Jaw pain can affect your ability to eat and speak normally. There are many underlying causes, including problems affecting your sinuses, ears, teeth and jaw.
What Causes Jaw Pain?
Also known as temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder, TMJ is one of the most common causes of jaw pain. It’s characterized by the dysfunction or misalignment of your temporomandibular joint, which allows you to open and close your mouth.
Although cluster headaches usually cause substantial pain in the eye area, the discomfort can also radiate to the jaw.
A virus, bacterial infection or pressure from excess mucus can affect the jaw joint and cause pain.
Serious tooth infections cause pain that can sometimes radiate to the jaw.
How to Get Quick Relief from Jaw Pain
If you’re experiencing jaw pain, you need to visit an ear, nose and throat doctor to identify the underlying cause and get proper treatment. In the meantime, here are some tips to achieve quick relief:
Apply Moist Heat
Run warm water over a wash cloth and apply it to your jaw area to relax your muscles and relieve discomfort.
Take OTC Pain Relievers
Over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can minimize your pain.
Massage the Area
Gently massage the sore areas of your jaw and the muscles on the side of your neck to relieve pain and tension.
What to Expect at Your Doctors Appointment
Your doctor will initially recommend conservative treatments for your jaw pain. You can expect to wear a mouth guard to prevent teeth grinding and take muscle relaxers to relieve jaw tension. If your pain is associated with TMJ, BOTOX injections can be effective in preventing clenching.
If these non-invasive approaches are insufficient, jaw surgery may be necessary to correct structural problems in the jaw joint.