Jaw Claudication: This is pain that is experienced while manipulating the jaw or while chewing. It is a symptom of a disease and individuals who experience this should get in touch with their primary care physician for diagnosis and treatment. If this pain has an onset that is quite sudden and does not resolve, then emergency pain management is available to make individuals feel more comfortable. This may be provided at an emergency or clinic setting.
With this disorder, when an individual chews or moves the jaw in movements that are wide, then pain may spike along the face and jaw. One possible cause is impingement of the nerve, where a facial nerve is trapped and transmits pain signals anytime the jaw does move because of nerve pressure. Normally, the source of the pain is “giant cell arteritis” which is inflammation of the vessels of the blood system. Once these vessels are providing blood to the jaw, individuals can feel the jaw pain because the muscles are not receiving enough blood.
When a physician does the workup for jaw claudication, the patients will need to give a total history about the pain, in order to gather more precise facts about the situations when it develops. A physical exam will be done and the physician might ask the individual patient to move the jaw as well as to mimic chewing. Imaging studies may be used to examine any problems structural with the jaw as well as other medical tests can be considered – dependent on the physician’s suspicions about the pains cause.
Having jaw pain may be very distressing, making eating a pain and not a pleasure and can also potentially contribute to weight loss because of appetite that is suppressed. The pain may also be linked with headaches as well as pain surrounding the eyes, dependent on the origins of the problem. Obtaining treatment can resolve the pain or provide the patients with tools for pain management. This is the reason that these patients should not delay or avoid treatment.