Jaw pain can be attributed to a number of possible causes and can be accompanied by other symptoms as well. If you’re experiencing jaw pain, it’s important to seek medical attention to determine the cause and get treatment. Here are eight common causes of jaw pain and their corresponding remedies:
The temporomandibular joint is located in your lower jaw near where you chew, and its job is to open and close smoothly while chewing food.
If there’s a misalignment or wear-and-tear on this joint, it can lead to painful symptoms such as clicking when opening or closing the mouth; limited movement, earaches; headaches; neck stiffness; or difficulty chewing food.
Treatment for TMJ includes avoiding triggers like stress, sleeping with the head elevated at night, using a tongue depressor during sleep if snoring is an issue, and wearing an over-the-counter mouthguard. Over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen can also help with the pain.
2. Tooth Decay & Infection
If you’re not brushing or flossing regularly, then bacteria will build up around your teeth and gums, which could lead to tooth decay over time. When this happens, there’s a good chance that other health problems may arise as well.
To prevent tooth decay and infection, brush twice daily for two minutes each time using fluoride toothpaste, floss once daily at night to remove food particles between the teeth, use an antibacterial mouthwash, cut back on sugary or starchy foods because they feed bacteria in the mouth, and schedule regular dental checkups.
If you grind or clench your teeth at night, then it’s known as bruxism. One of the most common symptoms of bruxism is jaw pain on one side. If you think you may be clenching or grinding your teeth at night, try wearing a mouth guard (over-the-counter or custom-made) that will keep your jaw in place while you sleep to prevent any further damage to the teeth jaw joints.
Otherwise, consult with your dentist about additional remedies for preventing this nighttime behavior.
4. Muscle Spasms
There are muscles in the face that control the opening and closing movements of the lower jaw near where food is chewed. When these muscles spasm, it can cause pain in the jaw. This is especially true when muscle spasms are caused by stress.
There are topical creams that can help relax these muscles temporarily, but it’s best to let this condition go away on its own with time since continuing to sleep or eat with this discomfort will only make it worse.
An ulcer in your mouth is often very painful and causes swelling in your gums, making it difficult for you to chew food. Unlike tooth decay which leads to milder symptoms like bad breath, an ulcer requires immediate medical attention.
Most of the time, you’ll need medication for pain relief followed by antibiotics if the ulcer was caused by bacteria or anti-inflammatory medicine if it came about due to biting your cheek or tongue by accident. Eating soft foods for a while will also help the healing process.
6. Third Molars
Third molars are known as wisdom teeth that pop up in your mouth around the age of 18. They’re located near the rear edge of your lower jaw and can cause serious damage if they grow improperly, become impacted, or remain undiscovered until it’s too late.
If you’re an adult who has never experienced any problems with third molars before, then it’s best to schedule an appointment for wisdom teeth removal and get them removed before they cause serious jaw pain.
Emotional or physical stress is a common cause of jaw pain, so take time to relax by taking up yoga, meditation, or deep breathing during the day.
Other natural remedies for reducing stress include hot tea with milk and honey herbal pills that contain magnesium, calcium, vitamin B12 vitamins which are all good for the bones in your body.
- Dislocated jaw — Visit an emergency room to have your jaw relocated back into place because it will only get worse over time if you don’t seek medical attention immediately;
- Dental abscess — A painful sign of infection caused by bacteria invading the tooth pulp near the root;
- Mandible fracture — Sudden and severe trauma like a car accident can lead to a break in the lower jaw.
The causes and remedies of jaw pain vary greatly, so it’s important to see your doctor if you’re experiencing any symptoms. A few quick things that may help relieve the discomfort in the meantime include hot tea with milk and honey; natural pills containing magnesium, calcium, vitamin B12 vitamins which are all good for bones; or topical creams.
In conclusion, there are many causes and remedies for jaw pain. If you’re experiencing any symptoms of jaw pain, it’s important to see your doctor as soon as possible, so they can determine the cause and get treatment.