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Dental & Oral Hygiene

Why Does My Jaw Hurt 7 Reasons and Strong Reliefs

“Why Does My Jaw Hurt?” Are you constantly worried about your jaw pain? Do you often ask why does my jaw hurt? There might be many reasons behind your jaw pain.

Jaw joint pain can be acute or chronic. Acute pain means the pain for a limited time. If you leave the mouth open for an extended period, it will cause pain. But you can heal it by applying an ice pack or avoiding heavy chewing or some mild mouth opening exercises.

But if you experience jaw pain without any indications, then it will be because of the dysfunctions of your jaw joints. Infections like jaw arthrosis or ear disease might be the reason. 

Often this jaw pain is misdiagnosed as facial pain or some other ailments. Only a proper diagnosis can differentiate the reasons.

Signs and Symptoms of Jaw Pain
        • Soreness or pain on every side of the jaw joints.
        • Headache, pain on the neck, ears, and face.
        • Chewing difficulties and sensitivity to sound.
        • Difficulties in opening and closing of the mouth.
        • Painful clicking, leaping, or grating sounds while moving the jaw joint.

All these symptoms affect a person’s daily routines. Consequently, one may feel depressed, and it will reflect in the quality of their life.

In this article, you can find various reasons for jaw pain and give you all possible tips to soothe this pain.

Various Reasons Behind Why Does My Jaw Hurt

1. Temporomandibular Disorders

There is a swing door between your jaw bone and skull. It is called the temporomandibular joint. You will feel soreness in your jaw joint and muscles if these temporomandibular joints- TMJ do not function properly. However, the explicit reason behind its dysfunction is yet to discover.
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There might be many reasons for the sickness. The top three reasons are an internal disturbance of the joints, arthritis, and genetics. Another reason for the pain in the jaw is an affliction in the muscles.

In most cases, the dull ache gets cured with some home remedies or treatments preferred by your physician.

However, surgical treatments are available also. But doctors try to avoid surgical treatments in maximum.
There are many self-treatments you can try for jaw pain. Next time when you ask, “why does my jaw hurt?” Try these elixirs.

1. You can apply an ice pack.
2. Avoid solid food items. Try effortless eating.
3. Try to avoid intense singing and full yawning.
4. Assertive use of chewing gum may precipitate jaw pain.
5. Consult your therapist to practice some jaw relaxing exercises.
6. Keep away from stress and anxieties.

2. Bruxism

Minimizing clenching or grinding your teeth will help you keep away from jaw pain. Teeth grinding or clenching is called bruxism – one of the reasons for jaw pain. So you can ask, “am I clenching my teeth excessively?” as your second question when you ask, “why does my jaw hurt?”

If bruxism is the reason behind your jaw ache, the best way to get rid of it is to find the elements behind your teeth grinding.

why does my jaw hurt
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Triggers Behind Teeth Clenching or Grinding
  • Psychological Reasons – People may clench their teeth because of psychological inferences. Things like a heavy lifestyle, unpredictable work hours, suppressed anger, or personality traits may lead to bruxism.
  • Genetics – Sometimes you got these teeth clenching habits because of hereditary. In such cases, your genes play the role.
  • Medications – Some medicines lead to bruxism especially, recreational medicines.  Alcohol, smoking, and caffeine can influence bruxism. Several medical conditions may also cause bruxism.

    Luckily there are plausible treatments to depreciate your teeth clamping, such as a mouthguard or readjustment of teeth.

    Nightguard or mouthguard can lower the aggressiveness of clenching.

    Reshaping of teeth also helps in preventing the teeth grinding.. 

    Changing the habits can help in eliminating the triggers behind bruxism. You can try stress therapies and mind relaxation techniques.

3. Dental Issues 

Besides bruxism, other dental-related ailments also cause jaw pain. Tooth cavities, dental abscesses, gum infection, and maturity of wisdom teeth all can affect jaw pain.

If you have jaw pain due to any of the above dental issues, you will show certain clear symptoms such as teeth sensitivity, gum bleeding, mouth ulcers, dry mouth, or bad breath.

In such cases consulting your dentist and taking medication will help you away from jaw pains.

4. Heart Attack

It is commonly believed that you will have chest pain during a heart attack. But some people suffer jaw pain instead of chest pain. In most cases, it is women who suffer jaw ache during a heart attack than men.
Why is jaw pain considered a symptom of a heart attack? For some people, the upper body is more sensitive to pain than the chest organs. In such cases, they will feel jaw pain rather than chest pain.

5. Sinusitis

Your question of why does my jaw hurt might take you to sinusitis. If your sinuses are inflamed then, it means you have sinusitis.

The empty spaces in the bones around the nose that link to the nose through thin pipes are called sinuses. We have four paired paranasal sinuses. The mucosa is the soft pink tissue lined with sinuses.

By and large viral infections cause sinusitis. In some cases, it is a bacterial infection. Rarely a fungal disease also causes sinusitis.

Blockage of the sinus openings generates a pause in air circulation and secretion elimination. Lots of mucus will produce if the mucosa is inflected. It will drain the nasal cavity and sinus openings and create irritation. 

Some of the factors which generate sinus infections are Anatomical abnormality, Exposure to smoke, and Allergic rhinitis. 

Lots of home remedies are there to try to ease your sinus irritations. These home remedies relieve the blocked paths in the sinus:

      1. Steaming. It is one of the common remedies most of us try. Inhaling steam alleviates the sinus tissues.
      2. Neti pot or nasal wash helps you to force out germs and remove mucus.
      3. Home-made nasal spray. It is a mixture of sterile water, salt, and baking soda. You can spray the mixture into your nose.
      4. Drinking plenty of water will decrease the stiffness of your mucus so that it spews out easily.
      5. You should take plenty of rest and if the problem continues, consult your physician.

6. Stress – Why Does My Jaw Hurt?

When you are in anxiety or facing a difficult situation, you might ask yourself, ‘why does my jaw hurt.’ All we can say is the jaw joint and stress have a novel relationship.

Continuous tension can exhibit in physical ways. People respond to stress differently. Jaw pain & soreness is subordinate to stress for many persons.

When we are under pressure or strain, we may clench our teeth more. Often we do this subconsciously. As a result, our jaw suffers more pressure, leading to less control over mouth muscles. Later it will become difficult for us to open or close our mouths.

Though tender jaw exercises can ease your pain, the best way is to seek professional help.

You can try these techniques to relieve the pain:

        1. Avoid leaning your face or chin on the palm of your hand when resting.
        2. Try not to nap with your hand straight under one side of your face.
        3. Visit your dentist at regular intervals.
        4. Consulting an expert to reduce stress levels.

7. Arthritis

You probably will not connect your question about why my jaw hurts with arthritis because arthritis is often connected with pain and stiffness in the hands, elbows, or knees. But pain on the sides of your face might be due to arthritis.

People might confuse jaw pain, as it feels like the symptoms of tooth pain. Like you find it hard to open your mouth, pain in front or top of the ear, and pain in the cheek. It is troublesome to eat also.

Like other joints in the body, the temporomandibular joint is also at risk for arthritis.
Osteoarthritis is the most common sort of arthritis that attacks the TMJ.

Some people suffer the risk of arthritis more in the jaw than others, especially those affected by macro or microtrauma by grinding or clenching. Degenerative arthritis occurs due to bruxism.

Limited lubrication in the joint may double the risk of catching arthritis. Arthritides like psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, and rheumatoid arthritis are linked with TMJ ailments.

Some conservative treatments you can try to soothe your jaw arthritis are:

      1. Proper exercises under the guidance of an experienced practitioner will control the pain and lessen the stress in the joint.
      2. A nightguard to avoid clenching or clamping of teeth.
      3. Applying ice on the face.
      4. Oral hygiene is important.
      5. Applying pain cream on the aching parts.
      6. Try avoiding repetitive chewing motions like chewing a piece of gum or biting nails.
What Should I Do When My Jaw Hurts?

A proper treatment plan is needed to ease your jaw pain. There are many relaxation exercises you can try to calm the pain.

Other methods are:

        • Your physician can suggest nonsteroidal pills if you need immediate relief.
        • A jaw implant is a solution for people suffering because of a broken jaw. 
        • Acupuncture is considered one of the treatments for TMD.
In most cases, self-limiting works better with jaw hurts.  Your doctor can help you with medications or suggest other therapies.
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