Any sort of pain in your facial area can feel overwhelming, be it ear, jaw, or any other part. If you feel pain on one side of your jaw, you don’t need to panic. It’s not an emergency but is a sign of an underlying medical condition. Here are seven causes for why your ear or jaw hurts on one side.  

1. Sinusitis

A very common cause of pain on one side of the jaw is sinusitis. This typically occurs due to cold or allergies. Sinusitis leads to the swelling of nasal cavities behind your cheeks, resulting in jaw pain on one or both sides. Other symptoms include weakness, nasal congestion, yellowish mucus, and facial pain. If the symptoms don’t get better within 7-10 days, it’s good to see a physician. 

2. Dental Problems

One-sided jaw pain is often associated with oral issues like periodontal disease, wisdom teeth eruption, cavities, malocclusion of teeth, clenching, or grinding. Jaw pain on one side – left or rightdue to dental problems also cause other symptoms such as:

  • Teeth sensitivity
  • Mouth sores
  • Painful teeth
  • Sore gums
  • Difficulty when chewing or swallowing

3. TMJ

TMJ disorder is another common cause of a painful jaw on one side. This joint, between the jaw and skull, has a disc inside that keeps the bones separate and assists in the proper movement of the jaw. An injury to the disc or misalignment can result in pain and soreness. Other symptoms that you may experience are headaches, ear pain, and popping on either side of the jaw.  

 Rare causes

These problems rarely cause pain on one side of the jaw; however, there’s still a possibility. 

4. Tumors and Cysts

A less common cause of pain on one side of the jaw is a tumor or cyst. Tumors are clumps of tissue, and cysts are full of fluids. While some are cancerous, others can severely damage your dental health by damaging the mouth tissue and bone. Immediately visit your dentist if you notice the following:

  • A white patch
  • Inflammation of the jaw or other facial areas
  • Bleeding sores
  • Formation of lumps near the teeth

 5. Acute salivary duct stone (sialolithiasis)

It is a common abnormality of the salivary glands. The size of the stone can be as small as a tiny particle to as big as several centimeters. The result can be inflammation on one side of the face, swelling, and pain in the jaw. 

 6. Trigeminal neuralgia

This condition occurs due to unusual pressure on the trigeminal nerve, disturbing the nerve functionality. This results in severe pain on one side of the face that includes the ear and jaw. 

7. Osteomyelitis

This life-threatening bone infection develops when bacteria invade the bone. An infected jawbone can be a result of oral surgery, severe dental condition, or a mouth injury. If the infection is left untreated, it can permanently damage your bone. It would be best to get dental assistance upon experiencing:  

  • Fever
  • Bad breath
  • Inflammation in your teeth or jaw
  • Fatigue
  • Numbness in the mouth
  • Worsening pain in your jaw
  • Difficulty opening and closing your mouth 

Get Treatment From Your Nearest Dentist

If you think that your jaw hurts due to dental issues or TMJ, visit Rodeo Dental & Orthodontics for a consultation. Our experts can design a personalized treatment plan to ease your pain and help rule out the symptoms. Call us today!