Understanding Jaw Pain: How to Find Relief

Holistic Therapy
November 8, 2020
Five causes of Jaw Pain, and Ways to Prevent it
November 8, 2020

Understanding Jaw Pain: How to Find Relief


Jaw pain can be a devitalizing health condition that affects your ability to speak and eat. There are many factors that can cause jaw pain, from your ears and sinuses to your jaw itself or teeth. This implies that it can be difficult to decipher if your jaw pain is as a result of jaw issue or something else.

Causes of jaw pain

Most jaw pain is as a result of an abnormality or injury to the joint of your jaw. However, there are other possible cause as well. The following below are some of the causes of jaw pain:

1.Heart attack

A heart attack to lead to pain in other areas of the body besides the chest, like the neck, arms, back and jaw. During heart attack, women in particular may experience jaw pain on the left side of their faces. When you see the following symptoms, go and see your doctor for medical support.

  • Feeling faint
  • Sweating
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Chest discomfort

2.Trigeminal neuralgia

Trigeminal neuralgia is a medical condition that is most commonly caused by compression in the trigeminal nerve that provides sensation to a large portion of the face, which includes the lower and upper jaws.

3.Sinus problems

The sinuses are air-filled cavities that are located very close to the jaw. The presence of a germ such as, virus or bacterium in the sinuses, can result in an excess of mucus that pressurizes the jaw joint, which causes pain.

4.Tooth pain

Severe tooth infections also known as dental abscesses, can produce referred pain radiates to the jaw.

5.Cluster headaches

Typically, cluster headaches cause pain around or behind one of the eyes, which radiates to the jaw. Cluster headaches are known to be one of the most painful types of headache.

6.Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder (TMD)

Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder is the most common cause of jaw pain, which affect people living in Inner West, North Sydney, Lower North Shore etc.

Jaw pain relief

For immediate relief

1.Massage the affected joint

Use your middle finger and index, press the affected areas of your jaw, which is the area right before your ear where your jaw joints meet. Rub the affected area in a circular for about 5 to 10 rotations, then open your mouth and repeat the exercise.

2.Apply moist heat or ice packs

Place an ice in a plastic bag, then wrap it in a thin cloth and apply it to your face for about 10 minutes. Take it off for about 10 minutes before reapplying it. You may have to re-wet the cloth to maintain the heat.

3.Over the counter pain relievers

Drugs like acetaminophen and ibuprofen may help to alleviate jaw pain.

Lifestyle strategies to reduce jaw pain

1.Avoid chewy foods

Foods that are crunchy, tough, or chewy can place too much strain on your joint, which can lead to pain and discomfort later. Some foods to avoid include:

  • Ice
  • Beef jerky
  • Chewing gum
  • Apples

2.Stress reduction

Consider and apply stress-relieving techniques to reduce jaw clenching. Examples include:

  • Meditation
  • Journaling
  • Yoga etc.

3.Avoid caffein

Your morning intake of cup of caffein could be responsible for your muscle tension. The avoidance of large quantity of caffeinated coffee and tea may help reduce your jaw pain over time.

Medical treatment

Most medical doctors will first recommend non-invasive treatment techniques for your jaw pain. If your jaw pain persists after applying these techniques, you are advised to see your dentist. Further interventions may be needed to find relief for your jaw pain. Examples include:

1.Botox injections

More invasive treatment techniques include Botox cosmetic injections. Upon injecting it into the jaw muscles, the botulinum toxin found in Botox will keep your jaw muscles from clenching, thereby helping to relieve jaw pain due to TMD.


This is a plastic dental protector that is won on your upper or lower teeth that is custom-fitted for your mouth. Putting one on during bedtime can help stop you from grinding your teeth unconsciously.

3.Muscle relaxers

If the mouthguard fails to relieve your jaw pain, your dentist may consider and recommend muscle relaxers to relieve jaw tension.

4.Jaw surgery

Surgery is rarely recommended by doctors to correct TMD problems. This treatment method is usually for people with jaw pain that is cause by structural problems in the jaw joint.

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