Does your jaw hurt? There are a number of different issues that can cause jaw pain, but most of the time, the pain affects your entire jaw. If you only have pain on one side, it's a little easier to narrow down the cause. Here are some of the reasons why you may have one-sided jaw pain.
Trauma to the Face
The first and most obvious reason why your jaw may hurt on only one side is trauma. If you've been hit or ran into something that bruised the side of your face, it's likely that your jaw will hurt for a short period of time. If the pain continues for more than a day or gets worse, you may need medical attention.
The Problem Is in a Tooth or Your Gums
If you have an infection in your gums, a cracked tooth, or other dental issue affecting one part of your mouth, that can cause the jaw to hurt. In fact, sometimes you may believe the pain is actually in your jaw rather than your mouth. A dental abscess, a serious issue, can often cause pain in the jaw. If you don't immediately know why your jaw hurts, you may want to call and make an appointment with us to make certain it's not a dental issue.
While temporomandibular disorders, sometimes referred to as TMJ, usually affect both joints that allow the jaw to open and close, you may only feel pain on one side or the other. Even if you only experience pain in one joint, it's possible both have been affected.
Bruxism, the grinding of your teeth at night, can often cause pain in your jaw. Like TMD, bruxism pain can affect your entire jaw or only one side of it. You might be grinding your teeth more on one side than the other, for example. You may also feel pain in one side of your jaw if you sleep on one side most of the night and grind your teeth.
These are just a few of the reasons why your jaw may only hurt on one side. If you have any unexpected jaw pain, call us as soon as you can to make an appointment.