Lower jaw pain


Lower jaw pain can be triggered by a variety of factors and also vary greatly in intensity.

However, every form of pain in the jaw has one thing in common: they are always extremely stressful for the patient concerned and severely limit his or her life.
Eating, drinking and even speaking can be increasingly hindered by the lower jaw pain.

Find out more here: These are the causes of jaw pain

Possible causes of lower jaw pain

Tooth decay or colloquially "mouth rot" is one of the most widespread diseases of the teeth and the gums and can lead to severe lower jaw pain as soon as teeth of the lower jaw are affected.

Read more on the topic: Caries

Since tooth decay is a disease that is favored by sugary foods, the bacteria that cause it belong to a species that requires carbohydrates to a particularly high degree to survive. These are so-called cariogenic streptococci. In order to adhere to the surface of the teeth, they have to secrete a sticky, sugar-rich secretion.

In addition, the bacteria use the sugar (especially glucose) to survive. The bacterial metabolism creates waste materials (Lactic acid) which damage the tooth substance and are considered to be the cause of tooth decay. The lactic acid attacks the tooth enamel and dissolves it.

In the case of inadequate oral hygiene, tooth damage is inevitable.

Read more on the topic: Oral hygiene

A superficial caries does not lead directly to lower jaw pain, but as soon as the carious defect penetrates deep into the tooth and has a negative effect on the nerve fibers of the tooth, lower jaw pain occurs.

Inflammation of the roots

Untreated, deep tooth decay is the most common cause of tooth root inflammation, which can lead to severe lower jaw pain in the teeth of the lower jaw.

Read more on the subject: Root inflammation

The tooth decay "is working"Goes into the depths of the tooth and damages the pulp there (pulp) and the nerve fibers embedded in it.

The bacteria in the depth of the tooth and lead to inflammatory processes, severe toothache and the progressive death of the tooth.

The perception of lower jaw pain occurs both with carious defects and with tooth root inflammation via the large lower jaw nerve (the Inferior alveolar nerve sends the signal to the Mandibular nerve further).

Read more on the topic: Causes of a root inflammation

Muscular problems / tension

In some patients, lower jaw pain is caused by tension in the masticatory muscles.

Nocturnal teeth grinding and / or too violent clenching of the teeth of the upper and lower jaw leads to incorrect stress on the jaw joint, which can lead to increasing tension in the masticatory muscles.

Read more on the topic: Grinding teeth

These patients can remedy the situation with a so-called functional splint, which is primarily intended to be worn during the night.
An aid that can be built into everyday life is to put the tongue on the roof of the mouth, just behind the upper incisors.
This leads to a lowering of the lower jaw, relaxation of the masticatory muscles and ultimately to a reduction in lower jaw pain.

Lower jaw pain after wisdom tooth surgery

Every surgical procedure also means a wound that then has to heal. Molars and thus also the wisdom teeth have several, often curved roots that are firmly anchored in the bone. If the teeth are now extracted, the bone has to regenerate in the affected areas. Wound healing pain, especially in relation to the gums, is completely normal. They are usually expressed as a throbbing or knocking and are very uncomfortable.

The pain can radiate into the jaw and lead to mouth opening problems or difficulty swallowing. As the wound healing progresses, the accompanying pain usually also subsides. To reduce the pain in the jaw, painkillers prescribed by the doctor, such as ibuprofen, can be taken. Furthermore, the cheek can be cooled from the outside to prevent swelling. Heat should be avoided in this case.

Read more on the topic: Inflammation after a wisdom tooth operation

Lower jaw pain after a cold

Jaw pain in general is common after a cold. However, they mostly affect the upper jaw, as the teeth are directly adjacent to the sinuses, which are usually inflamed with a cold. Pain in the lower jaw is not as common after a cold as in the upper jaw. However, it is possible that the infection has spread to the lower jaw. If the symptoms are still present several days after the cold has subsided, it is recommended to consult a doctor so that he can find out the cause of the pain.

Lower jaw pain after implant treatment

Wound healing pain, which usually manifests itself in a kind of throbbing or knocking, is completely normal after an implant has been placed. The implant is a foreign body and must first heal. The tissue has to regenerate. As soon as the wound has healed, the pain, which can often radiate into the jaw, should subside after 2-3 days.

The pain can also be relieved with a doctor-prescribed pain reliever such as ibuprofen. Cooling the affected area can prevent severe swelling. However, if the pain persists, the sensitive nerve running in the lower jaw (mandibular nerve) may have been irritated or even injured by the placement of the implant. If the pain lasts much longer, a doctor must be consulted to find out the cause.

Read more on the topic: Dental implant

Lower jaw pain with swollen lymph nodes

The combination of symptoms consisting of lower jaw pain with swollen lymph nodes can have various causes. It can be a pure sinus infection. Furthermore, there may be an inflammation of the temporomandibular joint, which radiates into the surrounding lymph nodes and the lower jaw. Swollen lymph nodes are also not uncommon with a cold. These are located below the ear and the lower jaw, as well as in the neck area and can thus trigger pain in the lower jaw, for example.

Other causes

In addition, inflammation of the large facial nerves can lead to lower jaw pain, which is particularly relevant in this context Facial nerve (among other things responsible for the facial muscles) and the big one Mandibular nerve, Mandibular nerve (responsible for the masticatory muscles).

Under certain circumstances, so-called trigeminal neuralgia may be present, which is extremely painful and can plunge the patient into deep psychological problems.

Also in the course of a Angina pectoris pain can arise that radiates over the neck and neck area to the lower jaw.

Figure lower jaw

Figure skull from the front and from the left (lower jaw blue)
  1. Lower jaw - Mandible
  2. Crown process -
    Coronoid process
  3. Lower jaw rest -
    Ramus mandibulae
  4. Mandible angle -
    Angulus mandibulae
  5. Upper jaw - Maxilla
  6. Zygomatic bone - Os zygomaticum
  7. Zygomatic arch -
    Arcus zygomaticus
  8. Temporomandibular joint -
    Articulatio temporomandibularis
  9. External ear canal -
    Meatus acousticus externus
  10. Temporal bone - Temporal bone
  11. Frontal bone - Frontal bone
  12. Chin hole - Mental foramen
  13. Eye socket - Orbit
  14. Upper jaw, alveolar process -
    Alveolar process

You can find an overview of all Dr-Gumpert images at: medical illustrations