What are the signs of  jaw problems?

Jaw symptoms develop from a number of causes. Most commonly, people have jaw pain that is the result of a dysfunction of the jaw muscles and joint. Trauma to the jaw can result in dislocation of the joint or fracture of the jawbone. Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), as well as teeth grinding and jaw clenching (bruxism), are joint and bite disorders that can result in jaw symptoms. Jaw symptoms may also result from inflammation, infection, malignancy, genetic diseases, and birth defects.

Diseases of the gums and teeth may cause jaw symptoms, including gingivitis and periodontitis or tooth abscess. Jaw symptoms may be caused by misalignment of the teeth, impacted wisdom teeth, and poorly fitting dentures. Less commonly, jaw symptoms may be the result of jawbone cancer and cleft palate. Some medications may also cause jaw symptoms.

In other cases, jaw symptoms may be related to a chronic underlying disease that affects other regions of the body. For example, radiating pain felt in the jaw is a characteristic symptom seen in many chronic heart diseases and even heart attack as a result of the heart muscle not receiving adequate oxygen. Jaw stiffness followed by spasms may be an early sign of tetanus infection. Patients with giant cell arteritis (body-wide autoimmune vasculitis) often report painful chewing (jaw claudications).

Jaw symptoms 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 including severe injury to the face, bleeding, inability to open or close the mouth, chest pain, shortness of breath, or severe sweating.

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


What other symptoms might occur with jaw symptoms?

Jaw symptoms may accompany other symptoms, which will vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. Symptoms that frequently affect the digestive tract may also involve other body systems.

Traumatic symptoms that may occur along with jaw symptoms

Jaw symptoms may accompany traumatic symptoms affecting the face and jaw including:


What causes jaw symptoms?

Jaw symptoms are the result of many conditions, including inflammation, infection, malignancy, trauma, genetic diseases and disorders, and birth defects. Common disorders that cause jaw symptoms include temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) and bruxism (teeth grinding and jaw clenching). Osteonecrosis of the jaw causes jaw symptoms from the temporary or permanent loss of blood to bone tissue, ... Read more about jaw symptomscauses

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

What's Causing Your Symptoms?