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How long does jaw pain last: How Long Does TMD Last?

How Long Does TMD Last?

Restorative Dentistry |3 min read

We know that jaw pain or TMJ-related issues are very uncomfortable.

It impacts your quality of life.

Any disorders of the joints, jaw muscles, and nerves, are known as TMJ disorder (or TMD).

If you’re dealing with that right now, you’re likely wondering:

How long does TMD last?!

We’ll answer that very question and give you a run-through of how it can be treated.

How long does TMD last?

It depends on the severity of the underlying condition.

TMJ symptoms last anywhere from a couple of days to a few weeks.

Some TMJ disorders can last months or years… This text opens a new tab to the WebMD website…, such as those caused by teeth grinding and arthritis.


Treatment and proper care may relieve you of your symptoms.

How is TMD treated?

There are various types of treatment for TMD.

Your dentist will recommend one based on the cause of the disorder as well as your dental and personal needs.

If clenching or teeth grinding is the cause of the problem, you may be advised to use a custom-made appliance.

A dental appliance or nightguard will ease muscle pressure and protect your teeth at night.

If you have missing teeth, they could be the culprit behind your jaw pain or misalignment. Your dentist may create a custom restoration – an implant or bridge – to restore the proper balance.

Can TMD go away on its own?

For many people, TMD symptoms eventually subside on their own.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.

We recommend visiting your dentist if you’re experiencing:

  • Persistent pain or tenderness in your jaw
  • Clicking or popping in the jaw joint
  • Migraines
  • Locked jaw (you can’t open or close your jaw completely)
  • Aching pain in or around your ear(s)
  • Difficulty or pain while chewing
  • Aching facial pain
  • Dizziness
  • Unevenly worn teeth

All of the above symptoms are common signs of TMJ disorder.

TMD can be serious and grow into a long-lasting issue if left untreated.

What happens if TMD goes untreated?

The chronic form of TMD may cause damage to your:

  • Tendons
  • Muscles
  • Cartilage
  • Temporal bone


That damage can lead to health problems such as:

  • Arthritis
  • Nerve damage
  • Permanent dislocation
  • Worn teeth
  • Vertigo
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • And more

So it’s best to seek TMD treatment to keep your flare-ups under control.

Are there home remedies for TMD?

There are ways that you can manage your TMD symptoms at home, but they likely won’t fully treat your condition.

Applying ice or warm, moist heat to the side of your face may help soothe your pain.

Taking over-the-counter pain medication like Ibuprofen may also help provide some relief.

Avoid slouching or having a forward head posture to avoid overworking or straining your temporomandibular joint (TMJ).

Also, practicing self-care may reduce your TMD symptoms. Try taking a daily walk to de-stress and brighten your mood.

Are you seeking TMD treatment?

Your Woburn dentists would love to help you!

At Dental Health Care of Woburn, we’ll provide you with world-class dentistry and ensure that all your needs are met.

We’ll do whatever it takes to make your visits relaxing and enjoyable.

Contact us to schedule a TMD treatment consultation.

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Dental Health Care of Woburn serves patients from Woburn, Winchester, Burlington, Stoneham, Reading, Tewksbury, Wilmington, Lexington, Wakefield, and surrounding communities.

How Long Does It Take for TMJ to Go Away?

Temporomandibular joint disorder

If you have temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), the pain and discomfort can be quite disheartening, painful, and an inconvenience to daily activities. Pain in the jaw joint, which is one of the most used joints in the body, can significantly affect one’s quality of life. Luckily, most jaw abnormalities heal well with proper treatment. However if you do not treat the disorder, how long will the pain and discomfort last without medical care?

How long does TMJ Pain last?

Unfortunately, there is no way to predict how long a person will have TMJ pain. The pain varies from one individual to another and severity varies based on the cause and how damaged the jaw joint is. The duration of the pain can vary greatly from a couple of hours to a couple of days, or even longer. It just depends on the cause of the flare-up, the extent of jaw joint damage, and the affected person’s ability to cope with discomfort.

For mild to moderate cases of pain, you can relieve pain through hot or cold compress, gentle massage your facial muscles to increase blood flow, and over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen. Severe cases can linger for weeks and require medical attention. If left untreated for severe cases, manageable pain can turn into chronic severe pain if you do not see a dentist who treats TMJ disorder.

The tricky thing about this disorder is that many other conditions may cause symptoms like pain and discomfort, and they share the same symptoms. Self-diagnosis can be difficult without a proper medical examination. Many people suffering from TMJ pain seek treatment, and they report that the differences in their condition before and after treatment are significant. It is recommended to speak with your dentist about TMJ disorder treatment as soon as you start experiencing jaw discomfort or pain symptoms to avoid future flare-ups. When you visit your dentist for your consultation, your doctor will examine your jaw movement, bite, the muscles around your mouth and your neck and face. This will help provide a proper diagnosis on whether you have TMJ or another condition.

What are TMJ Flare-ups

If you experience TMJ flare-ups, this means that your symptoms are getting worse. When a flare-up occurs, the painful symptoms can come and go, changing your quality of life. By identifying the cause of your TMJ disorder, you can shorten the time your symptoms flare-up. Some of the common symptoms include:

  • Pain in one or both of the tempormandibular joints
  • Jaw pain or discomfort in the jaw
  • Ear pain or around your ear
  • Neck pain
  • Facial pain or swelling of the face
  • Pain around or “behind” the eyes
  • Clicking noises when you open or close your mouth
  • Jaw locking in either the open or closed position
  • Experience discomfort or pain while chewing or eating
  • Chronic pain in other parts of the face that seem to lack a clear cause
  • Persistent headaches or sore jaw after a nights rest

Why do you get TMJ Pain

The jaw joint is made of connecting bones, muscles, and ligaments. Like other joints in the body, it can develop problems since bone, muscle, and ligament all need to work together and can be caused by one or more medical conditions or habits. Here are the most common causes of TMJ, along with an estimate of how long you can expect a flare-up to last:

Teeth Misalignment (malocclusion)

A person might experience pain and bite problems related to a pre-existing dental problem, such as teeth grinding (bruxism). Depending on the underlying condition, pain caused by a misaligned bite can come and go, and may even last a lifetime if not treated.

If your upper and lower teeth do not meet evenly when your mouth is closed, say you have an underbite or overbite, then there is a chance that you are prone to developing TMJ disorder. An occlusal adjustment can be used to correct the alignment of the teeth so that TMJ disorder can be prevented.

Jaw pain & poor oral habit

Jaw-clenching and teeth grinding (commonly known as bruxism) is a major contributor to TMJ. Fortunately, it is easy to get rid of this bad habit, and once it is stopped, the pain usually goes away. By wearing a custom mouth guard at night, you can help protect your TMJ and teeth from this habit.  

If your TMJ is sore and aching, a habit you may want to avoid is hard, chewy food like chewing gum or hard candy, which can cause too much wear and tear. The continuous chewing motion will put too much stress on the joints and can cause the joint to be overworked.

Certain Medications

Certain medications for anxiety, depression, and ADHD are known to increase the likelihood of teeth clenching, which can cause or worsen TMJ. However, you shouldn’t stop taking your medication without talking it over with your doctor first. Many patients have been able to find a treatment plan that has relieved their TMJ without also sacrificing their medication.

Injury to the jaw

If you experience pain in your jaw after an incident or injury that affects your head and face, it is most likely the cause. The good news is that these types of jaw pain tend to go away over time as you heal from your injury naturally. If it does not go away after some time, consult with a doctor to see what can be causing the pain.


As people age, the jaw joint deteriorates. Aging also contributes to the development of arthritis. Massaging the area can help ease pain, as well as relaxation techniques. Pain-relieving medications such as over-the-counter drugs (ibuprofen) can also help relieve swelling and pain. Other factors that can cause pain to occur as you age include:

  • Poor posture
  • Dehydration
  • Stress
  • Vitamin deficiency
  • Hormone fluctuations

Will TMJ symptoms go away on its own?

The time it takes the TMJ to heal will vary from person to person. Some patients experiencing slight discomfort of the temporomandibular joint will usually go away in a few days without treatment. To manage a TMJ pain, simple home remedies can alleviate the symptoms with rest, hot and cold compresses, eating only soft foods, and jaw exercises. However, if you have been experiencing severe pain in any of the following TMJ symptoms, you should consider visiting a dentist and having a complete evaluation to avoid future damage to your teeth or joint. TMJ disorder is highly treatable, don’t suffer unnecessarily when treatment is available.

Is TMJ disorder permanent?

Chronic jaw pain is often the result of clenching and grinding of the teeth, which can be treated by avoiding this bad habit and working with a physician to develop the best course of treatment. If clenching and teeth grinding is not the cause, your dentist will conduct an exam to find the root cause of TMJ disorder.

TMD treatment

Although TMJ treatment options depend widely on each particular case, there are various options to chose from to prevent painful flare-ups. Depending on the cause, a mouth guard or an oral appliance like a splint will provide pain relief. Another option for patients who experience TMJ pain might obtain relief by taking part in physical therapy, obtain temporary relief through pain management injections, or in severe cases, choose to undergo surgery to correct specific TMJ issues.

We can help with your TMJ Flare-ups with Dr. Feng in Fairview, TX

We understand how painful and uncomfortable TMJ flare-ups are, and we’re here to help. To find out which treatment option best fits you, we’ll conduct a comprehensive examination so we can help alleviate the pain and discomfort.  If you have any questions about TMJ disorders or treatment plans, call us at 972-468-1440 today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Feng.

Our dental office is located in Fairview, Texas, and our patients visit us from across the surrounding areas, including Allen, Plano, McKinney, and Lucas, for dental care.

Why does the lower jaw hurt? 【Reasons and what to do】

Updated: 10/29/2021

Patients often come to the dentist with complaints of pain in the lower jaw. In this case, discomfort can occur on both the right and left sides. The pain itself can be short-term, long-term, mild or intense.

However, these symptoms may not always indicate a problem with the teeth. Therefore, the specialist conducts a thorough examination of the dentoalveolar system in order to accurately establish the diagnosis. It is this approach that helps to prescribe the correct treatment for one of the many diseases that can be caused by severe pain in the lower jaw.


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Povtar Vladimir Vladimirovich

Experience – 4 years

Yunaeva Stella Vladimirovna

Experience — 22 years

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Malamuzh Oleg Sergeevich

Experience — 25 years

Andrey Zhukov

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Experience — 23 years

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Work experience — 18 years

Seek medical advice from a dentist or oral surgeon to determine the source of the problem. The reason for the appearance of unpleasant symptoms can be various reasons. Almost all of them need urgent treatment, since the further development of the pathology will lead to consequences that negatively affect the health of the body.

Cause Explanation
Odontogenic inflammatory diseases Periostitis
Damage resulting from trauma Bruise
Trigeminal neuralgia Trigeminal lesion
Diseases of the salivary glands Salivary stone disease
Spasm of chewing muscles Bruxism
Diseases of the teeth Periodontitis
Neoplasms in the lower jaw Ameoblastoma
Odonogenic cyst
Ischemic heart disease Angina attack

Often, an acute purulent process passes from periodontal tissues to the jaw bone, the periosteum of the alveolar process, and also to nearby soft tissues. Pain occurs in the following diseases:

  • Periostitis . The state of health worsens, the temperature rises and swelling of the soft tissues appears. At first, soreness and swelling are not very pronounced, but over the next 3 days they increase. The pain may radiate to the eye, ear and temple. When exposed to heat, the intensity of symptoms increases, while cold, on the contrary, reduces them.
  • Osteomyelitis . In the acute stage, the temperature rises to 39–39.5 °C. Chilliness, profuse sweat for several days or only at night. Putrid odor from the mouth. The tooth that has become the source of infection is mobile, the gum becomes bluish. When pressing on the alveolar process, pus is released. From the side of the cheek and tongue, subperiosteal abscesses are formed.
  • Lymphadenitis . In the acute stage, one or more lymph nodes located in the lower jaw become painful. They increase, acquiring a rounded or oval shape. With the development of a purulent process, the state of health worsens, the temperature rises to 38 ° C. Above the enlarged lymph node, the skin is edematous and hyperemic. There may be pain when swallowing, yawning, and opening the mouth.
  • Abscess . If the purulent focus is located next to the masticatory muscles, then this limits chewing and provokes pain when opening the mouth. When localized under the tongue and the peripharyngeal space, it is painful for the patient to swallow. Often, an abscess occurs against the background of a satisfactory condition of a person.
  • Phlegmon . The clinical picture of the disease depends on the number of foci of infection. With a common process, diffuse swelling of the soft tissues of the face and neck is observed. In the affected area, hyperemia and an increase in local temperature are observed. It becomes difficult for a person to open his mouth, chew, swallow, talk and even breathe. There is a significant intoxication of the body and body temperature 39°C. [1]

Severe pain in the lower jaw inevitably results from a bruise or fracture. The most common injuries are from fights, traffic accidents, and falls. If only a bruise has occurred, then the closing of the teeth is not disturbed, however, there may be swelling of the tissues, leading to asymmetry of the face.

With a fracture, a person experiences a sharp throbbing pain that becomes stronger when trying to close his teeth, bite and chew food, and talk. There may be numbness in the chin and lower lip. There is mobility of teeth, malocclusion. A bone fragment of the jaw may protrude from the mucosa.

In addition to the above factors, neuralgia can cause aching pain in the lower jaw. Symptoms appear when the trigeminal nerve is damaged, namely its third branch, which innervates the mandibular region. Attack-like, shooting pain can last from a few seconds to one minute.

Over time, the intervals between attacks become shorter. Burning, cutting and shooting pains are intensified, compared by patients with an electric shock. Sensations arise spontaneously, when the ambient temperature changes or when touched. Often the pain radiates to the teeth, which leads the patient to the dentist’s office. [2]

Three pairs of large salivary glands are located directly in the region of the lower jaw. These are sublingual, parotid and submandibular. Accordingly, with the development of inflammation in them, soreness and swelling are observed in this zone.

For example, with salivary stone disease of the submandibular gland, the patient may experience a typical symptom – “salivary colic”, which occurs when the duct of the gland is blocked. Also in this area, swelling is formed under the influence of a food irritant, which after a while disappears on its own. [3]

In bruxism, the patient has involuntary clenching of the jaws with intense friction and grinding of the teeth at night. The day type of the disease occurs under the influence of stress and anxiety. As a result of the pathological process, an overload occurs in the maxillofacial system, which leads to pain in the TMJ (temporomandibular joint of the lower jaw). The opening of the mouth is limited, the pain may radiate to the ear and teeth when yawning. [4]

One of the most common causes of sharp pain in the lower jaw is the teeth. When an infection enters the pulp chamber, the dental nerve becomes inflamed. This process causes a sharp paroxysmal throbbing pain that may appear spontaneously. Often the symptoms make themselves felt at night.

In the absence of timely treatment, the infection penetrates beyond the apex of the root and a dental disease such as periodontitis develops. In the acute stage, there is swelling of the surrounding tissues, pain when pressing on the tooth and when chewing. A fistula may form on the gum.

It is not uncommon for patients to have problems with their wisdom teeth. The third molars erupt later than the rest and they almost always lack space. Trying to get out, the figure eight can put pressure on adjacent teeth, on bone tissue and the mucous membrane above it. At this point, the patient complains that the lower jaw hurts on the right or left, depending on the location of the tooth. [5]

Odontogenic and non-odontogenic neoplasms can cause pain. At the same time, benign tumors are more common than malignant ones and are characterized by less pronounced growth. These include:

  • Ameoblastoma . More often localized in the body, angle and branches of the lower jaw. For a long time, the formation does not bother a person until the deformation of the bone tissue begins, accompanied by pain. A bulge is formed in the mouth in the region of the transitional fold, while the mucosa does not differ in color from the surrounding tissues.
  • Fibroma . An odontogenic tumor forms inside the bone, is characterized by slow growth and painlessness. However, when it reaches an impressive size, it leads to deformation of the face and causes aching pain in the lower jaw.
  • Myxoma . The tumor does not have a shell, destroying bone tissue, it gradually spreads to soft tissues. Teeth in the area of ​​myxoma acquire mobility due to resorption of the roots, because of this they can be displaced.
  • Cement . A benign process originates in the region of the tooth root, while the growth of cement-like tissues with varying degrees of mineralization occurs. The deformation on the face has a rounded shape and clear boundaries.
  • Odonogenic cyst . The cavity has a shell of connective tissue with liquid content. With the growth of the root cyst, the cortical plate becomes thinner and the bone bulges. Also, with the gradual melting of bone tissue, a pathological fracture of the lower jaw can occur. [6]

In addition to the above reasons, an attack of angina pectoris can also cause pain, when the patient’s blood circulation in the arteries of the heart is disturbed. In addition to the characteristic symptoms, which include dull, squeezing or tearing pain, fear of death, heaviness in the chest and lack of air, the patient may feel that his lower jaw is aching. In this case, the duration of the attack lasts no more than 15 minutes. [7]

To determine the sharp pain in the lower jaw, the dentist or maxillofacial surgeon determines the cause of the symptoms. In some cases, for additional examination, the doctor refers to a neurologist, cardiologist or other specialists. The doctor conducts a survey, examines the applicant and, depending on the indications, prescribes a number of instrumental and laboratory tests, which may include:0003

  • radiography – the method helps to determine the localization, nature and extent of pathology in the bone tissue using a two-dimensional image;
  • computed tomography – the method allows you to determine the state of the bone and study the neoplasm in all projections;
  • magnetic resonance imaging – used to diagnose cysts, compression of the branch of the trigeminal nerve, aneurysm;
  • electrophysiological study – using electromyography, muscle activity is detected in bruxism, as well as the quality of impulse transmission in neuralgia. Electroneurography is used to determine the extent of damage to the nerve trunk;
  • invasive methods – to determine the nature of the neoplasm and the contents of the purulent focus, a biopsy and puncture are performed;
  • tests – are prescribed to determine the causative agent of the disease in order to select the necessary drugs for treatment.

After the doctor has found out the reason why the lower jaw hurts, he prescribes therapeutic or surgical treatment. The purpose of the prescribed procedures is to eliminate the disease in the most effective way and restore the health of the patient.

Conservative therapy in dentistry is the elimination of the source of infection with the help of instruments and medicines. With pulpitis, the doctor removes the inflamed nerve from the tooth and performs mechanical and antiseptic treatment of the canals, followed by their filling. With periodontitis, the same treatment is carried out, but to eliminate the infection behind the top of the root, an anti-inflammatory paste is introduced into the canals before permanent filling.

If other pathologies occur, the following methods are used:

  • muscle relaxants and physiotherapy for bruxism;
  • splinting of jaw fragments in case of fractures;
  • antibiotic therapy in the inflammatory process;
  • analgesic and corrective therapy for neuralgia;
  • drug restoration of cardiac activity in coronary artery disease.

The choice of surgery depends on the diagnosis and stage of the disease:

  • tumors – excision of pathologically altered tissues;
  • injuries – bone grafting and suturing of soft tissues;
  • neuralgia – dissection of soft tissues that put pressure on the nerve;
  • inflammatory processes – they open and empty the focus of infection;
  • ischemic heart disease (IHD) – thrombolysis, stenting of the heart artery, bypass surgery.

In the absence of proper treatment of a disease that causes pain in the lower jaw on the left or right side, dangerous complications can develop. As a result, the pathologies that have arisen can threaten not only health, but also human life.

For example, the further development of osteomyelitis causes dangerous pathological conditions such as meningitis, brain abscess and kidney failure. And inflammation in the temporomandibular joint leads to its complete immobility, as a result of which the patient cannot eat and speak normally.

In order to prevent the development of dangerous diseases that cause severe pain in the lower jaw, it is necessary to follow several important recommendations:

  1. Strengthen the body’s immune system.
  2. Come to the dentist twice a year for a routine check-up.
  3. Treat diseases that can lead to the development of dangerous pathologies.
  4. In the presence of chronic diseases, regularly see a doctor and prevent relapses.
  5. Regular and proper care of the oral cavity – this will be taught by the dentist in an individual hygiene lesson.

In our network of clinics in Moscow, doctors are attentive to the health of patients. Therefore, if you experience acute pain in the lower jaw, you will be accepted, despite the generated record. Specialists will urgently diagnose and provide first aid if you experience the following symptoms:

  • breaks the lower jaw;
  • toothache and swelling has formed;
  • there was pain when chewing, and a fistula formed in the gum area.

Turning to us, you get high-quality and safe treatment, as well as painless performance of all manipulations. In dentistry, modern anesthetics are used, which begin to act already at the time of injection.

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  • [1] Kulakov, AA Surgical stomatology and maxillofacial surgery: National guidelines / Ed. A. A. Kulakova, T. G. Robustova, A. I. Nerobeeva. – Moscow: GEOTAR-Media, 2015. – 928 p. (Series “National Manuals”) – ISBN 978-5-9704-3727-8. Link to a resource.
  • [2] Kulakov, AA Surgical stomatology and maxillofacial surgery: National guidelines / Ed. A. A. Kulakova, T. G. Robustova, A. I. Nerobeeva. – Moscow: GEOTAR-Media, 2015. – 928 p. (National Manual Series) – ISBN 978-5-9704-3727-8
  • [3] Lastovka A. S., Tesevich L. I. Salivary stone disease. – 2014. Link to the teaching aid.
  • [4] Orlova OR et al. Relationship between bruxism and pain dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint //RMJ. – 2017. – T. 25. – No. 24. – S. 1760-1763. Link to the domoment.
  • [5] Stephen Ho, MD; Daisy Chemali, MD; Bogdan Kryshtalsky: Maxillofacial surgery – pain in the wisdom tooth. Link to a resource.
  • [6] Kulakov, AA Surgical stomatology and maxillofacial surgery: National guidelines / Ed. A. A. Kulakova, T. G. Robustova, A. I. Nerobeeva. – Moscow: GEOTAR-Media, 2015. – 928 p. (Series “National Manuals”) – ISBN 978-5-9704-3727-8.
  • [7] Kalinin, R. E. Ischemic diseases in the practice of a family doctor / R. E. Kalinin [et al.]; ed. R. E. Kalinina, V. N. Abrosimova – Moscow: GEOTAR-Media, 2016. – 208 p. – ISBN 978-5-9704-3660-8.
  • Why does the gum hurt around the wisdom tooth?
  • Why does the cheek swell?
  • How a dental nerve is removed

Questions and answers

Ask a question

✅ Hello! Please tell me which specialist should I contact if I do not live in Moscow? Spasm of masticatory muscles – teeth gnash, pain in the lower jaw, especially in the corners of the closure of the upper and lower jaws. The mouth does not open wide, there is a risk that it will not be possible to close it. During eating, the jaw makes an unpleasant sound of clenching and lays in the ears from this sound. Which doctor can help in this situation? I live in Novosibirsk.

Based on the symptoms you describe, it appears that you have a temporomandibular joint problem caused by bruxism, the involuntary, violent clenching and grinding of the teeth. To eliminate the hypertonicity of the masticatory muscles, pain, crunch in the jaw and restriction of its mobility, contact a gnathologist dentist. If you cannot find a specialist in Novosibirsk, you can contact our gnatologist if you are visiting Moscow.

✅ Why does the angle of the lower jaw hurt when pressed?

There may be several reasons for this situation. For example, pain when pressed occurs with: an inflammatory process in the bone, with damage to the nerve and joint of the lower jaw, with the eruption of a wisdom tooth, as well as with other diseases of the surrounding tissues. To determine the exact cause of the problem and eliminate it in a timely manner, make an appointment with our dentist.

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Why does my upper jaw hurt? 【Reasons and what to do】

Information updated: 20.05.2022

Many patients think that aching pain in the upper jaw occurs only from diseased teeth. This is partly true, but discomfort can be caused by other reasons. In this article, we will consider why there is pain in the upper jaw on the left or right. Let’s talk about the methods of diagnosis and treatment of these diseases, as well as effective preventive measures.


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Yunaeva Stella Vladimirovna

Experience — 22 years

Ardagina Liya Alexandrovna

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Experience — 25 years

Radko Oksana Yurievna

Work experience — 18 years

Severe pain in the upper jaw indicates a problem that needs treatment. The cause of pain can be trauma, diseases of the teeth and gums, purulent-inflammatory processes, neuralgia and other pathologies.

As a result of a sports, work injury or car accident, jaw injuries of varying severity occur. With bruises, a hematoma is formed, moderate pain is felt, which gradually disappears over several days. If a fracture of the jaw occurs as a result of an injury, then acute, unbearable pain occurs. The front or chewing teeth do not close, can be mobile, due to swelling, the face becomes asymmetrical. There may be bleeding lacerations in the mouth and on the skin.

Acute throbbing pain in the upper jaw due to pulpitis. It can radiate to neighboring teeth, the temporal region, and the ear. If the infection goes beyond the roots, then this tooth becomes painful to chew. There is a feeling that he has become higher than the rest – the feeling of a “grown tooth”. Edema forms on the cheek, the temperature rises. The cause of the symptom may be alveolitis – inflammation of the hole after tooth extraction. The gum also hurts from wearing a removable prosthesis, which strongly rubs the mucous membrane.

Often, pathological processes occur due to dental disease. Periodontal infection spreads to the surrounding tissues: the periosteum of the alveolar process, in which the roots of the teeth are located, the bone tissue of the upper jaw, and the perimaxillary soft tissues.

Purulent processes in the upper jaw:

  • Periostitis. With the development of the disease, the patient complains of severe pain in the upper jaw, sometimes extending to the temporal region. There is swelling of the cheek. The temperature rises to 38 ° C, appetite disappears, weakness appears.
  • Osteomyelitis. A person feels pain in the upper teeth, the gums hurt, the jaw aches, as well as half of the head. The disease is characterized by pain in the body, severe weakness, loss of appetite, poor sleep. The temperature rises to 39.5 °C. Intoxication of the body, chills.
  • Abscess, phlegmon. In the absence of treatment of diffuse osteomyelitis, infection from the bone and periosteum spreads to the adjacent soft tissues. Such dangerous purulent-inflammatory processes as an abscess and phlegmon develop. The symptoms of the disease are getting worse. Significantly enlarged regional lymph nodes. Some patients develop purulent lymphadenitis.
  • Sialoadenitis. Pain, severe swelling and redness of the skin in the parotid-masticatory region occur with inflammation of the parotid salivary gland. The second name of the disease is parotitis. The patient’s body temperature rises, dry mouth appears. The mouth of the excretory duct, located on the cheek in the projection of the sixth tooth, is edematous and has a red tint. When pressed, a meager discharge appears with impurities of pus.

Pain in the upper jaw on the left or right can occur with neuralgia of the second branch of the trigeminal nerve (maxillary). The patient feels sharp, paroxysmal pain that lasts from a few seconds to a minute. Sometimes there is a painful tic – mimic muscles twitch. The pain spreads along the course of the maxillary nerve: in the region of the nasolabial fold, nose, upper lip, vestibule of the mouth, sometimes in the premolars.

Over time, the pains become boring, cutting, shooting like electric shocks. At the beginning of the disease, the interval between attacks is quite long. Without treatment, pain appears more often and intensifies. Pain occurs spontaneously or under the influence of stimuli: movement, changes in ambient temperature, touching some areas of the upper jaw.

Acute inflammation of the mucous membrane of the maxillary sinus is accompanied by pain in the infraorbital, buccal region. It intensifies when the head is tilted, radiates to the forehead, ear, back of the head, upper teeth, and radiates to the temple. Patients feel heaviness in the region of the upper jaw on the right or left, depending on which side sinusitis has developed. Blockage of half of the nose. Sometimes it becomes painful to chew with the side teeth. The head hurts, weakness is felt, the body temperature is increased to 37.5-38 ° C.

On the 2nd-3rd day, the inflammation increases, the feeling of heaviness on the side of the lesion intensifies. There is pain when pressing on the tooth, which has become the source of infection. The nasal mucosa is swollen and reddened. On the 3-5th day, the pain intensifies, especially if there is no outflow of sinus contents into the nasal cavity. General and local symptoms of sinusitis increase, purulent discharge appears.

Pain in the upper jaw on the right or left arises from the growth of benign formations. These include ameloblastoma, fibroma, adenoameloblastoma, myxoma, cementoma. Tumors develop asymptomatically for a long time and can be detected incidentally during x-ray examination. Painful sensations occur when the nerve is compressed and are similar to neuralgia. Reaching large sizes, tumors deform the jawbone.

With the formation of a malignant tumor (sarcoma, fibrous histiocytoma), pain appears in the early stages. The mucosa over the tumor has a purple-red color, when injured, ulcerations appear on it. The development of Ewing’s sarcoma is accompanied by vivid symptoms. The patient complains of bouts of aching, dull pain in the area of ​​the tumor. There is a local burning sensation and heat. Soon these signs are joined by loosening of the teeth, swelling, fever.

Occurs with bruxism – teeth grinding at night. The patient feels aches in the parotid-masticatory region, notices fatigue in the masticatory muscles upon waking up. The front and chewing teeth are erased, there is an increased sensitivity to sweet, sour, hot and cold foods. Fillings, veneers, crowns and prostheses break off. Often worried about the head, the pain is given to the temple. Pain in the temporomandibular joint when chewing.

Of course, the activity of the masticatory muscles increases during stress. During these periods, a person has an uncontrollable compression of the jaws. The development of muscle hypertonicity is facilitated by a combination of a number of factors: a change in the state of the muscular apparatus, malocclusion, pathology of the spine (often in the cervical and thoracic region), asymmetric position of the shoulders, shoulder blades, shortening of one leg.

To prescribe treatment, the dentist must identify the cause of the aching pain in the upper jaw. In some cases, you may need to consult an maxillofacial surgeon, an otolaryngologist and a neurologist. The doctor finds out how long ago the complaints appeared, then examines the mouth, palpates the lymph nodes.

To make an accurate diagnosis, the patient can be assigned various types of examinations:

  • Computed tomography. The 3D image clearly shows fractures, cysts and granulomas on the roots of the teeth. Also, a 3D image is used for diagnosis when the upper jaw hurts on one side. For example, to detect tumors, sinusitis, purulent-inflammatory diseases of bone tissue – periostitis, osteomyelitis. CT allows the doctor to see the size and exact location of the pathological formation.
  • Electroodontometry. With the help of an electrodontometer, which generates a specially calculated dose of electric current, the dentist studies the viability of the pulp. Electroodontodiagnostics provides information about the condition, integrity, functionality of the neurovascular bundle of the tooth and its sensitivity. The doctor can determine the absence or presence of inflammation of the dental nerve and its necrosis.
  • Use of brooks checkers. To diagnose bruxism, the dentist takes casts of the teeth, which are used to make special mouth guards. With their help, it is determined which teeth are subjected to overload when closing. Mouthguards are put on at night, after which the patient brings them to the clinic for analysis.
  • Digital sialography. The study is used to diagnose inflammatory diseases of the salivary glands and salivary stone disease. It is performed on a digital angiograph. A contrast agent is injected into the salivary gland under fluoroscopic control and its condition is assessed on the image.

If sinusitis is suspected, the patient is referred to an otolaryngologist. In addition to computed tomography, the specialist performs rhinoscopy, probing of the maxillary sinus. In some cases, a diagnostic sinus puncture may be necessary. If trigeminal neuralgia is suspected, the dentist diagnoses the pathology together with a neurologist and an otolaryngologist.

The patient is scheduled for an MRI to look for a tumor that may have caused the disease. MR angiography is performed, which will help determine the presence of a neurovascular conflict – compression of a nerve by a blood vessel. To clarify the level of damage, conduct electroneuromyography of the branches of the nerve.

After diagnosing the disease and determining its cause, the patient is prescribed conservative or surgical treatment. The choice of method will depend on the type of disease, the stage of its development and the general condition of the body.

Splinting of teeth

Bruxism and temporomandibular dysfunction

Endodontic treatment of anterior tooth

Analgesics are prescribed to relieve aching pain in the upper jaw. To eliminate the cause of the pathology and relieve unpleasant symptoms, the following procedures are carried out:

  • Endodontic treatment. If the cause of the pain is pulpitis or periodontitis, then the dentist removes the infected nerve under anesthesia. Then he cleans, rinses the root canals with an antiseptic. If the infection has gone beyond the tooth, then the canals are sealed with a medical paste. A few weeks after the signs of inflammation have been eliminated, the channels are filled with gutta-percha and a crown is placed on the tooth.
  • Wearing protective caps. For the treatment of bruxism, individual mouthguards are made for the patient to protect the teeth from further abrasion. To reduce the activity of the masticatory muscles, manual therapy, light sedatives, and botulinum toxin injections are prescribed.
  • Splinting. In case of fractures of the jawbone, restriction of chewing load is required. An oral and maxillofacial surgeon performs a conservative procedure called a double jaw splinting. To do this, he imposes on the dentition splints with reposition of fragments, fixes the bite in the patient’s usual position. On average, the design is installed for 4-5 weeks.
  • Medical treatment. In the presence of purulent-inflammatory processes and ENT pathologies, patients are prescribed antibiotics. Additionally, the course of treatment includes anti-inflammatory, antihistamines and immunomodulators. Local therapy includes the evacuation of purulent contents, washing with antiseptics and bandaging. With trigeminal neuralgia, the patient takes anticonvulsants. At first, the dosage is gradually increased until the optimal result is achieved. Then the drug is continued for several months as maintenance therapy. In parallel, antihistamines, antispasmodics, B vitamins are prescribed, blockades are made with a local anesthetic at the exit site of the maxillary nerve.

If conservative therapy cannot solve the problem, then an operation is performed:

  • sinus otomy – opening of the maxillary sinus;
  • removal of benign and malignant neoplasms;
  • removal of a stone from the duct or extirpation of the maxillary gland;
  • osteosynthesis — reposition of jaw fragments with titanium mini-plates;
  • extraction of teeth that have become a source of infection and cannot be restored.

Aching pain in the upper jaw is always a sign of a disease that requires medical examination and treatment. With the unfavorable development of neuralgia of the maxillary nerve, pain attacks intensify and become more frequent, paralysis and muscle paresis occur. With bruxism, pain in the temporomandibular joint increases during chewing, and its mobility is limited. Acute purulent-inflammatory processes lead to sepsis. Late diagnosis of malignant tumors complicates treatment, increases the risk of recurrence, which often leads to death.

To prevent the development of diseases that cause pain in the upper jaw on one or both sides, it is necessary to follow the rules of oral hygiene, visit the dentist regularly and treat your teeth. Once a year, do an x-ray examination of the dentoalveolar system – computed tomography. To avoid sports injuries, you should wear special protective caps during training.

First you need to make an appointment with a dentist. You should not wait until the jaw stops hurting. Untimely access to a doctor leads to more complex and lengthy treatment, as well as to the development of dangerous complications. If the pain is unbearable, then you need to take painkillers. In no case should you warm your cheek and self-medicate. This can only exacerbate the current situation and negatively affect well-being.

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In our clinics in Moscow, patients with acute pain are treated out of turn. You just need to call the clinic and warn about your arrival. The first freed doctor will accept you and provide medical assistance. If the cause of the pain was not a dental disease, then the doctor will refer you to the right specialist and give valuable recommendations.

  1. Kulakov, AA Surgical stomatology and maxillofacial surgery: National guide / Ed. A. A. Kulakova, T. G. Robustova, A. I. Nerobeeva. – Moscow: GEOTAR-Media, 2015. – 928 p. (Series “National Manuals”) – ISBN 978-5-9704-3727-8. – Text : electronic
  2. Shevchenko LV, Shevchenko A.