The mouth is an important part of the body because we use it to eat and to communicate every day.
Every part of it; the teeth, the tongue, and the jaw play an important role in ensuring that your speech is audible and understandable to whomever you might be speaking to. Now, imagine you cannot talk or eat because it hurts to move your jaw. A real discomfort, right?
Jaw pain can be caused by so many factors ranging from genetics to jaw injury. However, many people are quick to jump to the conclusion that jaw pain is caused by eating too much sweet food and they assume that stopping the consumption of sweet things will automatically make the pain go away.
This is not totally true, and it is why dental centers like Crescent Park Dental and others work hard to enlighten their patients on the causes of Jaw pain, how to prevent it, how to treat it, and the need to see a doctor before it gets worse.
This article will discuss some essential things you should know about the condition. Read on to discover more.
Causes of Jaw Pain
Some causes of jaw pain include:
- Sinus infections
- Damage to the nerves
- Grinding your teeth at night
- Clenching of the jaw due to stress and anxiety
- Muscle pain from the joints that control the jaw
- Injuries to the jaw
- Dental surgery
- Tension headaches caused by stress
- Insomnia and fatigue
- Some mental health issues.
- Accidents, etc.
Symptoms of Jaw Pain
Some symptoms that might signify jaw pain include the following:
- Muscles and joints tenderness
- Ringing in the ear
- Severe and prolonged headaches
- Jaw locking
- Swelling on the face
How to Get Relief from Jaw Pain
If you are feeling some type of pain around your jaw area, the tips listed below may help you.
- Wrap a bag of ice in a thin cloth and apply it to the affected area for fifteen minutes. Take it off for ten minutes and reapply for another fifteen minutes till you feel the pain in your jaw ease up. You can also apply a warm washcloth to your jaw to relax your muscles and relieve pain.
- Massage the affected area, using your index finger and middle finger. Run the spot in a circular motion for two to three minutes, open your mouth, repeat the exercise and continue the process until you can feel some form of relief.
- Pain relievers also do a good job in relieving the pain. Medicines like ibuprofen can help to relieve discomfort. However, you should be careful not to overdose in a haste to make the pain go away as fast as possible.
What happens when you neglect your jaw pain?
When you do not seek medical attention for your jaw pain, conceding to let it go away on its own, various complications can arise. These complications are severe and would have been avoided with early treatments. They include;
- Dental complications
- Having to do surgery
- Ongoing pain and discomfort
- Emotional and mental illness like anxiety and depression
- Loss of appetite
How to Prevent Jaw Pain
- For people who clench their jaws while going through anxiety attacks or stress, you can try any of these relieving techniques to reduce jaw clenching:
- Yoga and meditation
- Writing about how you feel can help take your mind off the problem at hand.
- Avoid eating too much chewy food like apples, bubble gums, etc., as they overwork your jaw and put pressure on it, which in the long term can cause discomfort and pain.
- Caffeinated products can contribute to the tension experienced by the muscles in your jaw. It is better to avoid caffeine or take as little as possible.
Treatments for a Severe Form of Jaw Pain
When you leave your jaw pain untreated for too long, it causes more damage to the muscles. When it gets to this stage, getting relief will require invasive forms of treatments like;
- Surgery for your jaws: This is used to correct structural problems in the jaw joint and is only recommended in rare cases.
- Mouthguard: Wearing a mouth guard will prevent unconscious grinding of the teeth at night as the plastic protector will keep the layers of teeth (upper and lower) from direct contact.
- Muscle relaxers: Muscle relaxers are used when the mouth guard fails to prevent pain.
It has been established that the jaw plays an important role in a man’s day-to-day life, and when one is going through pains on their jaw, it tends to brutally affect different aspects of their life.
Most people with severe jaw pain have been wondering how the pain could be relieved. Thankfully, this article has explained the causes of jaw pain and the treatments. Aside from the causes and treatments, it further explained how jaw pain could be prevented, its symptoms, and how to get relief from it.