Right jaw pain may indicate an issue with the jaw bone or sometimes, it indicates a problem of any nearby nerves, tissues and makeup of neck and head. There are some autoimmune conditions which result in pain in the jaw. If you have a right sided pain in the jaw, it signals an illness underlying your body.
The pain normally occurs nearby lower jaw, temporomandibular joint or the tissues surrounding them. The temporomandibular joint refers to the portion which connects the temporal bone of the skull to the bone of the lower jaw. This joint is one of the most used parts of our body. Thus, it is common to have it strained. Any kind of injury or illness may be the cause of right jaw pain. You must consult with a physician to determine the cause of such a pain.
Complications associated with right jaw pain
When you experience pain in the right jaw, the pain may extend to the teeth, ear, neck or shoulder. Other common symptoms include dizziness, ear pain, headache and a sound of a click or pop when you chew or yawn. Sometimes, you may also develop swelling around the jaw or in the face, numbness of tongue and fever. The pain may also restrict opening and closing of your mouth freely.
But, if the condition is seriously life threatening, you may also have difficulty in swallowing, sweating, problems in breathing, nausea, vomiting or pain in chest which spreads in other parts of the body.
Causes of right jaw pain
- Trigeminal Neuralgia
Tic douloureux or Trigeminal neuralgia is a very painful ailment of the trigeminal nerve which causes stabbing, sharp episodes of hurt and pain in almost complete face, involving the left and right jaw. The pain usually occurs on the left side, but the right side is not always escaped either. The doctors and researchers sometimes call this disease as a life threatening and suicidal disease. It occurs in people who are over 50 years old.
Symptoms of this disease include stabbing pain which lasts for some days or even months at a stretch and disappears for some months and years. If you cause accidental pressure the trigeminal nerve while eating, brushing or exposing yourself to the strong winds can trigger the pain. Despite medications, there are surgical procedures for this disease as well.
- Sinus problems
One of the most common causes of right jaw pain is sinus. The maxillary sinuses are present just on top of upper teeth. Infection in this area can produce pain in the right jaw. Some of the symptoms of this condition include facial swelling, colored drainage from sinuses, and congestion. You will also find mucus tinged with blood from the sinuses.
You can take decongestants or OTC medications for relief from the symptoms. You may also use saline spray and irrigate the inner portion of the nose. Corticosteroid spray prescribed by the doctor also helps to lower the swelling and helps in drainage. If nothing works, only surgery may help.
In case you happen to undergo a trauma or injury to your jaw, it may cause pain. The jaw may get fractured, dislocated or bruised depending upon the intensity of trauma. Other symptoms include difficulty in chewing, and improper fitting of teeth. You may also feel some numbness in the jaw because of injury in tissues.
You may take painkillers or use cold compression to help reduce swelling and pain. If a fracture is suspected, CT scan or an X-Ray is recommended. Fractures are healed using wires, screws and plates to restrict the movement of jaw. If there are lacerations or cuts in the mouth, it may be a case of an open fracture. It is treated under the guidance of a doctor only in the operating area.
Those who have this condition often clench, grind grate and tap their teeth when sleeping. Some of the common symptoms of this condition include neck and jaw pain, tooth pain, premature wearing of teeth. Even a tooth may get fractured while bruxing.
This condition can be treated by taking sessions of stress management. Medications like antidepressant or muscle relaxants are also effective. You can also visit a dentist who can give you a night splint. Such devices protect and cushion your teeth like a mouth guard does.
- Jaw arthritis
The jaw is equally prone to arthritis like other joints of the body. As the age increases, the abrasion accumulates and causes difficulty in chewing. This disease is also indicated by right jaw pain and swelling. Some patients also complain of swelling.
If such pain occurs to you, you may resort to softer foods. OTC pain killers or muscle relaxants prescribed by your healthcare provider can also help to alleviate the symptoms. If the pain is unbearable, you may also visit a specialist to confer steroid injections and surgery. But, this treatment is required only when the disease becomes chronic.
- Bony growth
Bony growths or spurs on the temporomandibular joint or the jawbone can expose your jaw to pain whenever you open your mouth. People experience this condition as they age because the jaw undergoes more and more abrasion.
- Other conditions
There are some other causes also responsible for right jaw pain like parotid gland inflammation, migraines, tetanus, cysts, Lyme disease, tumors of jaw, neck or head cancer, abscess, phossy jaw, osteomyelitis or actinomycosis, osteonecrosis of the jaw, etc are also responsible for pain in the right jaw.
Prevention and treatment
Depending upon the cause of the pain, the prevention must be taken:
- Give frequent periods of rests to your jaw.
- Consult a dentist to re-align your teeth can help to cure pain in the jaw, especially for the children waiting for the permanent growth of teeth.
- Maintain proper hygiene of your mouth to prevent infections.
- Buy a sturdy pillow and keep away from acts like placing a phone between the shoulder and the face. Such acts overstress the jaw.
- Do exercises that relax your bones and muscles of the jaw.