What Is Causing My Jaw Pain?

By Charles L. Sours, Jr. D.D.S.
November 16, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: TMJ   jaw pain  

There are several possible causes of jaw pain. For instance, a jaw injury or an abscessed tooth can both lead to jaw pain. There are jaw painpotential causes of jaw pain, as well, but a common cause of jaw pain is a condition known as TMJ disorder. With this condition, jaw pain develops when the joints connecting the jawbone to the skull become irritated. Fortunately, there are treatments for alleviating the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ disorder. Dr. Charles Sours is your Woodbridge, VA dentist for the diagnosis and treatment of jaw pain related to TMJ disorder.

TMJ Disorder

TMJ is an abbreviation for the joint known as the temporomandibular joint. It is the joint where the jawbone and skull meet and there is one on each side of the face. TMJ disorder refers to a condition in which jaw pain occurs when the temporomandibular joints are inflamed or irritated. In addition to jaw pain, other symptoms associated with TMJ disorder include headaches or pain in the neck and shoulder areas, as well as a locked jaw sensation.

There are several potential causes of TMJ disorder and women tend to develop the condition more often than men. Possible causes of TMJ disorder include:

  • Arthritis
  • Injury to the jaw
  • Whiplash injury
  • Grinding the teeth
  • Clenching the jaw
  • Genetics
  • An abscessed tooth
  • Osteomyelitis (an infection in the jawbone)


Jaw pain caused by TMJ disorder can be treated through a variety of methods. Jaw pain and discomfort can be alleviated with prescription medications, over-the-counter pain relievers, muscle relaxants, anti-inflammatory medications and ice or heat therapy. If you are diagnosed with TMJ disorder, your Woodbridge dentist, Dr. Sours, can prescribe an appropriate treatment for relief of your jaw pain.

There are many potential causes of jaw pain. One of the most common causes is TMJ disorder, for which there are treatments that can help. For diagnosis and/or treatment of TMJ disorder, schedule a consultation with Dr. Sours, your Woodbridge dentist, by calling the office at (703) 491-2131.