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 that include limited movement of the jaw, numbness, and “jaw noise” (such as clicking) that isn’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…
Jaw Joint Disorders
TMD – meaning temporomandibular disorder – is the leading cause of jaw pain, says Healthline. (This is often referred to as TMJ, which is the hinge joints, not the disorder itself). In any case, the source says TMD affects about 10-million people in the U.S. alone.
There are a number of reasons a person may develop a TMD, 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 jaw hinges themselves, it can radiate and present as ear discomfort, headaches and even dizziness in some cases.