The Common Causes of Jaw Pain on One Side

Experiencing sudden pain in your jaw can be frustrating, but it is not too serious in most situations. While you may worry about more serious dental issues, such as an abscessed tooth, it could also be caused by something simple like a cavity or even grinding your teeth at night.

Once you start researching the situation, you will find there are several potential causes of jaw pain on one side. Getting to know some of the most common causes will help you make a plan of action to prevent it in the future.

If you are ready to learn more, keep reading. Here you can find some of the most common causes of one-sided jaw pain.

Common Causes for Jaw Pain on One Side

There are both common and not-so-common causes of jaw pain. Here are some of the most common reasons this may occur.

TMJ Disorder

TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorders impact the joint which connects the jaw to the skull. l There is a disc separating the bones at the joint to ensure things move properly.

If the joint is injured or the disc is misaligned, you may feel pain or other symptoms. This pain can be felt on one or both sides of your jaw.

Some of the most common indications of a TMJ disorder include:

  • Problems opening or closing your mouth
  • Tenderness near the jaw
  • Popping, clicking, or pain when opening the mouth or chewing
  • Earache

Several factors can lead to a TMJ disorder. For example, you may experience TMJ disorders and jaw pain from clenching teeth or because of an injury or infection. It can also be caused by arthritis, damage to the tissue, or damage to the cartilage.

Dental Issues

Another common cause of pain on one side of your jaw is oral health problems. Some of the most common dental issues that could lead to jaw pain include:

  • Clenching or grinding the teeth
  • Cavities
  • Misaligned or missing teeth
  • Abscessed tooth
  • Tooth decay or gum disease
  • Wisdom teeth development

If you are dealing with a more serious dental issue, such as an abscessed tooth, you will likely experience fever and facial swelling, too. It is best to schedule an appointment with your dentist or doctor immediately, as this can cause serious problems if it is left untreated.


If you have inflammation in your nasal cavities, it can cause sinusitis. This occurs if you have a cold; however, it can also be caused by severe allergies and other medical conditions.

If the sinus cavities located behind your cheeks are inflamed, you may begin to feel pain in one or both of the sides of your jaw. Along with jaw pain, there are a few other symptoms of sinusitis that include:

  • Problems tasting or smelling
  • Nasal congestion
  • Fatigue
  • Green or yellow mucus
  • Pressure or pain in the head and ears

Sometimes, sinusitis will clear up on its own; however, you may want to schedule a doctor’s appointment if the condition gets worse or lasts more than one week.

Rare Causes for Jaw Pain on One Side

If none of the above issues are to blame for your jaw pain, it could result from something else. Some of the rare causes of jaw pain on one side can be found here.

Cysts or Tumors

These are two different kinds of growths. A cyst usually contains fluid, while tumors are masses of tissue. Both can cause pain in your jaw, but they are also quite rare.

In many cases, the “lump” is not cancerous, but it can still impact your oral health. These can grow quickly and cause your teeth to move out of their proper position. The tumor or cyst can also destroy the tissue and bone in your mouth and jaw.

If you suspect a cyst or tumor is the cause of your jaw pain, you need to have the condition checked out right away. In some situations, it will need to be surgically removed.


This is a type of bone infection that is uncommon yet extremely serious. It occurs when bacteria enter the bone.

After dental surgery, your jawbone could become infected. It may also occur if your mouth is injured. If you suffer from conditions that impact your immune health, it can increase your risk of developing this condition.

Treatment with antibiotics is needed to clear up the problem and prevent more serious complications.

Trigeminal Neuralgia

Considered a chronic condition, it is usually caused by too much pressure exerted on the trigeminal nerve. The pressure may lead to the nerve being unable to function properly and cause pain.

Brain abnormalities or injuries can lead to this condition, too.

Trigeminal Neuralgia is commonly seen in women who are over the age of 50. The most common sign of this issue is pain that occurs on just one side of the face.


If you suffer from anxiety, you are probably tense often. This can cause jaw clenching and tooth grinding.

These actions are going to result in uneven wear and damage to the surface of your teeth. This will then cause uneven pressure on the jawbone and joints, which can result in pain. Sometimes the pain is more severe on one side of the jaw than the other.

Taking Steps to Prevent Jaw Pain on One Side

If you want to prevent jaw pain on one side, a good first step is to follow good oral hygiene practices. However, don’t stop there.

If you are concerned about a dental health issue, get to your dentist. They can evaluate your mouth and oral health and help you come up with a plan of action to prevent serious issues and jaw pain.

For people who are currently dealing with jaw pain, talk to your dentist. They will likely have an effective treatment option for your condition.

If you found the tips and information here helpful, be sure to check out some of the other blogs published on our site.

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