There are many different types of pain one can experience, with the most common being those that affect the back. Another common complaint doctors received is jaw pain.
When your jaw hurts on the left side, it may indicate a minor issue or a more serious dental problem. In severe cases, arthritis is to blame. However, the most likely reason you experience pain on the left side of your jaw is due to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, or TMD, The Jaw Health Resource notes.
Temporomandibular Joint 101
The TMJ, more commonly referred to as the jaw joint, consists of bone located beneath the mouth, or the mandible, and the bone just right above your mouth, known as the maxilla. This part of your body has the responsibility of allowing you to open and close your mouth, which you usually do when chewing, eating, or speaking.
Because the TMJ is one of the most frequently used joints in the body, it can sustain injuries and damages, such as TMD.
Temporomandibular Joint Disorders 101
When your TMJ becomes swollen, irritated, or inflamed, it can indicate TMD. Overuse is the most common reason for this, especially when you have a chronic gum chewing habits.
TMD can exhibit itself through various symptoms, including right and left side jaw pain, dizziness, nausea, popping or creaking sounds, tenderness, and pain radiating near your ear canal. In more severe cases, it can lead to you having extreme difficulties opening and closing your mouth, or even experiencing lockjaw.
What to Do
The first step to relieving the pain in you feel on the left side of your jaw is to rest the jaw itself. Stop your gum chewing habits and eating hard candies, and eat soft foods instead. Use ice packs for minimizing inflammation. Apply heat for jaw muscle relaxation.
When the pain does not alleviate, consult your doctor right away. You may have to take pain relievers or receive a referral to a specialist who can provide you with a medical device to treat your TMD.