This post is also available in: Spanish
Jaw pain is a common problem that affects millions of people around the world. Correct diagnosis of jaw pain is vital. Doctors need to identify the exact cause in order to provide the best treatments.
It can be an undermining condition that affects your ability to eat and speak. Many factors can cause jaw pain, from your sinuses and ears to your teeth or jaw itself. This means it can be difficult to tell if your jaw pain is because of a jaw issue or something else.
There are several potential causes of jaw pain that might be related to physical injury, nerve problems, or blood vessel problems.
Other known causes of jaw pain include:
- Teeth grinding, clenching, or opening the mouth too wide
- Osteomyelitis, arthritis, capsulitis
- Dental conditions
- Sinus problems
- Neuropathic, vascular, or neurovascular pain
Pain can also be caused by lifestyle-related factors such as excessive stress, sleep disturbances, fatigue, nutrient deficiency, and other medical conditions.
The best treatment for jaw pain is to treat the cause. Varied treatment methods include:
- Antibiotics for infections
- Surgery to remove damaged bone
- Physical therapy
- Tooth extraction of abnormal or infected tooth
- Soft diet to minimize jaw movement
- Hot or cold therapy
- Massage or acupuncture
- Muscle relaxants or tranquilizers
- Steroid injections to decrease inflammation or swelling
- Root canal treatment to treat teeth infections
- Correct posture to avoid neck and back strain
Other treatments are available to treat jaw pain and they are determined by the cause of the pain. Doctors can discuss the best method for treating pain with each patient.
Determining the trigger of any jaw pain is important to prevent the pain from reoccurring.
Some basic preventive measures are:
- Avoiding crunchy foods, or chewing fingernails
- Following a soft diet
- Avoiding grinding teeth
- Following correct posture
- Seeking regular dental care
- Chewing smaller bites of food
- Avoiding caffeine
- Taking in sufficient nutrients
- Sleeping on the back or side to avoid stomach-sleeping
It is necessary for people to seek prompt medical attention in order to determine which treatment is the best. Immediate attention can help prevent long-term complications from occurring. Dentists, oral surgeons, and doctors are able to evaluate jaw pain.