An aching lower jaw and teeth can be problematic; the quicker you find a solution, the better. From home remedies to visits to the dentist, the following are nine possible solutions to your aching lower jaw and teeth.
1. Visit the Dentist More Regularly
It is recommended that you visit a dentist office once every six months. A dentist’s office is tasked with keeping records, hence they can schedule your appointments accordingly.
A regular visit to the dentist can arrest potential problems or even prevent them from progressing to unmanageable levels. For example, a regular visit to the dentist’s office can proactively detect cavities, plaque, or tartar, catch the initial stages of gum disease or oral cancer, check fillings, and advise on oral hygiene, all of which can lead to aching lower jaw and teeth.
A dentist’s office is adequately equipped to prescribe pain relief meds and methods of mitigating aching lower jaw and teeth. Pick a dentist’s office today and safeguard your overall family’s oral health under the supervision of qualified medical personnel. For immediate relief from an aching jaw and teeth, there are over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen available.
You can manage an aching jaw by massaging it using your middle and index finger. Gently press the sore region of your jaw, such as the area where your jaws meet the region right before your ear. In circular motions, rub it for five to ten rotations. Alternately, open your mouth and repeat the same exercise. You can further relieve tension by massaging the sides of your neck muscles.
2. Have the Tooth Replaced
It is not uncommon for a patient to experience bruising aches and pain, soreness, and swelling around the implant site after a dental implant procedure. The degree of pain varies from patient to patient once the sedation wears off. A patient’s health conditions and the complexity of the surgery contribute to the recovery process.
Implant dentists, also referred to as implantologists, conduct tooth replacement as a long-term solution to jaw bone loss prevention and purposefully maintain a healthy smile. To deal with an aching lower jaw and teeth after dental implant surgery, the following measures will expedite healing while minimizing pain.
- Faithfully take your prescribed medications to keep the pain under control. Implant dentists prescribe over-the-counter painkillers for two to three days post-surgery.
- Take complete rest and avoid strenuous physical activities a day after surgery and the following three days after surgery to prevent an increase in blood pressure and unnecessary bleeding that hampers the healing process.
- Cold press on the first two days after surgery by using ice packs at regular intervals of 15 minutes. This reduces swelling and calms down throbbing nerves by reducing the temperature in the implant-fixed region.
- Daily soak your mouth in a solution of lukewarm water and baking soda for a few minutes to keep bacteria off implant teeth and get rid of the pain. To avoid further injury, do not rinse your mouth or swish with this solution since it can hamper healing by dislodging the formed blood clots. During the recovery process, adjust your dental hygiene activities and avoid flossing or brushing around the implant tooth.
- During the recovery process, implantologists advise patients to eat soft foods and maintain diets consisting of liquid, soft, nonacidic, and nonspicy foods.
3. Referred Pain
It is possible to experience referred pain that manifests as an aching lower jaw and teeth. It could also manifest as back or neck pain, in which case one would need back & neck pain treatment as they deal with the actual source of pain.
The following are back & neck pain treatment:
- To deal with neck pain, the first few days apply ice, then afterward apply heat by either using a heating pad, taking a hot shower, or by hot compress. Take ibuprofen, an over-the-counter pain reliever.
- For an inflamed neck, alternate cold and heat for fifteen minutes, each severally. You can do this using ice wrapped in a towel or an ice pack.
- To fix neck and upper back pain, in the first three days, use anti-inflammatory pain relief and a cold pack, then alternate cold and heat to the injury.
- For acute neck and lower back pain, other than intentional resting, OTC meds such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen may help.
- If you’ve hurt your back, take it easy and ease up the pressure on your back. Make daily routine adjustments, but don’t stop moving. Also, take some OTC medication while alternating ice and heat compress.
- Conventional upper back and neck pain treatments include TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation), physical therapy, NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), and prescribed muscle relaxants, especially if OTC meds have been ineffective.
4. Look into Other Surgeries
Most doctors are quick to recommend non-invasive dental treatments for jaw pain, and if the pain persists, they escalate it with further interventions. One such intervention is a mouth guard, which can be custom-made for wearing on the lower or upper teeth. This can combat an aching lower jaw and teeth pain caused by subconscious teeth grinding while one is asleep.
Muscle relaxer intervention can be done if your jaw pain is unresponsive to the mouth guard. Cosmetic dentists usually prescribe muscle relaxers to relieve jaw tension as they look into other interventions such as surgery.
Muscle relaxers don’t always work with temporomandibular disorders (TMD) patients as they seek to deal with an aching lower jaw and teeth pain. Cosmetic dentists can recommend Botox injections, which are invasive treatment methods that help relieve aching lower jaw and teeth pain by keeping the jaw muscles from clenching in cases of TMD. These injections last for months before requiring booster injections to continue relieving jaw pain.
Jaw surgery is another form of intervention, although rare. It is reserved for patients with severe aching lower jaw and teeth pain due to structural issues in their jaw joints. Its goal is to correct TMD challenges.
5. Consult Orthodontic Services
In the unfortunate event of an aching lower jaw and teeth, an orthodontist can only prescribe treatments after evaluating your current state of oral health. Consulting orthodontic services is the first major step toward any dental treatment journey. It is during such an appointment that the orthodontist assesses your gums, teeth, and jaw in order to customize your treatment plan for a healthy mouth and perfect smile.
Consulting orthodontic services due to an aching lower jaw and teeth gives you the benefit of a panoramic X-ray that highlights the possible presence of fractures, cysts, bone abnormalities, infections, impacted teeth, or tumors, which can point the orthodontist to the right treatment using suitable orthodontic appliances.
Earlier detection of oral cavity abnormalities helps deal with problems before they arise and prevents them from getting worse. Changes in oral alignment that could lead to an aching lower jaw and teeth can be flagged and dealt with.
Wearing a nightguard prevents grinding of teeth while one is asleep and, therefore, lessens the pressure on the Temporomandibular joint (TMJ), allowing it to slide back into its proper position and stop any pains in the jaws and teeth.
Braces are perfect for correcting TMJ pain as the pain can arise from a misaligned bite, causing pressure on the jaw joint. They solve bruxism problems of teeth grinding and jaw clenching, which are known to cause aching lower jaw and teeth discomfort.
6. Choose a Treatment to Align Your Teeth
There are various teeth-straightening orthodontic options to choose from. Some of these include:
- Invisalign: This type of clear aligner straightens teeth using a series of clear custom-made aligners designed to fit your treatment plan and teeth. Over time, they gradually align teeth, eventually alleviating the aching lower jaw and teeth pain emanating from misaligned teeth. This is done in accordance with the orthodontist’s Invisalign mapping technology.
- SureSmile: This clear aligner is a form of advanced orthodontic treatment that takes a shorter period to produce results than traditional braces. It uses a 3D model of your mouth and identifies the right tooth positioning for individual patients, enabling precise bite adjustment.
- Traditional braces: One can use braces that use wires, metal brackets, and elastic bands to rectify orthodontic issues that cause an aching lower jaw and teeth.
- Self-ligating braces resemble traditional braces, but instead of elastic bands, they have a wire that holds the sliding device in place.
- Lingual braces are similar to traditional braces. However, instead of the brackets attaching to the front of the teeth, they attached to the back, making them less visible.
Unlike Invisalign and SureSmile, the traditional, self-litigating, and lingual braces can only be installed and removed by an orthodontic professional.
7. Get Your Dental Treatments Covered
Most employee health services have dental covers that are geared towards promoting good oral health habits, preventive care, and good overall employee health. Preventive dental care is beneficial to both the employee and employer since it arrests health and dental-related problems at an early stage.
Preventive dental care increases an employee’s productivity. For instance, sick leave can be avoided if the employee has regular check-ups that could easily identify a tooth cavity and deal with it, preventing further time loss.
Lower insurance and medical costs are possible if employees and employers procure regular checkups, which can detect potentially grave illnesses and provide early interventions. For instance, early detection of tooth decay could pre-empt serious medical conditions such as an aching lower jaw and teeth and even cancer.
8. Continue to Eat What You Love
Once you deal with an aching lower jaw and teeth, you can continue to eat the foods you love as long as they’re soft and pain-trigger-free. Chinese food, for instance, contains a common food additive known as MSG (monosodium glutamate) that is often associated with negative effects such as headaches, aching lower jaw, and tooth pain. Glutamate has been singled out as a trigger for jaw pain.
When you go to a seafood cafe, it pays to be aware of glutamate-loaded foods or sources that could lead to jaw discomfort. Some of the foods associated with glutamate include seasoning salt, chain restaurant food, processed cheese snacks, canned meats, canned soup, flavored chips, and sauce mixes.
9. Jaw Exercise to Alleviate Aching Lower Jaw and Teeth
Jaw exercises are another possible solution to relieving jaw pain. Below are various jaw pain-relieving exercises recommended by doctors and dentists:
- Relaxed jaw exercise: Gently rest your tongue on top of your mouth right behind the upper front teeth. While relaxing the jaw muscles, let your teeth move apart.
- Chin tucks: With your chest up and shoulders back, create a “double chin” by pulling your chin straight back and then holding it for three seconds. Repeat the exercise ten times.
- Tongue up: Open and close your mouth slowly with your tongue touching the roof of your mouth.
- Resisted mouth opening: Place your thumb below your chin. Slowly open your mouth, while gently pushing against your chin for resistance. Sustain it for three to six seconds, and then slowly close your mouth.
- Resisted mouth closing: Squeeze your chin with your thumb and index finger on one hand. Try closing your mouth as you gently apply pressure on your chin. This helps to strengthen your chewing muscles.
- Forward jaw movement: Between your front teeth, place a quarter-inch-sized object. Next, gently move your bottom jaw forward, ensuring your bottom teeth are slightly in front of your top teeth. Gradually increase the thickness of the object between your teeth as the exercise becomes easier.
- Goldfish full opening exercise: Stick your tongue to the roof of your mouth, and place one finger on your chin and another finger on your TMJ, completely dropping your lower jaw back. A variation of this exercise can be done while placing a finger on each TMJ, as you drop back your jaw completely. To complete one set, repeat the exercise six times every day.
- Goldfish partial exercise: Stick your tongue to the roof of your mouth, and place one finger on your chin and another finger on your TMJ. Drop your lower jaw back halfway. A variation of this exercise can be executed by placing a finger on each TMJ, all the while dropping back your jaw halfway. To complete one set, do this exercise six times daily.
There are numerous solutions to an aching lower jaw and teeth that could be a result of several conditions. Consult a dentist or orthodontist to flag potentially serious illnesses, even if you’ve been religiously following routine oral care. Incorporate dental visits into your oral regimen and keep jaw pain away.