What Causes Lower Jaw Pain after Dental Work?

Written By All Video Subscribers on Saturday, August 28, 2010 | 10:07 AM

What Causes Lower Jaw Pain after Dental Work?

In medical term, the jaw is known as the mandible and can be a source of pain due to variety of reasons. The cause is obvious in some cases for example in the case of a breakage. Lower jaw pain can be caused by numerous medical problems from bone and joint issues to some dental problems and many of which can be quickly addressed by a visit to the doctor or dentist. Underlying medical problems can also cause lower jaw pain. For lower jaw pain, an individual should definitely seek medical attention and some conditions can develop much worse if they are not addressed. Take a look on this article, if you are finding causes of lower jaw pain after dental work.

Lower jaw pain may be resulted due to few things including arthritis, fractures, dislocations, whiplash injuries and structural issues in the jaw that you were born with. Jaw pain can be treated and may be cured most of the time naturally. Once it is recognized or diagnosed, eliminating the cause is the most important part. Sometimes, lower jaw pain can be caused by heart problems and so first you have to ensure that it is not related to your heart. You must seek treatment immediately, if it is related to heart as this can be serious and a heart attack may be looming. Stress can also be the cause of lower jaw pain. Lower jaw pain causes require specific treatments.
Causes of Lower Jaw Pain:

    * TMJ (temporomandibular joint):

TMJ disorder is one of the most common and known causes of jaw pain. It is a disorder of the temporomandibular joint located directly in front of the ear on either side of the head. At this spot, the upper and lower jaw meets. It is the most complex joint in the human body as it’s the only joint that moves up-down and left-right. Due to this, joint can become weak and injured leads to this disorder that causes extreme pain. This causes inflammation and the pain can radiate up into the ear, face and neck, causing tooth pain, headaches and stiff and sore jaw muscles which creates it hard to chew or open the mouth.

In the United States, 5 to 15 percent of people develop pain as a result of TMJ disorder, said by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofascial Research. TMJ starts with lower jaw pain and many different reasons are also responsible for this. Some of these causes are trauma (car accident, a punch to the jaw, etc…) to the joint, extended amount of stress (stress causes us to clinch the jaw) or hereditary causes such as arthritis, etc.

Pain or tenderness of the upper and lower jaw, pain around the ears, facial pain, headache and locking of the joint are the symptoms of TMJ disorder. TMJ disorder can also result in an uneven bite and a headache. TMJ symptoms may be worsened with stress, poor diet, and lack of sleep. You might develop headaches, toothaches or earaches by the lower jaw referring pain to those areas.


Lower jaw pain can be cured by many ways. TMJ disorder treatment involves taking medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, tricyclic antidepressants, corticosteroid drugs, botulism toxin, and muscle relaxants to reduce the pain. To protect the teeth, a bite guard might be necessary. To remove any debris, a dental appliance or a needle can be placed into the joint in some cases. In extreme cases of TMJ, surgery is a treatment option to repair the dysfunctional jaw.

    * Bone Metastases:

Bone metastasis is an odd growth within and outside a bone’s pre-existing structure, caused by a particular type of cell in bones. When these cells are infected due to cancer cells, it could take place resulting in abnormal bone cells and subsequently odd bone growth. The new growth will push the jaw out of the socket if this happens in the TMJ. Bone metastases can also cause jaw pain in another way as it can affect the hollow chamber of the jaw. Mainly, the unwanted protrusion stuffs itself in the interior of the bone to an extent that the resulting stress from that pressure causes left lower jaw pain and right lower jaw pain. If this is not treated as soon as likely, then a jaw can break open from within.

    * Bruxism:

Bruxism is mentioned as grinding or clenching of the teeth. It can lead to lower or upper jaw pain, headache, trouble sleeping, depression and anxiety. It can also lead to tension, stress and eating disorders. Causes of bruxism are unclear but stress can trigger it.

Some of the ways to manage bruxism includes a splint, teeth guards, stress reduction and stretching of the jaw muscles through physical therapy exercises.

    * Arthritis:

Arthritis is joint disorder and another culprit for jaw pain. It can affect any joint including the jaw joint. It is a degenerative joint disease which may be resulted due to infection, trauma or simply aging. The most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis. Depending on the severity of the arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis can also cause severe lower jaw pain.

    * Dental Issues:

Lower jaw pain can also be caused by dental surgery, extraction of wisdom teeth or untreated cavities and so on. Tooth abscess or toothache can also be the reason for jaw pain and these can also be classified under lower jaw pain causes.

Aside from these, migraine, nail biting, jaw cyst, jaw tumor, and grinding are amongst the culprits that resulted in lower jaw pain.
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