Jaw pain can interrupt your day as quickly and dramatically as any serious injury. Most of the time, jaw pain is brought about because of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD), a disorder in which the jaw joints on either side of the mouth are damaged or strained. Other less common causes of jaw pain include:
- Cluster headaches
- Sinus problems
- Tooth infections
- Heart attack
When jaw pain is accompanied by chest pain, shortness of breath, nausea, sweating, or feeling faint, call 911 immediately. You may be experiencing or about to experience a heart attack.
For all other causes of jaw pain, try these home remedies:
1. Jaw exercises
Jaw exercises may feel silly while you’re doing them, but they can be extremely beneficial for patients with TMJ disorder. These exercises can strengthen, stretch, and relax the jaw, increase mobility, reduce clicking, and promote healing.
Here are some of the best exercises to relieve jaw pain:
- Relaxed jaw exercise
- Goldfish exercises
- Chin tucks
- Resisted opening
- Resisted closing
- Tongue up
- Side-to-side movement
- Forward movement
For details and pictures of these exercises, check out this blog by healthline.com.
2. Stress management
Stress is one of the leading causes of temporomandibular joint disorder and bruxism. It causes some people to grind their teeth together which damages the jaw muscles.
By reducing stress, the risk of jaw pain is significantly reduced. Try to take at least 30 minutes out of each day to do something relaxing, such as reading, yoga, journaling, or taking a warm bath.
If you find that your jaw hurts in the morning or after eating, a massage can loosen the muscles and relieve the pain. Simply use two fingers to knead the area of pain until the soreness dies down. Try to do this for at least five minutes a day to see if you notice a difference.
4. Heat and ice
As with any sore muscle, heat and ice can relax the muscles and reduce swelling. Heat is usually recommended for frequently sore muscles and ice for infrequent and intense pain.
Heat can be applied with a warm towel or heating pad, just make sure not to burn your skin! When applying ice, use an ice pack covered by a cloth for no more than 20 minutes at a time. Do either one of these about four times a day until you notice a difference.
5. Supplements and nutrients
Supplementing your diet with certain vitamins and nutrients can help relax muscle tension and reduce inflammation.
Magnesium helps relax muscle tension and can be found in almonds, leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, black beans, dark chocolate, and avocados.
Omega-3 fatty acids like those found in salmon, oysters, walnuts, flax and chia seeds, and soybeans help reduce inflammation.
Turmeric also reduces inflammation. This Indian spice can be added to almost any dish!
Professional Treatment for Jaw Pain
When home remedies don’t work, it’s time to seek professional care. Dr. Timothy Mickiewicz offers relief for jaw pain to patients in the Sacramento area.
His conservative treatments include:
- Trigger point injections
- Physical therapy
- Oral appliance
Dr. Mick has successfully treated thousands of patients during his career and continues to find new ways to help his patients live pain-free lives.
To learn more about Dr. Mick and how he can help you find relief from your jaw pain, contact our friendly team today at (916) 469-9178.