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Dental pain is referred to different parts of the head and neck, which is why the teeth are often suspected in case of a sudden pain in the region. The wisdom teeth in our mouth, also called as third molars, are the most commonly extracted teeth around the world. The reason for this is simple: our jaws have evolved to be smaller than they were over thousands of years and now the wisdom teeth rarely have enough space to exist without causing problems.

There are a number of symptoms associated with the eruption and extraction of wisdom teeth but collarbone and shoulder pain are not typically among them.  Of course, the most common cause for collarbone and shoulder pain would be a physical injury. Some of the other common causes include:

  • Osteoarthritis

The clavicle is an ‘S’ shaped bone that joins the sternum to the shoulder. Wear and tear over the years can result in the development of osteoarthritis in one or both of the joints. This is a chronic condition which keeps deteriorating slowly with time. Some of the symptoms include pain, stiffness, and a limited range of movement.

The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs is used for the reduction of the symptoms. Corticosteroid injections may also be used to control the inflammation and in severe cases, surgery may be done to repair the affected joints.

  • Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

The space between the clavicle and the highest rib sees a lot of important nerves and blood vessels traverse through it. In certain conditions where the shoulder muscles are weak, the clavicle can shift downward and apply pressure on these nerves and blood vessels.

As a result, pain is referred to the clavicle and shoulder area even though there has not been any direct injury to them.

Other symptoms include discoloration of the hand or fingers, decrease in strength of the grip, tingling in the arm, weakness in the arm, and destruction of muscles of the arms and hand.

The treatment usually begins with physical therapy to increase the strength of the muscles but can require surgery as well.

  • Osteomyelitis

Pain and discomfort in the region of the clavicle and shoulder could also result from an infection of the bone. Osteomyelitis, as this condition is referred to, could be caused because of an open wound near the area, spread of infection from another part of the body, or a break in the skin over the collarbone.

Symptoms include swelling, redness, pain, pus formation, and fever.

The treatment includes the use of antibiotics, both intravenous to bring the infection under control and then oral antibiotics afterward. The duration of the medication is usually long, for about a month or more.

  • Cancer

There are certain types of cancerous growths that can affect the bones or spread to them. If cancer is believed to be the cause behind collarbone and shoulder pain then it is likely that the collarbone or one of the lymph nodes close to it has been affected as well.

Caner, if confirmed, is treated through a combination of chemotherapy drugs, radiation therapy, and surgery.

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