TMJ is often known as the great imposter because it is often confused with other conditions. In fact, people who present with TMJ symptoms like face pain are often diagnosed with other conditions before they find a Blue Bell neuromuscular dentist who can help give them relief.

However, sometimes your face pain may be something else. That’s why it’s important to have these conditions ruled out to make sure that you are getting the right treatment for your condition.

woman sitting on her couch with jaw pain

Abscessed Tooth

An abscessed tooth is when the bacteria living in a cavity manage to penetrate into the tooth pulp, and from there spread into your gums and bones. It can result in facial pain, jaw pain, or tooth pain. If it’s not treated, you can lose not just your tooth, but bone and multiple other teeth. It can even be fatal.

Sinus Infection

Nearly 30 million people a year are diagnosed with sinus infections, which is almost certainly only a fraction of the full sufferers. Fortunately, most sinus infections are viral and will pass in about a week or so. If you suspect a sinus infection is causing pain that has lasted more than a week, is accompanied by a high fever, or if you feel severely ill, you should see a doctor.


Trauma can be either an injury or surgery. Sometimes pain lasts longer than expected or can seem to go away and recur. If you think you have pain from surgery or an injury that is lasting long after your doctor said it should be gone, talk to your doctor.