Jaw Pain

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The jaw joint, medically referred to as the temporomandibular joint or TMJ, is made up of the bone below the mouth (the mandible, commonly referred to as the jawbone) and the bone just above the mouth (the maxilla). The TMJ allows the upper jaw to close on the lower jaw and is one of the most frequently used joints of the body.

The temporomandibular joints are complex structures containing muscles, tendons, and bones. Injury to or disorders of these structures can all result in pain in the jaw area. Jaw pain may occur on one side or on both sides, depending upon the cause. Also depending upon the exact cause, the pain may occur when chewing or may occur at rest. Additionally, other medical conditions not related to the TMJ may cause perceived pain in the jaw area. One of the most characteristic of these is the pain associated with coronary artery disease (angina) or heart attack, which typically occurs in the chest but can radiate (spread) to the jaw area. Some kinds of arthritis, often osteoarthritis, can affect the TMJ and lead to pain when moving the joint.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/22/2014

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REFERENCE:

Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.

Causes of Jaw Pain
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      Angina Article
      • What is angina?
      • What causes angina?
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      • What are the signs and symptoms of angina?
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      • What is the prognosis for angina?
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    • Broken Bone (Types of Bone Fractures) A broken bone is a fracture. There are different types of fractures such as compressed, open, stress, greenstick, spiral,...learn more »
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      Broken Bone (Types of Bone Fractures) Article
      • What is a broken bone (fracture)?
      • What causes a broken bone?
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      • Compression fracture
      • Skull fracture
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      • What is the prognosis for a broken bone?
    • Cluster Headaches The term cluster headache is a type of headache that recurs over a period of time. There are episodes that last one to three...learn more »
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      Cluster Headaches Article
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      • Who gets cluster headaches?
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    • Ear Infection (Otitis Media) Middle ear infection or inflammation (otitis media) is inflammation fo the middle ear. There are two types of otitis media, acute...learn more »
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      • What are the symptoms of acute middle ear infection?
      • "Are ear infections contagious?
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      • How is otitis media diagnosed?
      • How is acute middle ear infection or inflammation treated?
      • Are there any home remedies for acute ear infection (otitis media)?
      • What causes chronic middle ear infection or inflammation?
      • What happens to the eardrum in chronic middle ear infection or inflammation?
      • What happens to the eardrum if a hole develops in the eardrum?
      • How is chronic middle ear infection or inflammation treated?
      • What are the goals of otitis media surgery?
      • What is serious middle ear infection or inflammation?
      • What limitations are there on a child with middle ear infection or inflammation?
      • Can otitis media (middle ear infection or inflammation) be prevented?
    • Heart Attack Heart attack happens when a blood clot completely obstructs a coronary artery supplying blood to the heart muscle. A heart...learn more »
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      Heart Attack Article
      • Heart attack facts
      • What is a heart attack?
      • What causes a heart attack?
      • What are the symptoms of a heart attack?
      • What are the complications of a heart attack?
      • What are the risk factors for atherosclerosis and heart attack?
      • How is a heart attack diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for heart attack?
      • What are the risk factors for heart attack in women?
      • What are the symptoms of heart attack in women and how is heart attack diagnosed?
      • How is heart attack in women treated?
      • What about hormone therapy and heart attack in women?
      • What is new in heart attack?
    • Migraine Headache Migraine headaches are severe headaches that are accompanies to sensitivity to light, sounds, and smells. They are often...learn more »
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      Migraine Headache Article
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      • What are the risk factors for migraine?
      • What causes migraines?
      • What triggers migraines?
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      • A brief history of stress
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      Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ) Article
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      • What are the risk factors for TMJ syndrome?
      • What causes TMJ syndrome?
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      • How is TMJ syndrome diagnosed?
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      • What causes a toothache?
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      • Are home remedies effective for a toothache?
      • How is a toothache treated during pregnancy?
      • What is the prognosis for a toothache?
      • Can a toothache be prevented?
    • Trigeminal Neuralgia Pain that originates in the face is referred to as trigeminal neuralgia. This pain may be caused by an injury, and infection in...learn more »
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Other Causes of Jaw Pain
Examples of Medications for Jaw Pain
  • acetaminophen, Tylenol and Others
  • acetylsalicylic acid, Aspirin, Ecotrin
  • ibuprofen, Advil, Children's Advil/Motrin, Medipren, Motrin, Nuprin, PediaCare Fever etc.
  • naproxen, Anaprox, Naprelan, Naprosyn, Aleve
  • OTC Pain Relievers and Fever Reducers




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