Chewing pain is a condition with many causes and manifestations. Generally, it is related to the so-called temporomandibular joint disorder. The condition comes with a painful experience localized in the areas around the ears, the temple and goes down to the cheeks and neck. Often the condition is linked with locking and popping of joints. The other types of painful manifestations during chewing are aggravated by increased sensitivity to heat or cold or other mouth or teeth problems, such as: gingivitis, caries and periodontitis. Chewing pain can also result from an inflammation of the trigeminal nerve.


What diseases can be associated with chewing pain?

The main diseases related to the symptom are the following:

  • Arthritis
  • Arthrosis
  • Heart attack
  • Bruxism
  • Sialolithiasis
  • Caries
  • Disorder or temporomandibular dysfunction
  • Hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol)
  • Gingivitis
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Otitis
  • Periodontitis
  • Mumps
  • Polymyalgia rheumatica
  • Pulpitis
  • Sialadenitis
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Sinusitis
  • Tetanus
  • Cancer of the salivary glands
  • Trauma

Remember that this is not an exhaustive list and it is highly recommended to consult your doctor, in case of symptom’s persistence.


What is the therapy for chewing pain?

In case of occurred pain when chewing the referencing physicians are: the dentist, the gnathologist, the maxillofacial surgeon and the otolaryngologist. A treatment is defined, only after a detailed examination and diagnosis of the underlying cause.

In transient cases for the purpose of pain relief, anti-inflammatory drugs may be taken and cold or hot compresses applied. If the pain is less intense, it can be helpful for the jaw muscles to be relaxed. People with bruxism may find relief by using a night bite. It could also be useful not to consume hard or gummy foods, chewing gums and to avoid all foods that require prolonged chewing.


When is most likely to contact your doctor in case of chewing pain?

In cases where the chewing pain occurs after a trauma, it is necessary to seek medical attention at an emergency room, in order to determine whether there is a fracture. In all other cases when the pain persists and limits the quality of life, it is recommended that a family doctor is visited so they can perform the most suitable examinations.