How To Relieve Jaw Pain
How do healthcare providers treat jaw pain? – That depends on why your jaw hurts. If you have a broken jaw, you may need surgery, If your jaw hurts because you have an abscessed tooth or periodontal disease, you’ll need dental treatment. If you have TMD (sometimes called TMJ), a provider may recommend you try the following:
Eating soft foods. Applying heat or cold to your jaw. Doing gentle stretching exercises to relax and strengthen your jaw muscles. Taking over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs). Stop doing things like clenching your jaw, biting your nails or grinding your teeth.
- 1 How do you get rid of jaw pain fast?
- 2 How can I relax my jaw naturally?
- 3 Did I pull a muscle in my jaw?
- 4 Is ice or heat better for TMJ?
- 5 How should I sleep with jaw pain?
How do you get rid of jaw pain fast?
Ice helps reduce swelling and pain, while heat can increase blood flow and relax your jaw muscles. Apply a hot or cold compress to your jaw for 15 to 20 minutes at a time using a light layer between the compress and your skin.
Why can’t I relax my jaw?
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We do the research so you can find trusted products for your health and wellness. A tight jaw can result from stress, anxiety, inflammation, or injury. Overexerting the jaw — by chewing too much, for example — can also cause muscle tightness. The joint of the jaw, also called the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), is a ball-and-socket joint similar to that in the shoulder.
- The surrounding muscles control movements, such as opening and closing the mouth, chewing, and yawning.
- Depending on the cause, a person may experience jaw tightness on the left, right, or both sides of the jaw.
- It may come on suddenly or gradually and can last for long periods.
- The tightness may also occur with jaw pain,
A person can often loosen the jaw muscles with exercises, stress relief techniques, or by using a mouthguard. In this article, we look at the causes of a tight jaw and ways to relieve TMJ tightness and pain. Stress and anxiety are common causes of muscle tension.
A person may clench their jaw or grind their teeth without noticing it, when stressed, and over time this can cause the muscles to tighten up. Stress or anxiety can also cause a person to clench their fists or lead to tension in the shoulder and neck muscles. If anxiety or stress are getting in the way of daily life, talk to a doctor about the best treatments.
Practicing natural ways to relieve stress or looking into ways to treat anxiety can help. TMJ disorders affect the joint that connects the skull and the lower jaw, as well as the surrounding muscles. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, an estimated 10 million people in the United States experience at least one TMJ disorder.
physical injurygrinding or clenching the teeth inflammation from infections or autoimmune diseases
The symptoms of TMJ disorders vary, depending on the cause and severity of the condition and can include:
pain or tenderness of the jaw, ear, face, or neckdifficulty chewing or opening the jawa popping or clicking sound when moving the jaw headaches
Read about jaw exercises for TMJ here. Tetanus is a bacterial infection caused by the Clostridium tetani bacteria.C. tetani produces toxins that cause painful muscle contractions in the neck and jaw. Depending on the severity of the infection, it can limit a person’s ability to open their mouth and swallow.
the DTaP vaccine for children and infants between the ages of 2 months and 6 yearsthe Tdap booster vaccine for adolescents aged 11–12 yearsthe Td vaccine every 10 years for adults
Share on Pinterest A mouthguard can help prevent teeth grinding, a common cause of jaw tightness. Bruxism is the medical term for unconsciously clenching or grinding the teeth. It can occur while waking or sleeping. Chronic stress or anxiety can cause a person to inadvertently grind their teeth or clench their jaw.
stiffness or tenderness in the jaw and the surrounding musclespainful, tender, teetha popping or clicking of the temporomandibular jointheadaches on the sides of the head
In some cases, bruxism can cause teeth to fracture, Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation in the joints. Approximately 50% of people who have RA also experience TMJ symptoms. RA can cause the following symptoms:
tightness of the jawjoint pain, inflammation, and stiffnessa low-grade fever unintended weight lossbumps under the skin of the joints, such as the finger knuckles and the elbow
A person can relieve tightness and pain in the jaw with the following methods:
How can I relax my jaw naturally?
While watching yourself in a mirror, gently open and close your mouth, dropping your jaw straight up and down. Repeat for a few minutes each morning and night. Look for small improvements in the jaw’s range of motion as you practice this exercise from day to day.
Do you hold stress in your jaw?
How stress can cause jaw pain and how to relieve it | Live Better Physiotherapist Michael Chan explains how stress and anxiety can cause jaw pain. I have had the privilege of being a physiotherapist since 2003. My interest in jaw rehabilitation started later in my career, when some of the dearest people in my life were complaining about pain in their face and clicking in their jaw. Despite having already seen their GP and dentist for answers, they couldn’t find relief.
I remember thinking to myself, ‘There must be a way to help.’ Access to effective treatment for jaw problems is still relatively scarce within the healthcare industry. Motivated by this, I devoted many months studying the mechanics of the jaw, from which I devised my own unique treatment methods. Today, jaw physiotherapy makes up the largest proportion of my workload, and brings me the greatest satisfaction in my career.
Stress may subconsciously contribute to us clenching more frequently than usual, which creates more pressure within the jaw (or temporomandibular joints). Over time, this can lead to poor control of the muscles responsible for opening and closing the mouth.
- If this problem is left unchecked, our brain (which controls these muscles) can lose its ability to remember the correct position and movement of the jaw.
- Combined with the physical effects that stress has on our posture, as well as the muscles in the neck and shoulders, we have a concoction for catastrophe.
In all my years of treating jaw dysfunction, the greatest link my patients share is an elevated level of stress, and sometimes even, “Pain is best treated through very gentle jaw exercises which can be done quickly and discretely at home or work.” For many people experiencing facial pain, the cause can go unrecognised.
Clicking noises when opening and closing the mouth. Episodes where the jaw becomes stuck or ‘locked’. Difficulty and pain when eating certain foods, such as apples or nuts.
Often they may also experience the flow-on effects of jaw dysfunction, such as neck pain, ear pain, headaches, fear of meal times and weight loss (due to an inability to eat solid foods). So it is important to look out for these symptoms before they progress into more advanced stages of jaw dysfunction.
Why do I have a weird pain in my jaw?
What is jaw pain? – Jaw pain is a common issue that affects millions of people in the U.S. Jaw pain may be an ache, stiffness or pain in your jawbone or the area around your ears. Jaw pain may be mild or can be severe and affect your quality of life. Many factors can cause jaw pain, such as grinding your teeth, gum disease or a toothache.
Did I pull a muscle in my jaw?
If you feel the following, it may be due to a pulled jaw muscle: –
Unexplained jaw pain. Jaw popping and/or locking of the jaw joint. Limited range of jaw movement. New or increased levels of jaw tenderness if you massage your jaw. Random muscle spasms. If you feel a headache or earache coming on.
Does jaw pain mean stress?
By Meredith Dunford, PT, MSPT, OCS, Cert. DN, CKTP Does your jaw bother you when you are stressed? The jaw joint and stress have a unique bond. For many people, jaw pain & soreness is secondary to stress. Stress is how the body reacts to and handles harmful situations, but ongoing stress can manifest in physical ways.
Identify stressors – Keep note of the times of day or things in your day that cause stress. Avoid stress or adjust your situation – Stress usually mounts when we are running short on time for the demands we have. Prepare ahead for situations that will be stressful. Set goals and priorities. Decide what has to get done and what can wait. Recognize what you have been able to accomplish. Learn to say “No” to things that are putting you into overload. Ask for help. Alter your response – If you cannot avoid a stressor, try to change how you respond to that event. Don’t just react. Choose your response. Take a breath and find “the space” between the trigger and your reaction. Accept when things are out of your control – Don’t get bogged down with being angry. Learn to let it go. Make a list of what you are grateful for. Live healthy – Get on a regular sleep schedule striving for eight hours on the same daily cycle. Exercise to help boost your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters called endorphins. It does not have to be strenuous. Starting with 30 minutes of walking at a comfortable pace 3-5 times a week can help. Find a way to purposefully relax – Unavoidable stress needs to be balanced out with activities that help to relax your mind. Listen to music, meditate, start a hobby, perform abdominal breathing, yoga or mindfulness can help to physically relax the tension and give your mind a positive focus. It doesn’t matter what you chose as long as it refocuses your attention on something more calming.
If these tips don’t help and jaw symptoms continue, a physical therapist can help relieve the pain. Through massage, ultrasound, manipulation, and dry needling techniques, physical therapy can help in: • reducing headaches • decreasing neck pain • decreasing locking • improving range of motion • returning to normal function/decreasing dietary restrictions Call (804) 764-1000 or complete our contact form to schedule an evaluation with a therapist who understands temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ).
Why does my jaw hurt and won’t close?
Shortwave diathermy laser treatment – Shortwave diathermy laser treatment uses a high frequency electric current to generate heat in the body. It can help relieve pain and increase blood flow. It’s a good idea to see a doctor any time you experience jaw pain or discomfort that doesn’t go away on its own.
deep breathing exercises low impact aerobic activity, such as dancing, walking, and swimming yoga meditation
Avoiding excessive chewing and overuse of your jaw muscles may also help prevent jaw pain. Try eating soft foods that aren’t sticky, and avoid foods that require excessive chewing, such as:
If at-home prevention techniques don’t work, talk with a doctor or dentist to determine how you can find relief for jaw tightness. A tight, painful jaw can be caused by a range of conditions, including bruxism, TMD, and stress. Some at-home solutions may provide relief or prevent tightness and pain.
Is TMJ only on one side?
Is TMJ pain usually on one side? – Jaw pain on one side of your face is one of the most common symptoms of a TMJ dislocation. The temporomandibular joint is located at the ends of your jaw, just in front of your ear. It is a ball-and-socket joint similar to your hip.
- When you open your mouth, the ball emerges from the socket.
- When you close your mouth, the ball returns to its socket.
- Your TMJ is held in place by a network of muscles, ligaments, and a cartilage disk.
- TMJ pain can be on one side or both sides.
- It all depends on where the pain is located.
- If the pain is located on one side of the face, the problem is likely to originate from that side.
However, if the pain is spread across both sides of the face, it is less likely that the problem originates from one specific side. Trauma is a major cause of unequal strain on the jaw joints. You could be hit on one side of your jaw, causing serious injury to one of your jaw joints.
Is ice or heat better for TMJ?
Utilizing Heat and Cold for TMJ Pain – In a recent survey, researchers showed that nearly 65% of TMJ patients use hot or cold compresses to treat jaw pain symptoms at home — it works. A staggering 74% of TMJ patients that use a hot or cold compress say that it reduces the intensity of their symptoms.
Jaw pain can be one of the tell-tale signs of TMJ, and many find that using a hot or cold pack was effective. Obviously, this is good news in terms of quick pain-relief. Packs are not only inexpensive, but are easy to keep in a medicine cabinet or freezer. In a pinch, you can even use a bag of frozen vegetables.
And a rice sock is a great reusable heat source. Whether heat or cold will help you more may depend on the source of your jaw pain. If you find that you experience swelling and inflammation, cold temperatures will be more effective treatment. But if your jaw pain stems from muscle pain or stiffness, heat will be a better bet.
How should I sleep with jaw pain?
Sleep Positions That Help Alleviate TMJ Pain – Sleeping on your stomach is the worst position for TMD sufferers. This is due to improper spine alignment as well as stress placed on your jaw. The stomach position also increases your risk for jaw clenching and teeth grinding.
Laying on your side with a hand under your pillow can also exacerbate the symptoms of TMD. This damaging sleep position creates a misalignment for your head and neck, making TMJ pain very likely. The best sleep position for TMD is sleeping on your back in order to keep your head and neck properly aligned.
Sleeping on your back also lowers the risk of teeth clenching and jaw grinding. We’re here to provide comprehensive sleep support for our patients throughout Eden Prairie, Chanhassen, Bloomington, Minnetonka, Edina, Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Burnsville, and Plymouth.
How do you massage your jaw?
Place 2 to 3 fingers on the muscles below your cheek bones. If you clench your teeth, you should feel the muscles tighten under those fingers. Press into the muscles and hold that pressure for 6 to 10 seconds. Keep your jaw relaxed and repeat in another tender or tight area of your cheek.