Jaw pain or jaw problems arise from bones, muscles and joints that hold your teeth. Your upper jaw is a bone that doesn’t move, called the maxilla. The mandible is your lower jaw bone, which moves in all directions. This movement is possible because of your jaw joint.
There’s an assortment of health conditions that can directly or indirectly cause jaw pain or jaw problems, for instance:
- jaw cyst
- Bell’s palsy
- pituitary tumor
- TMJ dysfunction
- giant cell arteritis
- rheumatoid arthritis
- torus ~ bone growth
- heart, lung blood clot
- soft tissue, bone tumor
- HGH deficiency, excess
- osteogenesis imperfecta
- myofacial pain syndrome
- thoracic aortic aneurysm
- chronic fatigue syndrome
- bone cancer, fibrosarcoma
- autoimmune disease ~ lupus
- central nervous system disorder
- bruxism caused muscle soreness
- bacteria infection ~ yaws, tetanus
- Parkinson’s disease ~ jaw tremors
Osteonecrosis jaw disease is a recognized complication of bisphosphonate therapy, drug treatment for osteoporosis, hypercalcemia and multiple myeloma. Jaw discomfort is a heparin drug side effect as well.
Jaw problems may also cause headaches, toothaches, earache and tinnitus. A sinus infection or toothache could cause jaw pain. Jaw pain is also a symptom for heart problems, like angina, myocardial ischemia and heart attack. And jaw pain can radiate out into your neck and shoulder.
If you hear clicking when you open your mouth, that sound is caused by your jaw cartilage disc moving back in place after a slip out. And a jaw lock is caused by this disc displacement that didn’t slide back into its rightful position.