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Jaw pain is a widespread problem which affects people all over the world. It's the cause of different challenges for treatment in the community of health care. This is especially true in terms of diagnosis as well, not just the treatment. When it comes to jaw pain, proper diagnosis is essential. This is because there are a lot of potential causes for the condition. To treat jaw pain, doctors need to pinpoint the exact cause of the condition. They need to do this so that they can provide the best possible treatment available. Jaw pain has the potential to become a debilitating condition. This may happen if it starts to affect the person's ability to speak or eat. To give you more information, let's discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatments for jaw pain:

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Pain in the Jaw

Of course, the very first symptom of jaw pain is a pain in the jaw. This is commonly caused by temporomandibular joint and muscle disorder otherwise known as TMD or TMJ. This condition affects the temporomandibular joints which are the hinge joints found on each side of the jaw. One way to treat this symptom is to apply an ice pack or moist heat to the area. Place some ice in a bag and wrap it with a think cloth. Then use the ice pack to your face for about 10 minutes or so. Then remove it for the same amount of time before you reapply it to your face. You can also take a washcloth, dampen it with warm water, then apply it to the jaw. This will help relieve pain by relaxing the overactive muscles of the jaw.

Pain in the Jaw
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Tenderness in the muscles or joints of the jaw

If not pain, one may experience tenderness either in the muscles or the joints of the jaw. This may be because of damage to those parts responsible for the jaw's movements. The harm may come from teeth grinding, clenching the jaw too tightly or trauma from sports or other such activities. To alleviate this symptom, you can take muscle tranquilizers or relaxants which help the condition of the jaw's muscles. You can also massage the joints of your jaw using your fingers. Just press on the sore areas and rub them using a circular motion. Massaging the neck muscles may also help alleviate tension and tenderness.

Tenderness in the muscles or joints of the jaw
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Issues with Jaw Alignment

Another symptom you may experience is a change in your jaw alignment which could cause more problems. This happens when a person opens his mouth too broad or too frequently. It may occur when a person grinds his teeth while sleeping. Finally, it might happen if the person clenches his jaw too tightly when feeling anxious or stressed.

These causes might not just cause joint pain but tooth damage too. So it's important to be more conscious when it comes to moving the jaw. However, if you're already experiencing the symptom, you can try some jaw stretching exercises. These can help soothe the muscles of the jaw and make them more flexible.

Issues with Jaw Alignment
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Unusual sounds when opening or closing the jaw

Another symptom you may notice is the occurrence of unusual sounds when you're opening or closing your jaw. You may hear a grating, clicking or popping sounds while chewing or doing anything which involves jaw movements. Sometimes, you may also feel pain with these unusual sounds.

If you want to lessen this symptom, you can try a soft diet for a while. This would help you avoid any crunching or other excessive jaw movements. There are also other treatments out there for joint pain, and the best thing to do is consult with a doctor. Then you can talk about everything you feel so the doctor can prescribe the best form of treatment.

Unusual sounds when opening or closing the jaw
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Facing Problem with Ear

This may seem strange, but jaw pain can also cause some ear issues. You may experience earaches or even ring in the ears. You may also experience hearing problems as well as pain in the upper shoulder. These may occur along with the jaw pain because of the proximity of the body parts. The simplest way to relieve this symptom is to stay away from food items which are hard or difficult to chew. Instead, go for softer foods like fish, cooked veggies, cheese, yogurt, and more. Do this until the pain goes away or until the doctor prescribes better treatment for the condition.

Facing Problem with Ear
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Headaches and Sinus Pain

These are common symptoms of jaw pain. First, you may experience something similar to tension headaches. These are usually caused by too much stress and may cause discomfort to the whole face. In more severe cases, you might even experience cluster headaches which are even more painful.

Aside from headaches, you may also feel sinus pain. This happens when the sinuses get infected because of bacteria or viruses. Then there's an accumulation of excess mucus which will put pressure on the joints of the jaw, therefore, causing pain. Fortunately, there is a treatment for this symptom. One can get oxygen therapy or other prescription medications to treat the headaches or the sinus pain.

Headaches and Sinus Pain
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Varied Levels of Jaw Pain

People suffering from jaw pain may experience varying levels of pain. Some experience nothing but a dull ache while others feel a sharper, stabbing pain. Also, the person may become very sensitive to pain. Usually, you'd feel the pain more when you try to open the mouth widely. There are different ways to treat this symptom of joint pain. Of course, you'd first have to consult with a doctor to know the exact cause of your pain and get the proper treatment. You can take medications for the pain or get an injection with a local anesthetic. There are also sprays which you can apply to the affected areas to alleviate the pain.

Varied Levels of Jaw Pain
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Dizziness or Vertigo

Although uncommon, someone suffering from jaw pain may also start experiencing vertigo or dizziness. This is a more severe symptom which may come from lifestyle-related factors. These include reduced sleeping habits, poor eating habits, fatigue, emotional stress, and more. When experiencing these symptoms, try to avoid excessive or extreme jaw movements. Be more conscious and try to control everyday actions such as chewing, yawning, and more.

Dizziness or Vertigo
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Toothaches and Locking Jaw

Jaw pain may also manifest through a locking jaw and toothaches. Your jaw might get locked or stuck in a closed or open position. As for the toothaches, they may occur because of other dental conditions such as cavities, gum disease, and others. When you have severe infections in your teeth, they can cause pain which will radiate to your jaw. In this case, then tooth extraction is the best course of treatment.

Toothaches and Locking Jaw
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Facial Swelling

Finally, there's also facial swelling; this will cause you to have trouble chewing and moving your jaw in general. The swelling may happen on the side of the face or all over the face. In such case, you may need to have steroid injections to decrease the swelling or inflammation.

Facial Swelling

Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.