Jaw pain is very uncomfortable and, if it gets worse enough, it can be debilitating. It can affect the way you talk, eat, and even behave. If the pain gets bad enough, it can take you away from your job, social opportunities, and other important things.
There are many causes of jaw pain, and figuring out the cause of your pain is the key to fixing it. Simple things like a sinus infection or headache can cause pain. Or the cause could be more serious, such as a heart attack or injury.
Jaw pain can present as a sensation of pain near the ear or on one or both sides of the face. It commonly occurs when you chew, speak, or open and close your mouth in some way. In addition to the pain, you may notice a popping, grinding, or popping sound.
This type of pain can usually be remedied at home, but may sometimes require a visit to the doctor. To determine if you should see a professional, it is essential to find out what could be causing the pain. By narrowing down the cause, you will know if you need to see a doctor and how quickly you need to get there.
Ten things that can cause jaw pain
Do these indicators sound familiar?
Some of your sinus cavities are near your jaw joint, so if your sinuses are causing you problems, you may experience pain. Sinus problems It can occur when they become infected and swell, putting pressure on surrounding areas.
2. Trigeminal neuralgia
Trigeminal neuralgia it is a condition that causes severe pain in the facial areas. It is caused by compression of the trigeminal nerve, which gives sensation to most of the face. Even mild facial movements can trigger pain, so you may notice pain while talking or eating.
If you have trigeminal neuralgia, the pain is likely to increase with each attack. The duration of each episode usually increases with each one as well. Fortunately, there are ways to manage the symptoms of this condition once it has been diagnosed.
3. Disorder of the temporomandibular joint and muscles
Often known as TMJ or TMD, this disorder causes pain when you move or stimulate the jaw. Some of the things that cause TMJ disorder and muscles include:
- a displaced disk
- grind teeth
- clenching your fists due to stress or anxiety
4. Heart attack
This type of pain is surprising. sign of a heart attack because most people don’t know. If you feel pain on the left side of your face, pay close attention to other symptoms. Some of the other signs of a heart attack include:
- chest pain, pressure, or discomfort
- feeling like you’re going to faint
- feeling like you can’t breathe
- numbness or tingling in the left arm
If you experience the symptoms of a heart attack, you should seek medical treatment immediately. Waiting to find out is dangerous, so it’s best to be safe and get checked.
Dental infections can spread to the jaw, causing pain to radiate from that area. Many times, the infection is a tooth abscess caused by a bacterial infection. Your tooth will hurt too, so it can help you identify if it’s the problem.
6. Trauma or injury
Injuring your jaw will cause pain, and the severity of the injury will determine the level of pain. The bone could have been broken or slipped out of place.
You may also notice bruising, swelling, and loose or missing teeth. Whether your injuries are severe or minor, the pain will be all too real.
As if the headache wasn’t bad enough, it could also cause pain in the face. Cluster headaches can cause pain in the face and behind the eyes, and it is severe.
Tension headaches can also cause this type of pain. You will experience these headaches when the muscles in your head or neck are tense. Tension headaches are common, so they are most likely causing your jaw pain.
8. Chewing gum
This seemingly harmless action can cause you a world of pain. Chewing gum frequently can overwork your joints and muscles. It will cause pain and swelling that will make it difficult to move your mouth.
9. Stress and anxiety
Both anxiety and stress lead to tension, which can cause squeezing and grind teeth. Grinding or clenching your teeth can damage your jaw and teeth, putting even more unnatural pressure on the area.
10. Swimmer’s ear
Also know as external otitis, swimmer’s ear is an ear infection in the canal that runs from the eardrum to the opening. It occurs when bacteria, fungi, or viruses enter the canal. Many times this occurs when someone has been swimming.
However, the water that remains in the ear after swimming is not the only cause. You can also develop this infection by using cotton swabs or by placing other things inside your ear canal.
How to relieve jaw pain
You can treat jaw pain at home with natural remedies. One way to reduce or eliminate pain is to avoid chewing gum and other sticky candies. You can also try stretching or massaging the muscles or using a hot or cold compress on the painful area.
Using hot or cold compresses
If you don’t have a cold pack, you can put ice in a plastic bag and wrap it in a cloth. Once you have done that, place it on the sore area for about 10 minutes. Take it off for 10 minutes, then do it again.
If you think a warm compress will work better, you can try it in the same way as the cold compress. You can also wet a washcloth with hot water and apply it to the area if you don’t have a hot compress.
The hot or cold compresses You can relax your muscles to help relieve pain. You can do this as many times as needed, as long as you remember to take it off every 10 minutes.
You can use your index and middle fingers to gently press the painful areas. While pressing, rub in a circular motion about ten times, open your mouth and do it again. Adjust the pressure as you discover what seems to be helping, but be careful not to push too hard.
Learn techniques to reduce stress
Learn to reduce your stress can help alleviate tension that makes teeth grind or clench. You can try things like yoga, journal, meditate, or breathe deeply to help you relax during times of stress. Don’t give up if the first method you try doesn’t work because different de-stressing techniques work for different people.
Avoid sticky or chewy foods
Since chewy foods can cause pain, avoid them whenever you can. Foods to avoid include apples, beef jerky, gum, or anything else that makes your jaw work overtime. If you jaw hurts while eating it, you should consider cutting down on that particular item.
When to see a doctor
While you can often treat pain at home, there are times when a doctor is necessary. The severity of your pain depends on the cause, so you need to consider the cause first.
If the pain is due to tension, you can learn to relax better or get help from a therapist. However, acknowledging the problem is sometimes enough to help.
But if the pain is due to a dental problem, seeing your dentist can ease the pain and fix the problem. The dentist can determine where the problem is and what needs to be done, and can help you grind or clench your teeth. Dental problems must be treated quickly, but they are not usually an immediate emergency.
If you experience chest pain, sweating, or shortness of breath, you should seek medical attention immediately. You should also see a doctor right away if the pain is sudden, severe, or follows an accident.
If you can’t properly open, close, or move your jaw, it’s probably a good idea to see a doctor. It is advisable to see a doctor if you notice that the pain is coming from both sides and is in front of your ears.
Jaw pain is uncomfortable and can be terribly distracting. Pain can interfere with your daily life and leave you out of focus. Also, pain could be an indicator of something more serious.
If any of the possible causes mentioned above sound similar to what you are experiencing, find out what you can do to fix it. It could be a simple solution or it could require more attention.
If natural home remedies don’t help ease your pain, it might be time to see a doctor. Consider the factors discussed above and consider whether you need a professional opinion. Go with your instinct because it is generally correct.