One-Sided Jaw Pain: What Causes it & How Can it Be Fixed?

a person holding their mouth because they have jaw pain on one side

If you’re experiencing jaw pain in Bonita Springs, you’re not alone. While sudden discomfort can cause anyone alarm, you’ll be pleased to know that yours likely won’t be in the emergency realm of receiving treatment. In fact, there are several different causes for this type of pain, with the main note to take away being to be mindful of other symptoms you’re experiencing in addition to the jaw pain. Read on to learn what could be causing your discomfort and how you can address it.

3 Common Causes of One-Sided Jaw Pain

While in most cases one-sided jaw pain isn’t something that should immediately mean a trip to the ER (unless of course it’s because of trauma), it’s always a good idea to receive medical attention as soon as possible if your pain is affecting your daily life or ability to breathe and eat. Otherwise, it may be a result of these three common causes below, which can be addressed with the help of your dentist.

TMJ Disorder

TMJ disorder, also known as TMD, is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joints that connect your jawbone to your skull. If the bite is misaligned or one of your joints is sustaining more pressure and tension every time you open and close your mouth due to tissue or muscle damage, it could result in one side of your jaw hurting more than the other. Some other signs to look out for include earaches, jaw tenderness, clicking or popping when you open or close your mouth, and lockjaw.


Sinusitis is the inflammation in the nasal cavities due to allergies or a cold, causing the sinuses behind your cheeks to become inflamed and painful. It can occur on one or both sides of the face and is often accompanied with mucus drainage from the nose, fatigue, difficulty smelling or tasting, and facial pain and pressure.

Dental Problems

Pain on one side of your mouth or jaw can also indicate an oral health problem, like a tooth infection, cavity, wisdom tooth growth, or it could be an effect of grinding or clenching (also known as bruxism). If your one-sided jaw pain is a result of a dental problem, you’ll likely experience other symptoms as well, like tooth sensitivity, painful or bleeding gums, oral sores, chronic bad breath, or pain when chewing or swallowing.

Addressing Jaw Pain & Moving Forward

The next step in addressing your jaw pain is visiting your dentist to receive a thorough examination of your facial structure and oral cavity. This will cross off or confirm whether your pain is being caused by sinusitis, dental problems, or TMJ disorder. If it’s a result of sinusitis, in many cases, discomfort may clear up on its own or with the aid of allergy medication. If it’s due to dental problems, your dentist will be able to locate and treat the issue to relieve your pain, and if it’s TMJ disorder, they may create a customized occlusal splint to adjust your bite and ease unnecessary added tension caused to one of your temporomandibular joints.

While you may feel like you can live with a little jaw pain, it’s important to get unwanted signs of oral health issues addressed so you can not only experience relief, but also ensure that they don’t get worse with time. That way, you can continue getting the most out of life and enjoying your smile to the fullest.

About the Practice

At Pelican Landing Dental, we’re focused on providing our patients with fast, comfortable pain relief. That’s why we offer same-day emergency dental appointments and use the latest technology to ensure accurate diagnoses and long-lasting treatment plans. We’re also proud to accept dental insurance and provide comprehensive solutions to a wide array of dental issues under one roof, including TMJ therapy and restorative dentistry. For questions or to schedule a same-day appointment, visit our website or call 239-948-2111.