Ear and jaw pain can be a sign of something more serious. You can do some things at home to help relieve the pain, but most cases require treatment from a specialist. If you are in a situation where medical attention is out of reach, consider the following tips.
1. Understand The Cause of Your Pain
Several different conditions can cause ear and jaw pain. Some of the most common include:
Tension headaches: Headache from tension is common type of headache and can often be the source of ear and jaw pain. These headaches are usually caused by muscle tension in the neck and head.
TMJ Disorder: TMJ disorder is a condition that affects the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which is joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull. This disorder can cause pain in the jaw, head, neck, and ear.
Toothache: A toothache is another common cause of ear and jaw pain. Infection or decay usually causes this type of pain in the tooth.
Ear Infection: An ear infection is a common cause of ear pain but can also lead to pain in the jaw and head.
Sinus Infection: A sinus infection can also cause jaw, head, and ear pain. Sinus infections are usually treated with antibiotics.
Jaw Fracture: A jaw fracture can cause severe pain in the jaw, head, and ear. This type of injury will require medical treatment.
2. Get a Check-Up from Your Dentist to Rule out Any Dental Problems
Most of us never give our teeth a second thought – until we start having problems with them. However, our teeth can tell us much about our overall health and vice versa.
If you’re experiencing ear and jaw pain, one of the first things you should do is schedule a visit with your dentist. They will be able to rule out any dental problems that may be causing your pain. This will help you treat additional and dental-related issues that the specialist can only detect.
3. Use a Cold Pack on the Affected Area to Reduce Inflammation and Pain
One of the best things you can do is apply a cold pack to the affected area. This will help reduce inflammation and pain. To make a cold pack, put some ice in a zip-lock bag and wrap it in a thin towel. Apply the cold pack to the affected area for 15-20 minutes, several times daily.
4. Take Over-The-Counter Pain Medications
If your ear and jaw pain is mild, you may be able to treat it with over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. These medications can help to reduce pain and inflammation. Be sure to follow the instructions on the package, and don’t take more medication than directed.
5. Try Home Remedies
Some home remedies can help to reduce ear and jaw pain. One popular remedy is to mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water and then apply it to the affected area with a cotton ball. Other home remedies include chewing ginger or applying a warm compress to the affected area. Avoid chewing gum or eating hard candy, as this can worsen your pain.
6. Massage the Jaw Muscles Gently To Help Them Relax
Your jaw is a complex system of muscles, ligaments, and bones that work together to allow you to chew, speak, and yawn. When these muscles are tight or spasming, it can cause pain in the jaw, head, neck, and ear. Massaging the jaw muscles can help relieve this pain by promoting relaxation and increasing blood flow.
To massage your jaw muscles: -Place your fingers on either side of your jaw just below your ears. -Gently rub or press on the muscles for 1-2 minutes. -Make small circular motions with your fingers. -Repeat on the other side. You can do this several times daily to help relieve pain and tension in the jaw muscles.
7. How Can You Prevent Ear And Jaw Pain From Happening In The First Place?
You can help prevent ear and jaw pain before it starts. However, if you experience discomfort, be sure to see a doctor or dentist to rule out any underlying medical conditions.
- Make sure you’re taking regular breaks if you work at a desk or computer all day. Staring at a screen for hours on end can lead to tension in the muscles around your jaw, which can then cause pain. Get up and walk around for a few hours to keep your muscles from getting too tight.
- Watch your posture. Poor posture can strain the muscles and joints in your head and neck, leading to pain. Stand up straight and sit up tall with your shoulders back to help keep everything aligned properly.
- Be mindful of how you sleep. If you often sleep on your stomach or with your head turned to the side, this can put undue pressure on your neck and lead to pain upon waking up. Try sleeping on your back with a pillow under your knees to take some strain off your spine.
- Avoid clenching or grinding your teeth. This can put a lot of pressure on the muscles and joints in your jaw, causing pain. If you do this during the day, try to relax your muscles, gently massaging them with your fingers. At night, consider wearing a mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding against each other.
- Limit salt intake before bedtime. Eating salty foods before bed can cause you to retain water overnight, resulting in swelling around the jawline and added pressure, exacerbating pain. Avoid salty snacks in the evening instead of something lighter, like herbal tea.
If you’re experiencing ear or jaw pain, don’t suffer in silence. There are many ways to get relief, most of which can be done right at home. Try some of the remedies suggested above, and if they don’t work for you, be sure to see a doctor. But remember that it’s always better to be safe.