Experiencing Jaw Pain On One Side? Here Is Why

Jaw pain on one side can be alarming. However, most of the time, there is nothing to fret about. In rare cases, jaw pain on one side results from a fatal condition like a heart attack. Therefore, let’s explore some common reasons for jaw pain on one side.

TMJ Disorders:

TMJ stands for Temporomandibular joint. TMJ disorders affect the joint connecting skull and the jaw. A disc acts as a washer separating both bones, allowing for seamless motion. If the joint is damaged or the disc is displaced, you will experience pain and discomfort in jaw movement. Thus, TMJ disorders can affect one joint independently or both jaw joints together.

Some other symptoms that accompany TMJ disorders are as follows:

  • Tender jaw muscles.
  • Earache.
  • Difficulty opening your jaws if they lock.

Several diseases and disorders can disturb your temporomandibular joint. However, here are the major contenders of TMJ disorder:

  • arthritis
  • teeth clenching or grinding
  • tissue damage
  • tooth damage or misalignment
  • jaw infection or injury
  • Damage to the cartilage in the joint.

Heart Attack:

As we mentioned earlier, jaw pain on one side could be an early indicator of a heart attack onset. However, a heart attack does have some major symptoms that will eventually accompany the condition, such as:

  • Pressure or pain in your torso that gets better when you rest, but it keeps coming back.
  • Feeling of tightness that originally originates in your chest. However, this feeling of tightness can expand to other areas such as your neck, jaws, and back.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Tiredness and dizziness.
  • Cold Sweat.

If you ever experience a combination of these symptoms, seek emergency treatment as soon as possible.


Sinusitis occurs due to the inflammation of nasal cavities, mostly because of cold. However, other allergies and medical conditions can also lead to sinusitis.

Sinus cavities extend all around the nose, with extremities found near the forehead and cheeks. Hence, when the sinus tissue behind your cheeks is inflamed, you can feel a radiating jaw pain on one or both sides. Some major symptoms of sinusitis are as follows:

  • Nasal congestion with excessive production of yellow or green mucus.
  • Facial pain and swelling.
  • Earache.
  • Headache.
  • Difficulty smelling and tasting.

Your body can treat sinusitis within a week or two. However, if it persists beyond that, refer to a doctor.

Dental Issues:

One of the major causes of jaw pain is dental problems. From cavities to gum diseases, many dental problems share jaw pain on one side as a common symptom. Other equally important symptoms of dental problems are as follows:

  • Tooth pain.
  • Increased tooth sensitivity.
  • Swollen, painful, and bleeding gums.
  • Pain while chewing.
  • Sores in the mouth.
  • Persistent bad breath.
  • Dry mouth.

You can avoid a majority of dental issues by following stringent dental hygiene that includes the following:

  • Brushing at least twice a day.
  • Flossing.
  • Using Mouthwash.

However, while you follow your dental routine religiously, it’s still important to visit a dentist on regular appointments. This can help you stay one step ahead of dental problems and jaw pain on one side. To learn about how Brenham Family Dental can help you, call us at 979-421-9685.

Skip to content