Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain or in simple terms jaw pain usually may get resolved on its own in a few days. If you have pain in your jaws during chewing, yawning or even talking, then it is most likely due to some sort of temporomandibular disorder. You may also get pain around your head in a ring form as if a cloth is tightly tied around your head. Over the counter painkillers help but you may prefer home remedies for these episodes of jaw pains to avoid unwanted side effects of these pain killers.
What Causes TMJ Pain ?
The jaw area in medical terminology called temporomandibular joint is the most used joint in your body. It is a complex structure made of the bone below the mouth and the bone above the mouth surrounded with muscles, tendons and bones. Any disorder or injury in this area can cause jaw pain.
1. Teeth Grinding - If you are one of those people who grind their teeth while in stress then you will likely get jaw pain more frequently. Some people unknowingly grind their teeth during their sleep. This condition is called bruxism. Untreated Break season can really cause lots of dental problems. The first symptom of bruxism is jaw pain
2. Abscessed Tooth- An abscessed tooth will produce jaw and gum pains. This condition should be quickly resolved to avoid more dental complications
3. Genetics - Some temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pains are caused due to genetic reasons. You need to be aware and should take precautions to minimize bouts.
4. Arthritis Pain - Arthritic pains can impact all joints including TM. This may not always happen if you have arthritis but possibilities keep growing as you age.
5- Jaw Injury - This is an obvious cause. Depending on the intensity and disruption this type of pain can completely go away after proper medication/surgery or may continue to haunt.
Other causes of jaw pain that are not directly related to jaw but impact the jaws are cluster headaches, sinus problems, tooth pain and heart attacks.
Symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Pain
Following are main symptoms of Jaw Pain
- Pain or Tenderness in the jaw joint
- Jaw clicking
- Gum Pain
- Tooth pain
- Neck Pain
- Stiff or sore jaw muscles,
- Aching pain around ear
- Popping sensation
- Pain in the temple area
- Difficulties in chewing due to difficulties in opening and closing jaws
Home Remedies for temporomandibular joint (TMJ)Pain
Following home remedies can help you to get jaw pain relief. Some of them may work better than the others in your case. So go for what works.
1. Apply Cold Pack
Applying cold packs reduces jaw pain.
- Place ice in a plastic pack (You can also use unopened frozen vegetables bags)
- Wrap it in a thin cloth
- Apply on your jaw pain area of your face for 5 minutes
- Remove it for 5 minutes and apply again
2. Moist Heat
Moist heat also gives TMJ pain relief. It relieves the muscles and reduces pain.
Run warm water over a clean washcloth
Apply the moist washcloth on the face
Do it a couple of times every two minutes in a single sitting
3. Massage the Affected Joint
Massage can relieve pain. You can do massage both by keeping your mouth open as well as keeping it close.
- Open you mouth and rub the cheeks near jaw bones from outside in circular motion for 5-10 rotation
- Do the same by closing the mouth
- Repeat the process 2-3 times in one sitting
- Do it 2-3 time a day
4. Avoid Chewy Foods
Avoid the foods that require more chewing. Moving your joint more often will produce more pain.
Give up chewing gum forever.
5. Reduce Stress
Get involved in yoga and meditation. A relaxed find and body will reduce jaw clenching to reduce TMJ pain.
Other Tips and Precautions
Depending on the severity of your jaw pain
- Use jaw guard to reduce teeth grinding or bruxism
- Take prescribed muscle relaxants if the pain is unbearable
- Consider botox injections if jaw guards and muscle relaxants don’t work
- Go for surgery if that is the only option left. However you may rarely require surgery for TMJ.
You may not prevent TMJ from developing but you can certainly reduce symptoms using above home remedies for your jaw pains.