Home Remedies for Jaw Pain Relief
In our last post we looked at some of the causes of jaw pain, highlighting that stress is one of the leading causes of TMD (temporomandibular disorders). At Prescott Dentistry we understand how debilitating jaw pain can be. If you or a family member are experiencing jaw pain during this stressful time, here are some natural remedies for jaw pain relief that you can try at home:
1. Moist heat or ice packs
Ice works to numb pain and reduce any swelling, whereas heat increases blood supply to the area, which can decrease stiffness in the joint and relax the surrounding muscles. To make an ice pack, place ice in a plastic bag, wrap it in a thin cloth to prevent it from burning your skin. Alternatively, a bag of frozen peas also works well. Apply it to your jaw for 10 minutes and remove it for 10 minutes, alternating in this way up to four times.
To apply moist heat to the area, use a hot water bottle wrapped in a moist towel. Remove it if it’s too hot so you don’t burn your skin. You can also buy heat or ice packs at a pharmacy or online. Whatever form of ice or heat pack you use, just be sure to always keep them covered with a towel or some other kind of cloth to prevent burns.
Be sure to consult with your doctor before taking any new supplements.
- Magnesium—can help relax muscle tension. Foods high in magnesium include almonds, spinach, chard, pumpkin seeds, kefir, black beans, avocados, dark chocolate, and bananas.
- Omega-3 fatty acids—have anti-inflammatory properties. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, walnuts, cod liver oil, oysters, flax and chia seeds, and soybeans.
- Turmeric—also decreases inflammation. Turmeric is a bright yellow Indian spice that can be added to almost anything you make for dinner. But if you need some help, here are some recipe ideas!
Massage can help to relax the muscles around your temporomandibular joint. Massage the jaw and temple muscles with a gentle, circular motion for about 30 seconds, then open and close your mouth and repeat. You can do this every 4 hours.
4. Stress management
Try relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, yoga, and exercise to reduce stress. These activities lower your resting heart rate and blood pressure, relax muscles, and can calm your nervous system. Getting enough sleep can also help with stress levels.
5. Avoid these things
- Clenching your jaw
- Chewing gum
- Hard candy and chewy foods
- Holding your phone to your ear with your shoulder
6. Eat soft food
If your pain is intense, a diet consisting of soft foods for 5-7 days may help. Foods like scrambled eggs, soups, mashed potatoes, well-cooked vegetables, applesauce and pasta are a few examples to try.
7. Jaw exercises
Exercises can help with jaw pain by strengthening jaw muscles, stretching and relaxing the jaw to increase mobility. Avoid any exercise that causes more pain.
Give us a call
If none of these remedies help, you might find jaw pain relief with over the counter pain relievers or pain-relief creams. If you still have pain after trying all of these things, or if your pain is severe, let our team at Prescott Dentistry know right away and we will get you in for an emergency appointment. In the meantime, stay healthy and safe and we look forward to seeing you for routine, preventative appointments soon.