Your oral health encompasses much more than you may be aware of, like the joints and muscles that allow your mouth to work properly. These joints, called temporomandibular joints (TMJs), connect your jaw to skull and allow for your jaw’s diverse range of movement. Various circumstances can damage these joints and cause them to lose their proper alignment, resulting in severe discomfort that can manifest itself throughout your head, neck, and facial areas. To help you alleviate chronic TMJ discomfort, we offer a few tips for relieving jaw pain until you can seek appropriate treatment.
If Your Jaw Hurts
- One of the main contributing factors to TMJ disorder is stress. Anxiety can cause your muscles to tense, including those that surround your jaw joints. To ease the tension, gently massage the sides of your face directly in front of each ear, where the joints are located.
- Hot and cold are effective at muscle relaxation and pain relief, respectively. For best results, alternate a heating pad/hot water bottle with an icepack to relieve pain and muscle tension.
- TMJ disorder can often cause inflammation in your jaw’s joints, which can hinder movement and exacerbate your discomfort. If inflammation is present, your dentist may recommend anti-inflammatory medications. Be sure to follow your dentist’s directions and complete the medication to help ensure its effectiveness.
- Bruxism, which describes the habit of grinding one’s teeth, is a notorious cause, as well as a result, of compromised jaw health. If you grind your teeth, then your dentist can recommend a mouthguard to help prevent the symptom. Because bruxism typically occurs at night, the mouthguard is recommended for use in your sleep.
Learn More About Relieving TMJ and Jaw Pain
If your jaw hurts or has trouble opening and closing, then TMJ disorder may be the reason. To learn more, schedule your appointment by calling Keelan Dental in Butler, PA, today at (724) 256-4612. Our Smile Certified experts happily serve patients from Butler, Cranberry Township, Mars, Pittsburgh, Butler County, and all surrounding communities.