What Is A Jaw Infection and What Does it Feel Like

Jaw pain is very uncomfortable and usually needs the attention of a medical professional for diagnosis and treatment. If you have sudden jaw pain after eating something very hard, that is often temporary and should subside on its own. But sometimes, an infection called osteomyelitis can develop in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and is indicated by facial swelling, pain in the jaw and face, and fever. If treatment is not received in a timely manner, antibiotics may not be effective and part of the jaw bone can actually begin to die.

Jaw pain can lead to long-term damage so it is important to seek medical attention as soon as you notice that something is wrong. In the event that you have an abscess, your dentist can help relieve pain by draining the abscess and prescribing a round of antibiotics. Without proper care, the affected tooth may need to be extracted to prevent the infection from spreading deeper into the jaw bone.

Pain from a jaw infection can radiate down into the neck and up to the ears, head, and even the eyes. If you suspect that you have a jaw infection, some symptoms that you may experience include:

* Pain and/or swelling in the jaw, neck, or face
* Swollen, tender gum tissue
* Sensitivity to hot, cold, and sugar

Dental Abscess

When a dental cavity forms or a tooth is fractured, the bacterial infection can work its way through the enamel and dentin getting into the pulp of the tooth. The pulp is the tissue containing the nerves and blood flow in the canal of each tooth root. An abscess is a pocket of pus that forms at either the tip of or next to a tooth root. Caught early, an abscess can usually be drained and treated with antibiotics. If it is more severe, it may need to be treated with root canal therapy where an endodontist creates an access hole in the tooth and cleans out each canal to remove the infected pulp tissue.

A tooth abscess is typically quite painful and the pain it causes can radiate into your face and jaw, causing facial swelling, swollen lymph nodes, and even fever. You may develop a visible bump in the gum tissue beside the tooth. Without treatment, the bacteria from an abscess can get into your bloodstream and travel to other parts of your body, putting you at risk for other illnesses.

If the abscess ruptures, you will likely experience immediate relief from jaw pain but that relief is temporary because the pocket will refill so an abscess always requires treatment by a medical professional. If you allow the abscess to rupture and do not seek medical attention, the abscess will reform.

Your dentist may be able to treat certain conditions that affect the jaw including those that also affect the head and neck. If you need specialized care, they will refer you to a specialist such as an oral surgeon or otolaryngologist. Any jaw pain should be addressed by your dentist as soon as possible for diagnosis and either treatment or referral.

What is the Reason for Jaw Pain