Our jaws are an integral part of our facial structure and perform many functions, many of which most people aren’t even aware about. If you ever suffered from jaw pain, you understand how debilitating it can be. You may have tried to find the best of the many jaw pain remedies that might help you speak, eat and continue your daily routine.
Jaw pain that begins in one of the jaws but radiates to other parts of the jaw or the face can be a serious condition. Prior to learning about jaw pain remedies, one must understand all the causes that result in it. Also, due to the large number of overlapping structures in the jaws, many a time, it is difficult to pinpoint one particular cause.
Causes of Jaw Pain
Jaw pain can arise either in your upper jaw, the lower jaw or the jaw joint, also called as the Temporomandibular Joint(TMJ). A majority of jaw pain reported by people are due to a TMJ disorder and hence, jaw pain remedies will be aimed at resolving this.
Here are some common causes of jaw pain:
- Temporomandibular Joint Disorder(TMD)
- Sinus Issues
- Tooth Ache
- Teeth Grinding and Clenching
- Neuropathic Pain
- Tension Headaches
- Salivary Gland Disorders
- Ear Infections
- Autoimmune conditions such as lupus
- Stress and Fatigue
Jaw Pain Remedies
Jaw pain remedies depend upon which of these reasons mentioned above is the cause for your jaw pain. While there are some jaw pain home remedies that one can try for immediate relief, most times, the underlying cause will have to be treated medically for complete, long-term relief.
Immediate jaw pain home remedies include:
- Heat or Ice Packs
This is one of the earliest and the easiest of jaw pain remedies that you can do even at home. You can use a readily available ice pack or wrap ice in a plastic bag and apply to the affected area of the face for about 10 minutes.
You can do the same thing with a moist heat pack as well. The moist heat helps the stressed or contracted muscles of the jaw to relax, thereby providing relief.
- Over-The-Counter Pain killers
Many a time, jaw pain remedies include over-the-counter pain killers or anti-inflammatory medications that help relieve the pain and the discomfort.
- Massage the Affected Areas
A gentle massage on the affected area using your index finger and middle finger using circular motion helps to relieve the muscle pain. This is particularly helpful for jaw joint-related pain and also relieves tension in the neck.
- Eat Soft Foods
This is one of the most commonly followed jaw pain remedies. Eating soft food reduces the stresses on your jaws as well as the TMJ, thereby relieving discomfort without adding to the existing problem.
Individuals who have TMD issues are advised to eat soft foods for 5 to 7 days until the pain is relieved.
- Relaxing the Jaw
Practising relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing is very beneficial for relaxing the muscles and reducing their soreness. This is also advised for individuals with jaw pain.
Relaxation methods also help improve sleep quality and further help in relieving discomfort, especially if your jaw pain is caused due to muscle strain.
Medical Treatment for Jaw Pain
Due to the complexity of the jaw joint and the number of overlapping factors that can cause jaw pain in an individual, jaw pain remedies suggested initially are often non-invasive in nature. These help ease the patient’s discomfort while giving the doctor time to understand the cause of their pain.
- If the individual’s jaw pain is a result of a dental infection, the affected tooth is immediately treated by a root canal procedure or tooth extraction.
- In most cases, jaw pain is a result of a TMJ disorder and the first step is to give the patient a mouthguard. A mouthguard is a customised tray-like protector that is worn on the upper and lower teeth. This helps provide the much-needed relief to the strained joint and its muscles, thereby relieving jaw pain.
- Muscle relaxants are medications that relieve muscle stress and strain, providing comfort to the patient by relieving pain in the jaw. These are useful in cases where the muscles are the cause of jaw pain or are affected due to other causes.
- Steroid injections are effective jaw pain remedies in cases where the jaw pain is due to severe swelling
- If the jaw pain is due to a viral infection such as Herpes Zoster, then an effective antiviral therapy is recommended
- Quite often, jaw pain is due to poor ergonomics or poor posture. This leads to strain to the jaw, neck and back muscles. Correcting posture can help relieve this discomfort and pain
- If the jaw pain is due to malaligned teeth, orthodontic treatment is very useful and effective and serves as a long-term solution
Jaw pain with associated neck pain and cluster headaches is very common. The real problem lies in the failure of people to realise the cause of their pain. Our dental teams at various Sabka Dentist clinics are experts in providing jaw pain remedies and treatments, based on the cause of your jaw pain. Visit us today!