My Jaw Pain On One Side Is Getting Worse By The Day

Experiencing jaw pain, especially on one side, suddenly after waking up one day is an alarming situation. Your jaw may hurt on either side, be it left or right. It is not usually put under the category of an emergency; however, is a nuisance and may serve as an indicator of an underlying health condition that you might want to check upon.

There are multiple reasons linked with jaw pain, especially if it is on the dominant side. You must get rid of the trigger for relief. Your jaw is a delicate part; read this blog piece to know
the reasons behind the jaw pain on one side for a better understanding of this situation.

Common Causes of Jaw Pain On One Side Of The Mouth

Tumors or Cysts
It is actually the most common reason for pain on one side of your jaw. A cyst or tumor growth are masses that often contain fluid in them. However, it is not usual for a cyst or even tumors to emerge on your jaw. But we cannot completely rule this out.
Some kinds of tumors or cyst-like growth are cancerous in nature and significantly impact the health of your oral cavity. They destroy mouth tissues and the boney structures in them. You must notify the dentist if there is any sign of a cystic growth, patch or a lump of red or white color, bleeding sore, swelling inside the jaw, or extra tissue growth around the teeth.

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD)
TMJ disorder causes improper functioning of this joint and is the most viable reason for pain attacks on one side of the jaw. The temporomandibular joint joins the jaw bone with the skull. It is a disc structure present inside it, separating the bones from one another, and aiding in the movement of the jaw properly.

When any sort of damage or misalignment because of trauma takes place, it results in pain. Few other symptoms may also appear like earaches, popping sounds on one or both sides of the jaw or headaches.

Teeth grinding, or a phenomenon also known as bruxism is one of the leading reasons for a painful jaw. It has no relation to the teeth movement you do while chewing or eating. However, it is linked to unusual unconscious teeth grinding or clenching. Many suffering from this disease/condition – bruxism grind their teeth during sleep, which causes:

  • severe teeth damage
  • gum infections
  • painful jaw joints

Teeth grinding at night is much worse than daytime conscious grinding. This is because your natural reflexes stop working and do not protect you while you are sleeping. This means that the grinding time can aggravate.

Most of the patients wake up with jaw pain on one side of the face; it can be either left or right, along with soreness and discomfort. The main reasons behind teeth grinding are as follows:

  • stress
  • anxiety
  • drugs
  • caffeine

Sinus Infection – Sinusitis
Sinusitis or nasal inflammation is a common cause of jaw pain on one side, be it right or left. It is mostly a result of allergies and cold episodes. We have sinus cavities behind the face, and when those go under, inflammation often causes pain in either both or one side of your jaw.

You may as well observe signs such as green or yellow mucus flow, nasal congestion, fatigue, pressure on the face, and pain in the facial area with sinusitis. Talk to a doctor if the signs remain consistent for more than 1 week.

Dental Troubles
Mostly, single side jaw pain is due to dental issues like cavities, gum abscesses, wisdom teeth growth, teeth grinding or clenching, periodontal disease, etc.

If a dental issue is a reason why there is jaw pain on one side of your mouth, it will show up other signs such as sensitivity of teeth, foul or bad breath, also known as halitosis, mouth sores, bleeding and painful gums, bump in the roof of your mouth – the palate, or pain while chewing and swallowing, etc.

A Tooth Abscess
Another common of the reason behind this painful jaw and face is a tooth abscess. It is an infection that develops when the dental pulp containing the sensitive nerves, tissues, and blood vessels gets exposed to bacteria. When this type of infection multiplies, worsens, and reaches the gum and bone inside the mouth, it results in a painful trigger in the oral cavity and sore jaw.


Jaw pain on one side or both is an issue that must be dealt with immediately. You can always go for multiple remedies, such as using ice chips for cooling down the inflammation or asking for OTC pain medications for relief.

Moreover, Massage therapy of the gums works wonders too. If none of the remedies seem like working out for you, why don’t you give the dentists from Nimmi Shine Dental a call? We will make sure to cater to every problem and devise a solution.

Dr. Joseph Mara

Dr. Joseph Mara

For more than 19 years, Dr. Joseph Mara has been a leading dentist in San Diego, providing affordable, gentle, and honest dental care. Driven by a commitment to patient’s trust and satisfaction, he undergoes continuous education and specialized training in oral implantology and endodontics. At his practice – Nimmi Shine Dental, convenience and comfort are paramount. Utilizing advanced technology such as the Vatech PaX-i3D Scanner and Computer Guided Implant Surgery, the clinic emphasizes efficiency and overall patient well-being. Call us today at (858) 999-8550 to schedule a consultation with our expert dentist.


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