Does your jaw hurt? Do you want to discover the source of your jaw pain? At Appolon Dental Group, we treat jaw pain that stems from all kinds of issues. Our focus is on treating the cause of your pain, not the symptoms. That way, we can treat it for good.

Many people and doctors jump to TMJ as the cause of jaw pain without looking further into it. While TMJ is a likely cause, others are worth considering before deciding on TMJ treatment. We explore all the options before prescribing treatment. 

Use this as a guide to learn the 5 common causes of jaw pain and how we can treat them.

handsome young man with jaw pain


An untreated cavity could be the source of your jaw pain. When you leave a cavity, your tooth continues to decay. The decay eventually reaches your root and turns into an infection. This infection can spread to your jawbone and cause immense jaw pain. If a cavity is the source of your pain, you likely noticed it when it was smaller and left it untreated until it reached this point.

To prevent jaw pain from cavities, take care of your teeth. You should brush them twice per day, floss, use mouthwash, and visit your Manhattan dentist twice per year.

If you have jaw pain caused by an old cavity, we can help. First, we’ll identify the tooth that was the source of your pain. At this point, we may not be able to save your tooth. If that’s the case, we’ll extract the tooth and give you an antibiotic to treat the infection in your jaw. 

Getting treatment for a bone infection in your jaw is essential. If you don’t, the infection can quickly spread throughout your body. But, once we clear your infection, we can replace your missing tooth with a dental implant

Takeaway: Untreated cavities can lead to a dangerous jawbone infection. We’ll extract the tooth, treat the infection, and replace the tooth.

Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding could be another source of jaw pain. Medically, this is called bruxism, and many different things can cause it, but one of the primary causes is stress. If the stress is temporary, your teeth grinding will likely stop with the stress. However, prolonged stress can lead to teeth-grinding habits that are harder to control.

Besides just jaw pain, teeth grinding can have other consequences, like broken teeth, chipped teeth, and if you grind long enough, worn teeth that become short and painful. 

First, pay attention to your mouth during the day. If you find yourself grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw, make a conscious effort to stop. Stopping nighttime bruxism is more challenging, though. You may need a mouthguard while you sleep until your situation has ended or your grinding habit has ceased. Grinding may be a sign of TMJ disorder. So if you grind your teeth, come into the office for an evaluation before deciding on a course of action. 

We can restore your teeth to their original glory if you damage your teeth while grinding. Depending on the level of damage, we may be able to use dental crowns, but in other cases, we’ll use porcelain veneers to build your teeth back up and prevent further damage to your natural tooth. We’ll also provide you with a mouth guard, so you don’t damage your cosmetic dentistry with nighttime grinding. 

Takeaway: Teeth grinding can cause jaw pain and tooth damage. However, it might be TMJ, so come in for an evaluation. 

Gum Disease

Like an untreated cavity, gum disease can cause jaw pain when left to fester. Gum disease is when bacteria in your mouth collects below your gum line and becomes infected. Eventually, it’ll spread to your teeth, causing tooth decay and loss and infecting your jawbone. Gum disease is dangerous because it can cause much more significant health issues such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

Prevent gum disease by practicing good oral hygiene and cutting back on sugary foods and drinks.

If you have gum disease, you’ll notice that your gums bleed when you brush your teeth and that they’re dark red, swollen, and tender. In many cases, brushing your teeth won’t clear the problem because the infection has already grown below your gumline. Come into the office for gum disease treatment before the infection gets worse. We’ll treat it with a cleaning and anti-biotics.

Takeaway: Untreated gum disease can spread to your jawbone, causing pain and more severe health problems. We can treat it with a cleaning and anti-biotics.

Wisdom Teeth

If your wisdom teeth are going to come in, they’ll most likely do so between ages 17 and 25. When they come in, it can be painful, and they can cause your other teeth to move and shift. Still, it’s good to get an evaluation, so you don’t accidentally miss a health issue you thought was wisdom teeth. 

Sometimes wisdom teeth can be in an improper position to come into your mouth. If this is the case, we’ll need to remove them.

Takeaway: Wisdom teeth can cause jaw pain. It’s best to make an appointment with your New York dentist to determine if it’s really your wisdom teeth and if they can safely come in. 

TMJ Disorder

A common cause of jaw pain is TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder. It’s a condition caused by a misaligned jaw joint that causes many symptoms.

  • Chronic jaw pain
  • Irregular jaw motion
  • Jaw popping or clicking
  • Toothaches
  • Tooth wear, chipping, and cracking
  • Bite that feels wrong
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Earache
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Back pain
  • Numbness and tingling in the fingers

Sometimes, TMJ pain can go away on its own if it is caused by a temporary situation, like undue stress or an accident that caused trauma to your jaw joint. Other times, it’s a disorder that you’ll need to be treated by a professional. 

Dr. Karthilde Appolon is a TMJ dentist in Midtown Manhattan if you need TMJ treatment.

First, we’ll determine your optimal jaw position and prescribe a custom orthotic that keeps your jaw in place. If your symptoms are eliminated, Dr. Appolon will suggest a full-mouth reconstruction to make the new jaw position permanent. 

Takeaway: Your jaw pain might be due to TMJ disorder. Come into Appolon Dental Group for TMJ treatment. 

Get Pain Relief in Midtown Manhattan, New York

If you’re experiencing jaw pain, don’t wait to get it treated. Make an appointment by calling (212) 557-8668 or contact us online