by Scarlet Gratton
Contributing Author, a passionate writer, professional fashion, lifestyle, and health, expert
At best annoying and at worst debilitating – jaw pain is a common condition that is not often talked about. While many people suffer from what is known as temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder (TMD), jaw pain can be a symptom of various other health issues such as cluster headaches, toothaches, and sinus problems. If you’re not sure why your jaw is in pain and how you can deal with it, here’s a list of potential causes that might help you find the culprit.
Problems with your teeth
The best thing you can do is simply go visit your dentist as soon as you can because they are usually the ones that can pinpoint the cause of your pain. Things like tooth abscess can cause some serious problems and make your jaw ache as a consequence, but sometimes it’s a simple cavity or an inflammation that’s causing all the trouble. It’s also possible that the muscles in your jaw ache because you have a “wrong bite.” This means that the teeth in your mouth are not aligned correctly, so you have an underbite or an overbite that’s tensing your jaw and making it hurt when you chew or talk. Braces can correct this problem (or in more serious cases, surgery), so it’s definitely something that can be fixed. Another cause could be your wisdom teeth – an untreated wisdom tooth usually starts causing problems later in life, and surgery is required to remove it from your jaw. It’s a perfectly safe procedure, though it can be costly if you’re not covered by insurance.
Since sinuses are located so closely to our jaw joints, sometimes a severe cold or a sinus infection can cause our whole face to ache. If you’re dealing with a stuffy nose, headaches, and watery eyes then see your GP because you need antibiotics in case it’s a viral infection. Get some rest, drink a lot of hot tea, and it should clear up.
TMD (sometimes also called a TMJ disorder) is manifested through pain on both sides of your face. Things like injury, arthritis, a displaced disc, or excess stimulation can be some of the causes for the jaw ache, and you should check with your doctor about the best way to treat it. Some of the things that can help relieve persistent jaw ache are OTC painkillers, eating softer foods, using cold or cold compresses, face massage, jaw exercises, and getting enough rest. Sometimes TMD can be caused by bruxism, a condition in which a person grinds their teeth at night. In this case, a mouth guard prescribed by your dentist can be of great help.
Cluster headaches usually cause pain around our eyes, but anyone who’s ever had to deal with a more severe case knows that it can spread to the whole face. These headaches can be quite disruptive to our daily lives, but they can be treated in several ways. From oxygen tanks to dihydroergotamine injections, check with your doctor about what the best course of action is. If you find a way to treat the headaches, you’ll find a way to treat your jaw pain.
Stress and anxiety
Stress is no small thing to deal with, especially if it’s your everyday reality. Constant anxiety can make our muscles tense up all over, so even our jaw is affected when we’re unable to relax. To deal with it, try things like meditation and exercise. Even 5-10 minutes of daily meditation can significantly help with your mental health, and exercise such as pilates is a good way to deal with tense muscles.
Once you find the cause, you’ll know how to treat it. Don’t let jaw pain control your life because it can be treated. Talk to your doctor, make healthy lifestyle choices, and you’ll feel better.
Scarlet is a passionate writer and regular contributor at ripped.me interested in fashion, lifestyle, and health. She loves traveling, you could say that she is a real travel addict, especially when she has a chance to visit some exotic destinations. She would tell you that inspiration can be found in the most unexpected places.
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