What are jaw conditions?

Jaw conditions include any disorder or disease that affects the jaw. Among the many possible causes of jaw conditions are infection, cancer, injury, inflammation, and genetic and birth defects.

Jaw conditions can occur in any age group or population. Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a common jaw condition in the United States. Between 5% and 12% of people in the United States have TMJ, and it is more common in younger people, particularly women (Source: NIDCR).

In children, a common jaw condition is a birth defect known as cleft palate. Malocclusion (misalignment) of the teeth is a common cause of jaw problems in children and adults. Impacted wisdom teeth, periodontal disease, and jaw clenching are common causes of jaw problems in middle-aged adults, while poorly fitting dentures are a common cause of jaw problems in older adults and seniors.

Jaw conditions develop from a number of causes. Most commonly, people have jaw pain as a result of infection, malignancy, trauma, inflammation, medication side effects, genetic diseases and disorders, and birth defects. These conditions include jaw fracture, TMJ disorder, misaligned teeth, dislocated jaw, jaw clenching, bruxism (teeth grinding), and wisdom tooth impaction. Other types of jaw conditions include periodontal disease, tooth abscess, jawbone cancer, and cleft palate.

Signs and symptoms of jaw conditions vary depending on the specific type of jaw disease, disorder, or condition. Common symptoms include jaw pain and difficulty chewing.

Seek immediate medical care (call 911) for serious symptoms, severe injury to the face, bleeding or inability to open or close the mouth, or difficulty breathing or swallowing.

Seek prompt medical care if you are being treated for jaw conditions but mild symptoms recur or are persistent.


What are the symptoms of jaw conditions?

Jaw conditions cause dysfunction and pain in the jaw and face region that may result in a number of symptoms. The symptoms can vary in intensity among individuals.

TMJ symptoms of jaw conditions

Symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorder include:


What causes jaw conditions?

Numerous conditions, diseases and disorders, including infection, malignancy, trauma, inflammation, genetic diseases and disorders, birth defects, and other abnormal processes, can cause jaw conditions. Common disorders include myofascial pain syndrome, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), and bruxism (teeth grinding). Myofascial pain is often caused by tension, spasm, or Read more about jaw conditionscauses


How are jaw conditions treated?

Treatment for jaw conditions begins with seeking medical care from your health care provider. To determine if you have a jaw condition, your health care provider will ask you to undergo diagnostic testing.

Some jaw conditions are diagnosed and treated by a dentist, orthodontist, oral surgeon, or periodontist. These conditions include tooth abscess, jaw clenching, bruxism (teeth gr... Read more about jaw conditionstreatments

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 23, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Bones, Joints and Muscles

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