Common Dental Causes of Orofacial Pain

TMJ Dentist Hackensack, NJ

refers to any pain that is felt in the mouth, jaws or face. This common condition affects many adult dental patients and can be a frustrating issue as the source usually varies from person to person. Almost every case of orofacial pain originates in the mouth and is caused by dental issues.

Orofacial pain can occur anywhere above the neck, including the front of the ears, behind the ears, below the eye line and within the oral cavity. Some conditions that cause orofacial pain can extend all the way up to the temples on either side of the head.

What is causing my orofacial pain?

There is no one reason why you may be experiencing orofacial pain. In fact, it could be a combination of a few issues that stem from the oral cavity. The following is a list of potential causes of orofacial pain.


This infection of the pulp (the tissue deep inside tooth roots) can cause a radiating pain that starts in the jaw and reaches all the way up to the temples. It may be a sudden, sharp pain or a dull, persistent pain that lasts for days. This pain will usually get worse and worse as the infection spreads. However, once the infection has reached the nerves, the patient may feel no pain at all.


Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, or TMD, is a condition that is characterized by pain in the jaw joint hinges. TMD is often caused by malocclusion, otherwise known as a bad bite. When the teeth do not fit properly together, the mouth muscles and temporomandibular joints have to work extra hard to help the teeth to do their job.

Dental abscess

Orofacial pain caused by a dental abscess is usually sharp and can be caused by an event such as biting down on the affected tooth. This pain is often felt in the cheek and behind the ear on the side where the abscess resides.

Tooth decay

Even a simple cavity can cause a toothache that translates into orofacial pain. Thankfully, having that cavity diagnosed, cleaned and filled will rid the patient of any pain fairly quickly.

Gum disease

This common condition affects many adults. Gum disease is caused by an infection of the gum tissue, usually from periods of poor oral health. Those with diabetes may experience more frequent gum disease. If gum disease is left untreated, it can devolve into periodontal disease. This destructive infection can irreversibly damage gum tissue and even the jawbone. Periodontal disease can cause pulsating pain that usually originates at the front of the face.


Dental damage and TMJ fatigue from teeth grinding cause many instances of orofacial pain. Adult patients who tend to grind and clench their teeth usually do so unconsciously at night while sleeping. However, one of the symptoms of bruxism is a dull headache at the temples and behind the ears during the day.

Cure your orofacial pain

No matter the source of the pain, we can help you get to the bottom of what is causing your orofacial pain. Call our office today to set up an appointment if you are experiencing any unpleasant dental or facial symptoms.

Request an appointment here: or call Rolando Cibischino D.M.D. at (201) 204-1355 for an appointment in our Hackensack office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: TMJ Dentist in Hackensack, NJ.

Recent Posts

Tips To Help Alleviate TMJ Disorder

TMJ, or the temporomandibular joint, can be a painful disorder that makes simple tasks like chewing uncomfortable and unpleasant. While it can be difficult to determine why a person is experiencing pain in this joint, there are ways that they can be managed, often without invasive procedures. Pain is often experienced in the jaw or…

4 Tips For Dealing With Orofacial Pain

The phrase "orofacial pain disorders" refers to signs of discomfort and dysfunction in the head and neck area. Orofacial pain includes discomfort in the joints, muscles, or nerves in the head, neck, face, mouth, gums, or teeth. In addition, some persons report discomfort in their ears, eyes, sinuses, cheeks, or side of the head, while…

Treatment Options For Orofacial Pain

Orofacial pain, just like any other type of pain, can be grueling and hard to deal with. Thankfully, the world of medicine continues to evolve, and there are plenty of treatment options that can be explored.When people experience orofacial pain, they are likely going to want to consult with an oral surgeon, dental specialist or…

A TMJ Dentist Explains Why More Women Suffer From TMJ Than Men

A TMJ dentist focuses on treating temporomandibular joint disorder. Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ disorder, is a condition that occurs when the socket that connects your lower jaw and skull is misaligned or out of place. TMJ disorder is known to be commonly associated with constant headaches, migraines, ringing in the ears, teeth grinding and…

Recent Posts

What To Expect When Getting Veneers

What To Expect When Getting Veneers

Dental veneers can restore the look and shape of teeth, covering a variety of imperfections. The procedure usually involves several steps in appointments spread out over a few weeks. Patients first consult with the dentist to determine whether the treatment is the right choice, before the veneers are created and fitted to the patient’s mouth.Veneers…

Questions To Ask At Your Dental Implants Consultation

Questions To Ask At Your Dental Implants Consultation

Deciding to get dental implants can be nerve-racking and exciting at the same time. Knowing as much as you can about the procedure can help clear up any apprehension. These restorations are durable and lasting. Understanding what to do while talking and chewing will be helpful. If you want to learn some pointers about speaking…