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Q. What can be the reason for my jaw pain?

Answered by
Dr. Prerna Jain
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 09, 2016 and last reviewed on: Oct 09, 2018

Hi doctor,

I have jaw pain while clenching my jaw together and opening my mouth wide. It has pained only on the left side where my two jaw bones meet in the back of the mouth or jaw. I took Advil and the pain has reduced. May I know the reason for this? Please explain.

Dr. Prerna Jain

Dentistry Orthodontist


Welcome to

  • The pain you are experiencing may be because of soreness of your masticatory muscles, the muscles used during eating and chewing.
  • Consult your dentist for a physical evaluation to eliminate malocclusion (imperfect positioning of tooth), tooth caries or abscess in the mouth.
  • The pain could be due to repeated clenching of your jaws or grinding of the teeth during sleep called as bruxism.
  • It may also be due to any associated tooth problems that can be visualized clinically or with x-rays.
  • I suggest you muscle relaxants and analgesics to control muscle tenderness and pain.

The Probable causes:

Stressful times may lead to bruxism.

Investigations to be done:

Palpation of tender muscles, x-ray of that region and physical evaluation by a dentist to check for any swelling or click with opening or closing or any associated malocclusion.

Differential diagnosis:

1. Wisdom tooth eruption.
2. Caries tooth with or without abscess.

Probable diagnosis:

Myofascial pain dysfunction syndrome.

Treatment plan:

1. Take soft food for four weeks.
2. A mild muscle relaxant with an analgesic as suggested by your dentist.
3. Give warm compression to the affected joint area using a hot towel or water bag.
4. Can opt for physiotherapy exercises, if pain does not subside in the next 15 days.
5. If stress is the cause, then consult a psychotherapist for stress reduction by pharmacological or therapeutic measures.

Preventive measures:

1. Eliminate stress by following yoga or meditation.
2. Ask family members to check if you are grinding your teeth during the night and then consult your dentist to get a night guard to prevent harmful effects of grinding.

Regarding follow up:

For further information consult a dentist online.--->

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