Going to the dentist can be a pain in the jaw – literally! The prolonged mouth opening and the pressure from dental instruments can often lead to jaw pain, which can be uncomfortable. However, managing jaw pain effectively is essential to avoid complications. In this blog, we’ll discuss some practical techniques you can try at home to relieve jaw pain. We’ll also cover medication, relaxation techniques, and when to contact a dental or medical professional for further assistance. 


Why Am I Experiencing Jaw Pain? 

After a dental procedure, jaw pain is a common problem due to prolonged mouth opening. This pain is caused by fatigue and strain in the jaw muscles. Dentists often manipulate soft tissues in the oral cavity, which can result in trauma to the surrounding muscles, leading to inflammation and pain. We encourage you to let your dentist know immediately if you experience pain or discomfort during or after a dental procedure to ensure you recover quickly. 


Management Strategies for Jaw Pain

Give Yourself Time: It is a frequent occurrence to experience pain in the jaw after receiving treatment, and it’s crucial to comprehend that it is typically a temporary condition. To help reduce the discomfort, your tired muscles require some time to recover, usually taking around two weeks. During this period, it is vital to remain calm and patient without panicking. Taking the necessary precautions and following your healthcare provider’s instructions is essential to ensure a speedy and complete recovery. 


Maintain A Soft-Food Diet: It is crucial to follow a soft diet to lessen the pressure on your jaw muscles. Foods that are hard and require much chewing should be avoided, while softer options such as soups, mashed potatoes, and smoothies are recommended. Adhering to a soft diet can quicken healing and alleviate discomfort. 


Pain Relievers: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen are recommended to manage pain and inflammation. Nevertheless, it’s essential to follow the suggested dosage and consult a healthcare professional if there are any concerns or if the pain continues. 


First Cold, Then Hot: It is advisable to use hot and cold compresses on the affected area to alleviate the pain and swelling associated with jaw pain. To begin with, applying a cold pack can help reduce inflammation; later, a warm compress can soothe the muscles. It is important to seek additional advice and guidance from your healthcare provider. 


When Should I Call My Dentist? 

It is common to feel jaw discomfort after a dental procedure. However, if the pain continues, it might indicate an underlying issue. If the discomfort is severe and over-the-counter medication does not work, it is important to see a dental professional again. Further medical attention is also recommended if the pain persists for more than a few weeks, even after following care guidelines. Call your dentist immediately if the pain persists for over a few weeks, the discomfort is severe, or if over-the-counter medication does not work. 


Things to Remember

It is common to experience discomfort in the jaw area after dental treatment, but there’s no need to worry, as it can be easily managed. To alleviate the pain, it is advisable to apply a cold compress and take pain medication as prescribed by your dentist. It is crucial to adhere to the care instructions, which may involve avoiding hard or chewy foods and attending follow-up appointments. If the pain persists, seeking professional advice to ascertain the cause and receive the necessary treatment is always best. With proper care and attention, the pain will gradually decrease, allowing you to enjoy the benefits of your dental treatment without any discomfort or inconvenience.