How many times have you woke up with unbearable pain at the base of your jaw? This discomfort is very problematic, since it can extend to the temple and press your head, thus producing migraines. We discover that the main cause of this constant jaw pain is usually dental bruxism, caused mainly by stress.
If you think you are part of this large number of the population that suffers daily jaw pain, do not miss the next article of HealthProTips, where we will explain how to remove jaw pain due to stress.
Why I have jaw and ear pain
Dental bruxism is an unconscious act of the body that consists of squeezing and / or grinding teeth without realizing it. In general, this condition is associated with stress, anxiety or distress, although in some cases it can also be a symptom of parasites in the body.
This act can occur both at night and day, although it is true that it is usually very common during the person’s sleep hours, since the individual in question does not realize what he / she is doing. The majority of people affected, find out why someone is witnessing the grinding or because the dentist detects wear of the teeth.
As we have said before, this jaw pain can go to the temple and cause many migraines, all due to the effort we exert. However, it can also be that the pain extends to the ear, because when bruxism is constant, the pain extends to the point of attachment between the upper and lower jaw, which can cause severe earaches.
Dental bruxism can appear and disappear at any time, since it is not usually a permanent problem. However, it must be taken into account that if stress is the main cause, the most effective way to get rid of jaw pain will be to treat the problem at its roots and get rid of the problems that cause anxiety, tension and / or anxiety.
Causes of jaw pain
The reasons why dental bruxism occurs can be diverse; however, there is a direct relationship with the psychological state of the individual. The causes that may cause jaw pain are:
- Stress and anxiety
- Bad alignment of the teeth.
- Lack of habits at bedtime.
- Night rest and problems to relax.
- Bad food habits that may be forcing the jaw or causing parasites in the body.
- Inadequate body posture that causes pressure at the base of the neck and, therefore, in the jaw
The diagnosis of jaw pain due to stress may come in the first instance from the dentist. In a routine checkup, you can assess the condition of the teeth and their level of wear. When there are no apparent signs but the patient complains of ear, head and jaw pain, a dental x-ray may be necessary to see the complete state of the teeth. Although it seems obvious, we insist on the importance of going to a specialist doctor in case of persistent pain in the ear, in the head and / or in the jaw to rule out that it is a bigger problem.
Stress jaw pain
People who suffer from dental bruxism usually wake up with their jaws clenched and feeling a lot of pain. Squeezing and grinding the teeth causes permanent wear on the teeth and even on the bone that holds the teeth. At this point, the jaw can become locked or produce a loud sound when opening and closing.
As we have seen, people who usually suffer from dental bruxism are either individuals who are going through stressful and decisive moments or have anxiety or anxiety problems that lead them to put pressure on their teeth involuntarily. People affected by stress jaw pain may experience, too:
- Sensitivity to very cold or very hot foods.
- Swelling of the jaw
- Muscle pain at the level of the jaw or discomfort to the touch.
- Problems chewing or pain when doing it.
- Headaches or migraines.
- Much anguish and / or stress due to pain.
How to avoid jaw pain due to stress
Although the dentist can help with the condition of the teeth and jaw, it is the person who will have to identify the reasons why he is tightening his teeth. It is not always easy to identify a discomfort of this type, which is why if the person suffers excessive stress and / or anxiety, should receive the opinion of a professional psychologist.
Stress jaw pain will not disappear unless the basis of the problem is attacked. Otherwise, it will reappear whenever there is a situation of tension, pressure or anxiety. Some measures to avoid jaw pain due to stress are:
- Learn and apply relaxation techniques.
- Practice sports daily that help release the tension of the body.
- Establish habits and routines before sleeping.
- Avoid coffee, tobacco or chocolate about 6 hours before going to bed.
- Take care of food
- Increase water intake.
- Use a medically approved dental splint.
How to remove jaw pain from stress
To relieve jaw pain from stress, the patient can follow these recommendations:
- Apply ice or cold gel to areas where there is pain.
- Perform soft massages in the joint of the jaw in a circular way.
- Make breaths and stretch the muscles of the jaw. Singing is a simple and fun way to do it.
- Avoid chewing hard foods such as seeds or nuts, as well as chewing gum.
- Eat foods rich in calcium to reduce the effects of enamel wear.
- Be consistent with oral cleaning. You may be interested in this article on How to brush sensitive teeth.