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Right Jaw Pain

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A lot of people experience pain in their right jaw, the levels of intensity ranging from mild to severe. This can be a minor problem that might require a rapid treatment or a serious complaint, requiring immediate medical attention. Whether we are talking about a dental problem or something that is more serious, you still need to pay a visit to your doctor and seek out specialized assessment.

The doctor will decide on the treatment after identifying the cause and analyzing the entire range of symptoms exhibited. The right jaw pain can come from a problem with the soft tissues or it can come from the bone. It can be a sign of injury or it can be suggestive of an underlying condition. This is why it is highly important to seek out the help of specialized personnel and identify the exact cause. In this way, you can benefit from the right treatment and forget about the right jaw pain.

Symptoms of Right Jaw Pain

right jaw pain

These are the most common symptoms that accompany the right jaw pain:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vertigo
  • Popping/clicking jaw sounds
  • Tenderness to the touch (front of the ear)
  • Pain can radiate to the other parts of the head (such as the ear canal)
  • The patient can have difficulties in performing day to day operations, such as chewing or even talking
  • Inflammation
  • Bruising (when trauma is involved)
  • Dental abnormalities (trauma)
  • Numbness (nerve affectation)
  • Neck pain can also be present in some cases (bruxism)
  • Tooth pain
  • Tooth destruction (premature wear)
  • Excessive clenching (tooth fracture)
  • The pain can come in sharp attacks (trigeminal neuralgia)
  • Sensitivity to wind or cold temperatures – if the patient suffers from trigeminal neuralgia, even the slightest gust of wind is capable of triggering the other symptoms
  • Congestion (infection of the sinuses)
  • Drainage eliminated from the sinuses (infection).

What Causes Right Jaw Pain?

These are the most common causes of the right jaw pain:

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  • Disorders of the temporomandibular joint
    • Pain is accompanied by inflammation or irritation
    • Frequently caused by excessive chewing of gum
  • Trauma/injury to the jaw
    • Pain is accompanied by bruising of the area
    • The jaw can be fractured or dislocated
  • Bruxism
    • Teeth grinding occurs most often during sleep
  • Arthritis of the jaw
    • Wear and tear mechanism
    • Pain is accompanied by loss of mobility – difficulty chewing, talking
  • Dental issues
    • Frequent complaint
    • Pain is accompanied by inflammation
    • Regular movements of the jaw can be affected – difficult chewing
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
    • Irritation of the trigeminal nerve (with its 3 branches)
    • Main causes: inflammation, irritation or trauma to the nerve
    • Easily triggered by wind or air currents
  • Sinus issues
    • Most common – infection of the sinuses
    • Often involved – maxillary sinus
  • Other causes
    • Bad habits
      • Biting nails
      • Sucking one’s thumb
      • Object chewing
    • Heart attack
      • Jaw pain can be a symptom of a heart attack
      • Look for the other symptoms as well:
        • Pain in the chest
        • Difficult breathing
        • Profuse sweating
      • Requires immediate medical attention.

Treatment

These are the most common methods of treatment for right jaw pain:

  • Pain relieving medication
    • Ibuprofen
    • Acetaminophen
  • Night splints
    • Prevent excessive teeth grinding
  • Muscle relaxers
  • Steroids
    • These can be administered in more severe cases
    • Not recommended for prolonged periods of time, otherwise they can have serious consequences on one’s health
    • Gradual retreat from the treatment is indicated, to avoid experiencing withdrawal symptoms
    • Steroid injections are recommended for patients who suffer from serious inflammation of the jaw (arthritis)
  • In case of fracture:
    • Fracture contention with plates/screws/wires
    • Jaw immobilization
    • Open fracture – surgery
  • Surgery
    • Performed by oral surgeon/dentist
    • Can improve mobility and eliminate the pain felt in the right jaw
    • Surgery is also indicated in severe cases of jaw arthritis
  • In case of bruxism:
    • Stress management therapy
    • Muscle relaxers
    • Antidepressants
    • Night splints (from the dental office) – teeth protection
  • Treatment for dental problems
    • The dentist might also decide to prescribe antibiotics, to eliminate bacterial infections
    • Teeth realignment can help with the right jaw pain, especially in children
  • In case of trigeminal neuralgia:
    • Pain relieving medication
    • Narcotic medication
    • Antidepressants
    • Anticonvulsants
    • Surgery – nerve decompression (last resort for complicated or chronic cases)
  • In case of sinus problems:
    • Cold medication
    • Decongestants
    • Nose passage irrigation – saline spray
    • Corticosteroid spray
      • Inflammation reduction
      • Helps with the elimination of mucus
    • Surgery – options for serious cases
  • Heart attack:
    • Medical emergency – requires immediate treatment
    • Oxygen therapy

Pain Relief

These are the most common measures you can take in order to obtain relief for the right jaw pain:

  • Jaw rest
    • You will need to avoid any activity that might put a strain on the jaw, helping it relax and regain its power
    • Diet based on soft foods – less pressure on the jaw
    • Avoid over-using the jaw (excessive chewing of gum or breaking hard candies)
  • Ice applications
    • Reduce inflammation
    • Should not be applied directly on the skin, as they can cause circulation problems
    • The application should be timed, as prolonged applications are not recommended
  • Heat applications
    • Relax contracted muscles
  • Massage
    • Guaranteed pain relief
    • Self massage is also an option for those who are suffering from chronic jaw pain
  • Steam inhalation
    • Recommended for sinus problems
    • Can help open the nasal passages and facilitates the drainage of mucus.

In conclusion, for someone who suffers from right jaw pain, there are both medical treatments and relief measures that can be taken. The important thing is that you visit the doctor and let the specialist identify the exact cause. One he/she identifies the cause of your right jaw pain, you will also be able to take the right medication and forget about all the upsetting symptoms. The relief measures are going to be helpful as well, so do not hesitate to try them out, one by one. In time, you will see for yourself which one helps you the most and you will be prepared for the future.


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