Our bodies can experience aches from time to time. When the ache comes from your jaw, it can make the normal act of chewing seem overly painful. Here are five tips that can assist you in dealing with unwanted pain.
Try Alternating Heat and Ice
In most cases, when your jaw muscles are aching, it’s a good idea to use heat. This will work to soothe away the pain because the heat relaxes the muscles that are tense. For this reason, you should start putting a warm compress on your jaw for about 10 minutes at a time. If the pain isn’t affected by the heat, you may want to try an ice compress. Again, only about 10 minutes to avoid frostbite of your skin. You can also alternate hot and cold treatments for better results.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are intended to reduce muscle aches and swelling in the body. The most common type of NSAID that people use is Ibuprofen. It’s a good idea to check the label for dosage instructions. If your jaw pain simply isn’t going away with other forms of treatment, you should consider using one of these medications to soothe the pain away.
If you have a misaligned jaw, it can be the source of your jaw ache. Consider talking to your dentist about potential jaw stretches that you can do to alleviate the pain. They should be able to give you a list of regular jaw stretches to do throughout the day. You can also find some suggestions for stretches online. A dental professional might also be able to help you get alignment surgery or a realignment appliance.
Get a Massage
Many times, jaw pain can be caused by pain from a tight neck and upper body muscles. Do yourself a favor and get a massage for your upper body. This massage should target your chest, back, and neck. By releasing the tension in these other muscles, you should be able to eliminate the pain that you’re feeling in your jaw.
Avoid Chewy Foods
You don’t want to aggravate the problem and make it worse. So, avoid foods that are chewy so that you can still get the food you need without the added pain associated with chewing. Some foods that you should avoid include gum, apples, and jerky. Some good foods to consider include pasta, soups, and sauces.
Dealing with jaw pain can be really unpleasant. However, taking action to treat the issue can help you to get through the pain quicker. The above five tips will work to reduce your pain and prevent future damage to the jaw.
By Brooke Chaplan
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