We use our jaws countless number of times in course of a day, right from when we are talking to when we are eating or swallowing our saliva. Basically, the jaw is made of two bones, one of which moves, i.e. the lower jaw, and one which is fixed, i.e. the upper jaw. The jaw joint is where the lower jaw, i.e. the mandible, articulates with the upper fixed bone. With such continuous use of the jaws, the chances of a person suffering from problems associated with it cannot be ruled out. These problems can cause severe pain in the jaws, which may in turn result in utter discomfort for the person.
Severe Jaw Pain
Jaw pain is a symptomatic condition which may occur as a result of some underlying problem in the jaws. Infection in the jaw itself, or tooth infection which has spread to the jaw, is known to cause severe pain in the jaw when left unattended. Similarly, a mere jaw joint problem can also cause throbbing pain when you try to move the jaw for talking, eating or swallowing the spit.
Severe jaw pain can also be a symptom of temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ syndrome, which refers to inflammation of the temporomandibular joint, i.e. the joint of the jaw which connects the mandible to the skull. While the causes of temporomandibular joint disorder are not clear, experts are of the opinion that it may surface as a result of injury to the joint itself, to the jaw or to the muscles which guide the jaw movements.
Home Remedies to Ease Jaw Pain
Jaw pain as a result of some problem in the jaw joint is usually experienced as referral pain at the sides of the head. Taking into consideration the amount of discomfort this pain can cause, it is no doubt a wise thing opt for some mediation to relieve the pain. While painkillers are no doubt an option to relieve this pain, dependence on them is known to cause complications in a long term. A better way out is to opt for some simple home remedies which are discussed below.
One simple remedy, which many people will vouch for, is application of ice. When you have a painful or a swollen jaw, then cold compress in form of an ice pack can work wonders for you. This is in fact one of the standard home remedies for swollen jaw. When there is infection and inflammation, blood rushes to this site, which in turn leads to swelling and jaw pain when opening the mouth. Applying ice pack tends to reduces this flow of blood, and helps the swelling to recede and alleviate the pain.
Sometimes, pain in the jaw can be due to an excessively stiff jaw or due to very stiff jaw muscles. In such cases, a massage of the jaw may help to release the tensed muscles a bit. This can be done with the help of a massaging tool or even manually with hands. That being said, you need to be careful while doing this, and should ensure that you don't end up overworking the muscles. At any point of time in course of massaging, if you feel that the muscles are unrelenting in nature, you should stop the massage right there.
Sometimes jaw pain can actually occur due to overuse and overworking of the jaw muscles. In such cases, making a few simple dietary changes can be of some help for you. You can avoid eating very coarse foods or food that requires a lot of chewing. Instead, you should try and follow a soft diet which won't put much pressure on your jaw muscles.
If you are the kind of person who chews a lot of chewing gum then you should ideally give up, so as to prevent unnecessary movement of the jaw. Some people tend to chew only from one side, which leads to pain on right side or left side of the jaw. In this case, trying and chewing food from both sides can make sure that only one side is not subjected to overuse.
Avoid Caffeine Rich Drinks
Along with a change in the diet nature, you should avoid drinking a lot of coffee or caffeine containing drinks. Caffeine leads to muscle tension and therefore, has the tendency to affect your jaw muscles and make them more tensed than normal. In such circumstances, cutting down on your coffee consumption as much as possible can help you with your jaw problem.
Yet another simple measure of keeping jaw pain at bay is to include supplements, especially supplements like vitamin C, in your daily diet. Vitamin C is known to be a great antioxidant and also helps in repairing mildly damaged blood vessels or tissue fibers, as a result of which aids in recovery of the jaw. Other than vitamin C, even vitamin A and E are good antioxidants. That being said, taking some multivitamins may be a good idea when it comes to recurring pain.
One should make a note of the fact that these measures are merely palliative in nature. If you have severe jaw pain, along with other symptoms like swelling or redness, or any systemic symptoms for that matter, you should promptly seek medical help, so as to ensure that a proper diagnosis is carried out, and treatment in initiated in accordance to this diagnosis.