5 Reasons Why Your Jaw Is Sore

2013-01-11 | |
Last updated: 2013-07-10

Even amongst the most inactive of people, the jaws are one part of the body that gets considerable use. Whether it be from speaking or eating, the muscles, ligaments and bones that make up the jaws are moved many times in a given day. The fact that nature has made the main jaw muscles as some of the strongest in the body by weight and the lower jaw bone as one of the overall toughest bones in the body indicates just how important our jaws have been to our survival throughout history.

While important, however, our jaws are also complex in their construction. The joint itself is able to move not just up and down but side-to-side and front to back. This flexibility of movement is achieved through numerous muscles, ligaments and major nerves. In addition, the presence of teeth, saliva glands, blood vessels and lymph nodes within a relativity small area means that there are many parts within our jaws that can suffer health problems. Not surprisingly, the most frequent symptoms associated with many of these health problems are various forms of jaw pain.

How Common Is Jaw Pain?

Experiencing a sore jaw is extremely common. In fact, jaw pain is the single most frequent cause of chronic pain in the head and neck area. In a study conducted by the University of Ferrara in 2011, researchers found that approximately 5% of the population is experiencing jaw pain at any point in time. This means that jaw pain is a significant source of chronic pain within the population.

As well, experiencing a jaw that hurts is more common amongst certain groups of people. Research from the University of California found that in the US, women are more than twice as likely to experience jaw pain as compared to men. The research also found that jaw pain was most common amongst younger Caucasian females who were not Hispanic. However, jaw pain was also fairly common amongst older Hispanic women. Similar research from the University of Washington found that in general, as women age, the chances that they will experience jaw pain increases. The same is not true for men.

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Category: Disease Information, General Health, Symptom Information

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