Jaw Pain and Wisdom Teeth: Is There a Connection?

jaw xray

The Connection Between Jaw Pain and Wisdom Teeth


Jaw pain can be a frustrating and uncomfortable condition. Unfortunately, it’s often caused by complications with wisdom teeth, which tend to come in late or become impacted. Understanding the connection between jaw pain and wisdom teeth is key to finding relief from this common issue. In this article we’ll discuss what wisdom teeth are, how they cause jaw pain, when to seek medical attention and potential treatments for such an issue. 

Understanding Wisdom Teeth 

Wisdom teeth are the last molars that adults typically get at some point in their 20s—though they sometimes appear much earlier or later. They’re called “wisdom” because they usually arrive when people have become wise enough to recognize their value as a source of strength and protection for the jawbone. 

Unfortunately, wisdom teeth don’t always fit in the mouth properly. When this happens, they can become impacted, pushing against other teeth or growing at an angle that causes pain and other issues in the jaw. 

Understanding Jaw Pain 

Jaw pain is usually caused by inflammation due to poor posture or grinding one’s teeth—especially during sleep—but it’s also important to consider whether wisdom teeth may be causing the issue. Jaw pain related to wisdom teeth can range from mild discomfort to severe throbbing or sharp pains that come and go throughout the day or night. It can even cause headaches and earaches if left untreated. 

Exploring the Connection Between Wisdom Teeth and Jaw Pain 

When wisdom teeth become impacted, they can cause the jawbone to shift or become dislocated. This can lead to inflammation of the nerves in the jaw, which is known as trigeminal neuralgia. The nerve endings in this area are very sensitive and can cause extreme pain when subjected to impact from impacted wisdom teeth. 

Common Symptoms of Jaw Pain Related to Wisdom Teeth 

The most common symptom of jaw pain related to wisdom teeth is an intense throbbing or sharp pains located near where the wisdom tooth would be located. This pain may come and go throughout the day or night, depending on how severe it is. Other symptoms include headaches, earaches, difficulty opening one’s mouth wide or difficulty chewing. 

When to Seek Medical Attention for Jaw Pain and Wisdom Teeth Issues 

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Your dentist can take an X-ray of your mouth, which will help them determine whether or not your wisdom teeth are causing the issue. If so, they can recommend treatments that may help reduce the pain and discomfort you’re experiencing. 

Possible Treatments for Jaw Pain Caused by Wisdom Teeth 

Depending on the severity of your situation, there are a few different treatments that may be recommended by your dentist to help treat jaw pain caused by wisdom teeth. These include medication for reducing inflammation in the area, splinting or braces to help promote better alignment of the teeth and jaw, or in some cases, surgery to remove the impacted wisdom tooth. 


Jaw pain caused by impacted wisdom teeth can be incredibly painful and uncomfortable. Fortunately, there are a few different treatments that can help reduce this discomfort and improve your overall oral health. It’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you think your jaw pain might be related to wisdom teeth issues so that you can get the appropriate treatment and relief from your symptoms.