Why Does My Jaw Hurt on Only One Side?

July 2, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — tntadmin @ 4:16 pm
a patient suffering from jaw pain

Everybody experiences jaw pain at some point in their lifetime—and sometimes the world feels like it’s coming to a screeching halt when your mouth is really bothering you! But what if the pain is only on one side of your jaw; is this even more serious than usual, and does it warrant a trip to your emergency dentist’s office? Keep reading to learn more about some of the possible causes of pain on one side of your mouth, along with why seeking treatment is always going to be in your best interest.

Possible Causes for Jaw Pain on One Side

There are several possible reasons for jaw pain, so when it comes to seeking treatment, an accurate diagnosis is crucial. Your jaw is one of the most complex parts of your whole body, so sometimes pinpointing the source of the issue is somewhat challenging, especially if only one side of the mouth is being affected. That said, here are some of the most well-known causes for the issue:

TMJ Disorder

Your jaw can move in various ways thanks to your temporomandibular joints (TMJ); however, these intricate joints are unfortunately susceptible to many types of injuries, and if they become damaged or inflamed, the result is jaw discomfort and impeded oral functionality. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is one common cause of TMJ disorder, but other causes include bite misalignment, tissue damage, and even stress. Just like how other pairs of joints throughout your body can only be affected on one side, these joints can develop problems on either one or both sides.


This is categorized by the swelling of your nasal cavities, and it usually happens due to a cold or allergies. This inflammation can cause jaw pain on one or both sides, and other common symptoms include yellowish or green mucus, headaches and earaches, blocked nasal passages, and a reduced sense of taste and smell. This condition typically clears up on its own, but if it lasts for longer than a week, it might warrant medical intervention.

Oral Health Issues

There’s also a strong possibility of unresolved dental health issues, such as tooth decay, abscessed teeth or gum disease, perpetuating one-sided jaw pain since these issues can occur in virtually any quadrant of your mouth.

How Your Dentist Can Help

Jaw pain is not something that should be needlessly endured or left untreated—your dentist can help! Even though this pain might seem alarming, especially if the onset is sudden, it can often be easily addressed with professional assistance. For example, if your pain is the result of bruxism, your provider can outfit you with a custom nightguard appliance to help stabilize your jaw’s position while you sleep. If you’re dealing with oral health issues such as gum disease or decay, restorative treatment options are readily available to clear things up.

Fortunately, you can also alleviate jaw pain on your own with at-home remedies such as applying heat or ice packs, using over-the-counter pain relievers, saltwater rinses or even massage therapy. If you’re concerned about one-sided jaw pain, there’s no reason to sound the alarm; the issue can usually be easily identified, and a solution will be within arm’s reach.

About Community Dentists of Worcester

Our talented team here at Community Dentists of Worcester is thrilled to provide patients and families in the Worcester area with an unmatched level of dental care! We’re excited to offer a wide range of services including emergency treatment for all of your urgent needs. If you have any questions about the blog or you or a loved one is suffering from jaw pain, don’t hesitate to contact us today for assistance. Telephone: (774) 371-4131.

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