5 Reasons Why Your Jaw Is Sore

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

Jaw Pain As A Result Of Jaw Overuse

One additional, physical cause of jaw pain, over use of the jaw is also common. Simple and harmless causes of overuse that can lead to discomfort may include intense laughing or chewing gum for a long period. One of the more serious reasons our jaws may be overused is as a result of grinding our teeth when we sleep. A study conducted by Stanford University in 2001 found that 1 in 12 people grind their teeth as they sleep. Such activity can strain the muscles and the joints of the jaw and can lead to dental problems over time.

Another common reason that our jaw may be overused can be as a result of stress and anxiety. According to 2012 research from the University of Lyon, 20% of the population clenches their jaws and jaw clenching has been found to reduce activity in the nervous system. The direct effect of clenching of the jaw, however, is damage to the joints of the jaw. This can lead to a group of conditions called temporomandibular joint disorders (TMDs) that share a common symptom of jaw pain.

Pain In The Jaw As A Result Of Infection

Besides the causes of jaw pain results from physical problems, infection is another reason that one’s jaw may hurt. One of the most common causes of infections, colds, often result in swelling of the glands on either bottom side of the jaw and can lead to pain. Similarly, sinus infections can cause pain in both the upper and lower jaws as a result of the swelling and pressure on the nerves.

More serious infections that lead to jaw pain can include infections of the teeth and gums that cause pain to radiate into the jaw area. Less common, but even more serious infections that may lead to jaw pain can include tetanus and rabies. Rabies infections are extremely rare in most first world countries, but tetanus can occur more easily if dirt or feces enters an open wound and results in the specific bacterial infection that causes tetanus. The nerve toxins released by the tetanus bacteria can cause jaw spasms and clenching that are very painful. Medical treatment is very important with such infections.

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Category: Disease Information, General Health, Symptom Information

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