You should never ignore the pain in your jaw. The reasons for this pain could be anything from a simple toothache to a sign of a heart attack.
The jaw is connected to the skull by the temporomandibular joints (TMJ). If you place your fingers by the outside of the ear canal and open your mouth, you will feel the TMJ at work.
Why Jaw Pain Happens
When your jaw is misaligned, you may experience clicking or popping when you open and close your mouth for chewing, talking, or yawning. Some things such as chewing gum or chips will exacerbate the pain. Constant gum chewing has been identified as one of the main reasons for jaw misalignments.
Most of the time, when there is a problem with the jaw, it results in issues with your bite. This can have a ripple effect and spread to other areas of your body such as the face, neck, and back. It is not clear why some people suddenly develop jaw pain, but other conditions like arthritis or osteoporosis can weaken the joints in the jaw as well.
Jaw Pain Side Effects
The most evident side effect of jaw pain is discomfort in the jawbone when chewing or opening your mouth. You may have a clicking or popping sensation when you yawn, for example. Other bothersome side effects of jaw pain are:
Headaches or migraines
Ringing in the ears
TMD disorders such as bruxism, the clenching or grinding of the teeth at night, are the main reasons for jaw pain. Diagnosing the cause for your jaw pain is essential.
Sometimes something as simple as using a mouthguard at night to relax the jaw will solve the problem, and in other instances, the issue goes away on its own. Surgery may be needed in some cases.