Here’s something to chew on – up to 40-percent of Americans have some kind of pain in the face or jaw. The pain can be accompanied by other symptoms, including limited movement of the jaw, numbness, and “jaw noise” (such as clicking), that aren’t typical of a well-functioning jaw, notes Harvard Health Publishing.
But what causes this jaw discomfort? There can be a wide number of reasons your jaw is aching, and in many cases, it can be treated. But, in other cases, it can actually be a warning sign of a bigger problem like a heart attack. Let’s bite into more information about what is causing your jaw pain, and what to do about it…
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders
TMJ disorders are the leading cause of jaw pain, says Healthline. In any case, the source says TMJ disorders affect about 10-million people in the U.S. alone.
There are a number of reasons a person may develop a TMJ disorder, whether it’s a direct injury to the jaw or a slipped disc that’s meant to cushion movements. While the pain can be focused in the hinges of the jaw itself, it can radiate and present as ear discomfort, headaches, and even dizziness in some cases.