dental care


Jaw Pain

by John

My Jaw Pain

My Jaw Pain

What causes jaw pain? I received a question from one of the readers concerning jaw pain.

Dear Dentist,

I am experiencing a strange painful sensation in my jaw that I cannot figure out. I am healthy apart from having caught a cold. Can you please explain what this can be? The pain is right where I have my finger pointed on the attached photo.

Thank you!

Dear John,

Thank you for your question. Pain in the jaws can be due to a number of causes, but a common reason to this is sinusitis, which is an inflammation in the sinuses. The sinuses are air-filled spaces lined with respiratory epithelial cells, located inside the cheekbone and nose area. During a cold there might be a swelling of the lining in the sinuses, and this will blck the normal draining of the mucus. This can cause sinusitis.

Sinusitis can, again, cause pain in teeth and jaw. Often this kind of pain will be quite diffuse and dull and also hard to localize, and the pain usually involves more than one tooth. You can experience pain on one or both sides of your jaw. Often the pain is exaggerated by sudden movements. If you experience diffuse pain in your teeth during a cold or flu, it could be due to a sinusitis. If the pain lasts after your cold is gone, or the pain gets worse or takes on a more sharp character, you should seek your dentist for an examination.

Good luck!


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