Excessive chewing causes health problems

Understanding Jaw Pain: How To Find Relief

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Jaw pain can affect you in such a way that the Talking and eating difficult. The pain can be a symptom of simpleToothache his or her cause and something very serious, such as one Heart attack indicate. Other possible causes can also be Inflammation be the sinuses and ears that teeth or the jaw itself. Because of this, it is difficult to identify the exact cause.

Our upper jaw is part of our skull and not a movable bone. The lower jaw is called the jawbone and is movable in many directions. It is connected to our skull via the temporomandibular joint. The temporomandibular joint is right in front of our ears and allows us to open and close our mouths.

What causes jaw pain?

Most jaw pain is due to an abnormality or injury to the temporomandibular joint, but there are other possible triggers as well. Here are some of the possible causes of jaw pain:

1. TMJ and muscle disorders

The temporomandibular joints are the hinge joints on each side of your jaw. They are often the trigger for jaw pain. Women are affected more often than men. After a jaw injury or an illness such as arthritis, the cartilage of the temporomandibular joint can be attacked, which normally helps to protect the joint. The diseases tetanus and mumps have become largely under control and become rare thanks to widespread vaccinations. If these diseases occur, they can impair the function of the temporomandibular joint and cause pain. Stress also triggers or makes jaw problems worse.

Symptoms of TMJ and muscle disorders are:

  • Clicking noise when opening the mouth
  • Discomfort or pain around the ears, face, or jaw
  • Constant headache
  • Ringing in the ears
  • dizziness
  • Vision problems

Possible causes of TMJ and muscle disorders are:

  • Pain in the muscles that control jaw movement
  • Injury to the temporomandibular joint
  • excessive stimulation of the temporomandibular joint
  • a displaced disc that usually helps cushion the movement of the jaw
  • Arthritis of the cartilage that cushions the temporomandibular joint

Damage to the temporomandibular joint or the muscles that control your jaw movement can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • grinding of teeth at night
  • involuntary clenching of the jaw due to stress and anxiety
  • TMJ trauma, such as B. a slap in the face while exercising

There are also less common causes of jaw pain. These include:

2. Cluster headache

Cluster headaches usually cause pain behind or around the eyes. This pain can radiate to the jaw. Cluster headaches are among the worst types of headaches.

3. Sinus problems

The sinuses are air-filled cavities near the temporomandibular joint. When the sinuses become infected with a germ such as a virus or bacterium, it can lead to an excess of mucus that puts pressure on the temporomandibular joint and causes pain.

4. Toothache

A number of problems with your teeth can lead to jaw pain:

  • Toothache from tooth decay or an abscess
  • Teeth that are damaged or particularly sensitive to pain
  • Gum disease that can damage your jawbone with

If you have any of these problems, contact your dentist right away. Until then, you can rinse your mouth and use dental floss to keep the bacteria count as low as possible.

5. Trigeminal neuralgia

The trigeminal nerve - the so-called triplet nerve - runs through the face in three branches: through the forehead, upper and lower jaw. This clinical picture is characterized by very severe pain that occurs like a fit and only affects one half of the face. Trigeminal neuralgia is a condition most commonly caused by nerve compression on the trigeminal nerve.

6. Heart attack

It may sound strange, but jaw pain can sometimes signal a heart attack. A heart attack can cause pain in areas other than the chest, such as: B. in the arms, in the back, in the neck and also in the jaw. Pain that starts near a nerve cluster like the heart is felt elsewhere in the body. Women, in particular, may experience jaw pain on the left side of their face during a heart attack. Call emergency services immediately and get yourself taken to the hospital if you experience any of the following:

  • Chest discomfort
  • shortness of breath
  • sweat
  • nausea
  • physical weakness

How do I provide relief from jaw pain

For instant relief

Apply moist heat or ice packs: put ice in a plastic bag, wrap it in a thin cloth, and place it on your face for ten minutes. Then take it off for ten minutes before putting it on again. Another option is to put warm compresses on your face. The moist heat can relax cramped jaw muscles and relieve pain. Renew the wraps when the heat subsides.

You can also buy heat or ice packs from the pharmacy or online. However, they should always be covered with a cloth, otherwise they can burn your skin.

Over-the-counter pain relievers

Medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can help reduce discomfort.

Massage the affected joint

Use your index and middle fingers to press on the painful areas of your jaw, such as B. the area right in front of your ear where your temporomandibular joints meet. Rub in circular motions, then open your mouth and repeat the exercise. Massaging the muscles on the side of your neck can also help relieve tension.

Avoid tough, crispy and hard foods that put extreme stress on the jaw and masticatory muscles when chewing. This includes apples, chewing gum, meat or ice cream.

What medical treatments can I get for jaw pain?

Most doctors recommend non-invasive treatments for your jaw pain first. If you still have jaw pain after these methods, it is a good idea to speak to your dentist. You may need more treatments to relieve your pain.

Grinding splint / bite splint: A grinding splint is a plastic mouthguard that is worn on the teeth of the upper or lower jaw and is specially adapted to your mouth. To do this, the dentist takes an impression of your teeth. A custom-fit splint is then made in the dental laboratory and worn at night. This grinding splint protects the teeth from the consequences of grinding teeth at night.

Muscle Relaxants: If a grinding splint doesn't relieve your pain, your dentist may prescribe a muscle relaxant to relieve jaw tension.

Jaw surgery: In very rare cases, a doctor will suggest jaw surgery to correct TMJ problems. Surgery is usually reserved for people with severe pain and impairment caused by structural problems in the temporomandibular joint.


The causes of temporomandibular joint pain are not always obvious at first glance. Many patients do not know exactly whether to go to the dentist or the ENT doctor, as the pain cannot be clearly localized. Whole body health problems can cause pain in the head or jaw, or the problem can be with individual teeth. Do not hesitate to see your doctor. Simple exercises to relax the muscles can relieve tension in the jaw, while professional CMD (craniomandibular dysfunction) therapy can help relieve chronic jaw pain. Seek advice from your doctor or dentist.

This article is intended to promote understanding and knowledge of common oral health topics. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek advice from your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with questions about a medical condition or treatment.