Jaw pain can be caused by a variety of sources. There could be an infection from an abscessed tooth, you might have been hit in the mouth with something, or you might experience tension in the jaw from clenching or grinding the teeth together. No matter the reason as to why you have pain it can be, at times, excruciating. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do for some relief until you are able to get to a dentist who can then determine the cause of the pain and set up a treatment plan.
There are OTC (over-the-counter) medications that you can buy to help combat the pain. Take the medication as prescribed. If you take more than the recommended dosage, you could end up causing damage to the kidneys, liver or other organs. Ibuprofen is a good medication to take as it often works quickly and can usually be taken with other medications.
Another easy way to relieve pain in the jaw is by applying a warm compress to the area. A hot water bottle is one idea, but don’t lay the bottle directly on the skin. Wrap it in a towel before putting it on your face. A heating pad works the same way. If you don’t have a water bottle or heating pad, consider putting a wet washcloth in the microwave. Place the cloth in a small plastic bag before turning on the microwave and only heat it for about 20 seconds. The cloth will get hot and then, carefully, can be used on the jaw.
A mouth guard can be used to help stop teeth grinding if this is the cause of your jaw pain. You can get a guard at your neighborhood pharmacy but it’s best to go to a dentist because then it can be fitted to your mouth. The alignment of the teeth can also be an issue, especially if you have to account for teeth that are severely crooked, ensuring that they don’t overlap through the day and at night. Braces can help align the teeth.