way of relieving muscle tension and thus is an effective practice for eliminating jaw pain.

· Change your diet. If chewing food exacerbates the pain be mindful of what you’re choosing to eat. Avoid hard foods that require you to stretch your mouth & use great force when chewing.

Why can jaw pain happen on one side of the mouth?

Jaw Pain & Tenderness

Jaw pain can happen on one side of the mouth depending on a number of factors. In this case, as mentioned, the causes include teeth grinding, abscessed tooth, and dental conditions among others.  In addition, dental conditions such as cavities and gum diseases that affect only one side can cause pain in that particular side.

Another reason could be sleep position. This could include sleeping on one side without changing position or sleeping with your hand or phone cupped under your face. It is important to maintain the right sleeping posture to avoid building pressure on one side of the jaw.


Consult with your dentist if you’re experiencing continued jaw pain, clicking and/or popping. Jaw pain/tenderness is a condition that can be managed through proactive treatment.

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