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Jaw Pain


Jaw Pain

Jaw Pain can be caused by one or many disease factors.  In many patients there may be more than one reason for experiencing pain.  Because of this, it is essential that a qualified dental professional be seen and allowed to make a definitive diagnosis on your behalf.

The following is a list of possible reasons for your discomfort; click on the issue to read more:

  1. Tooth Abscess
  2. TMJ (TMD)
  3. Cracked Tooth
  4. Broken Tooth
  5. High Filling or Restoration
  6. Recession
  7. Trauma to the Jaw or Teeth
  8. Abnormal Growth or Tumor



Tooth Abscess:

  • A tooth abscess is a pocket of pus that's caused by a bacterial infection. The abscess can occur at different regions of the tooth for different reasons. A periapical abscess occurs at the tip of the root, whereas a periodontal abscess occurs in the gums next to a tooth root. In some instances there is facial swelling as well.
  • A periapical tooth abscess usually occurs as a result of an untreated dental cavity, injury or prior dental work.
  • Dentists will treat a tooth abscess by draining it and getting rid of the infection. They may be able to save your tooth with root canal therapy, but in some instances it may need to be extracted. Leaving a tooth abscess untreated can lead to serious, even life-threatening complications.
  • A periodontal abscess is a collection of pus that can occur in the gums. It generally occurs in those individuals affected by chronic periodontal disease.
  • Dentists or Hygienists treat periodontal abcesses with antibiotics combined with deep scaling and rootplaning.  If the disease has progressed too far the tooth may require removal.

TMJ or more commonly referred to as TMD (Tempormandibular Disorder)

Symptoms include but are not necessarily limited to:

  • An ache in lower jaw or temple which may feel better when you rub these tender muscles
  • Clicking, grating, or popping sounds in the jaw joint when you chew or simply open or close your mouth.
  • A feeling of general fatigue in your face or facial muscles.
  • Swelling on either side of your face
  • Difficulties opening your mouth widely – or a general feeling of discomfort when doing so.
  • When opening or closing your mouth, your jaw may get locked or stuck in the open or closed position.
  • Ear ache
  • Pain in the jaw joint
  • Pain in the neck, shoulder or upper back aches
  • Other symptoms include headaches, dizziness, hearing issues, or ringing in the ears

Cracked Tooth:

  • Usually a tooth sensitivity to cold or biting


Broken Tooth:

  • May or may not generate discomfort.
  • Pain is usually elicited when the fracture is close to or involves the nerve.
  • When this happens, root canal therapy is usually indicated.

High Filling or Restoration:

  • Usually only requires a simple adjustment by the Dentist.



  • Recession of gum tissue can lead to exposed roots which can be sensitive to cold or sweets.


Trauma to the Jaw or Directly to Teeth:

  • A blow to the jaw can actually lead to fracture which may or may not require surgical intervention by and oral surgeon.
  • Fractured teeth can usually be managed by your personal dentist.


Abnormal Growth or Tumor:

  • A tumor or growth may require biopsy, removal or more extensive treatment by a specialist.

1234 Waterloo Lane    |    Gardnerville, NV 89410    |    Call 775.782.9755