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How do I Choose the Best Treatment for Jaw Pain?

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  • Written By: Anna T.
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 08 November 2016
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The best treatment for jaw pain usually depends on the cause of the pain. For short-term relief, regardless of the cause of pain, pain-relieving medications may be effective. Jaw stretching exercises and light jaw massage might also help ease pain in the jaw. You can additionally apply some light pressure to your jaw area with the heel of your hand and hold your hand in place for a few seconds before releasing it. Doing this frequently throughout the day could make your jaw pain much more manageable.

If the root cause of your jaw pain is not determined, it is likely that you will continue to experience pain off and on. You might want to consider seeing a dentist to find out if you have TMJ, also known as temporomandibular joint disorder. TMJ occurs when the jaw joint becomes worn down or misshapen. Excessive gum chewing and teeth grinding occasionally contribute to TMJ, but it can also occur because of arthritis or some type of severe trauma to the jaw area. Your dentist can determine what type of treatment you will need for your TMJ once she discovers the cause.

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In the event that your TMJ is the result of excessive gum chewing, your dentist will probably recommend that you either stop chewing gum completely or drastically cut back on how often you chew gum. If you have TMJ because you grind your teeth at night, you will probably be given a special plate to wear in your mouth while you sleep to prevent you from grinding your teeth. You might also be prescribed anti-inflammatory pain medication to help manage your pain during the day as well as muscle relaxers to help loosen up the tightness of your jaw muscles. A blood test can typically determine whether you have jaw arthritis, and if you do, the anti-inflammatory pain relievers should be helpful.

Jaw pain that resulted from some type of minor injury rather than from TMJ should go away in time and can normally be managed with pain medicine, massage, and light pressure on the affected area. If you have TMJ, chances are good that you will always have it to some degree because there is no cure for it. Even though the problem is often chronic, the symptoms can be managed so that they rarely interfere with day-to-day life. In some cases, TMJ is severe enough to warrant surgery. If you have TMJ as a result of an overbite or incorrect tooth alignment, having these problems corrected could help to alleviate your TMJ symptoms.

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anon280493
Post 4

My mouth will not open properly. What medicine can I use so my mouth is open properly? Please tell me about any exercises and medication.

discographer
Post 3

@feruze-- Ice does help with pain, but if the pain is mostly due to stress and tension in the jaw muscles, applying heat will help as well.

What I do for facial jaw pain is I apply a heat pad on my jaw area and lightly massage it several times a day and before I go to bed. It really relaxes those muscles.

Of course if there is a problem with the alignment of the jaw, an orthodontist will have to treat it. Seeing a chiropractor will help too. They can give special exercises to do with the mouth to help relieve the pain.

bear78
Post 2

I have TMJ related jaw pain. I have sought treatment from my dentist who is trying to realign my teeth. I take pain relievers off and on but try to avoid them if the pain isn't too bad because they're hard on my stomach.

I have found relief from some basic home remedies though. Applying some ice on the jaw helps relieve the pain a little bit. And so do herbal teas, especially ones that help relax the muscles like lemonbalm tea.

What has helped the most however has been consciously placing my head and jaw before I fall asleep. I realized that I always sleep with my head tilted down which puts a lot of pressure on

my jaw and makes the pain a lot worse. I now position the pillows in a way that my head is tilted flat or back. I also keep a small pillow under my jaw in case I tilt my head down while sleeping. This has made a huge difference!
serenesurface
Post 1

I used to have really bad jaw muscle pain due to teeth grinding at night. I didn't even realize the cause for a long time until I stayed over at my parent's house and my mom actually heard me grinding my teeth while coming to wake me up!

As soon as I realized, I bought a mouth guard from the pharmacy to use at night. It's a plastic mold that you can shape at home by boiling and biting into it. My jaw pain decreased considerably after I started using it.

I heard a doctor on TV say that the weight that we put on our jaw muscles while grinding our teeth is like a huge cement block. And it causes jaw pain that continues during the day even though you're not grinding anymore. The only way to avoid it is by preventing the grinding.

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