Jaw Pain When Eating? Common Causes & Treatment Options | Remi

Why Does My Jaw Hurt When I Eat? Exploring the Causes and Solutions for Jaw Pain During Meals

by Support Remi April 25, 2023 5 min read

Why Does My Jaw Hurt When I Eat?  Remi

Have you ever experienced a jolting feeling after eating something hard? Do you sometimes feel like you have a terrible toothache after your meal? If you notice that these issues happen often, then there’s a high chance that your problem runs deeper than occasional pain. You may have jaw pain.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, jaw pain is a condition that affects millions of Americans. It can range from mild to severe, and it can impact the way you live your life. There are many reasons why jaw pain occurs — especially when you eat. In this article, we’ll take a look at the causes and symptoms of jaw pain as well as possible solutions you can explore to remedy the pain. 

Common Causes of Jaw Pain During Meals

There are various culprits behind your jaw pain, so let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of this uncomfortable condition. 

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders

Your temporomandibular joint is what connects your jaw to your skill. Developing TMJ disorders like misaligned disks and damaged jaws can lead to jaw pain. 

Dental Issues

Your teeth and gums are connected to your jaw, so, when something happens to them, there’s a higher risk of developing jaw pain. The deterioration of your tooth or gum can infect the tissues of the jawbone which, in turn, can lead to severe pain if left untreated. 

These are the dental issues that can cause this condition:

  • Tooth decay and gum disease
  • Misaligned teeth or bite issues
  • Dental infections and abscesses
  • Cavities
  • Wisdom teeth
  • Bruxism (grinding your teeth)

Bruxism | Remi

Other Medical Conditions

Apart from oral health conditions, other medical conditions can also lead to jaw pain, although these cases are rare. Some medical conditions that may lead to jaw pain include:

  • Sinusitis
  • Cysts and tumors
  • Mumps 
  • Osteomyelitis (bone infection)
  • Trigeminal neuralgia (intense pressure on the nerve that leads to severe pain)

Identifying Symptoms and Signs of TMJ Disorders

The severity of jaw pain can vary from one person to the next, but generally, here are characteristics of what jaw pain feels like:

  • Irritation and discomfort in the jaw
  • Difficulty in chewing and swallowing
  • Clicking or popping sounds
  • Swelling and inflammation
  • Tooth sensitivity

The intensity of these symptoms can increase the longer you leave your jaw pain unattended. Jaw pain can also lead to other concerning health issues that may put your overall well-being at risk. Extreme conditions like a dislocated jaw or heart attack are possible if you leave these symptoms untreated. 

jaw pain

Practical Solutions for Jaw Pain Relief

We know how uncomfortable it is to deal with jaw pain daily. Not only will it impact the way you eat, but it will also affect your lifestyle, from how you talk to how you sleep. Before it gets too much to bear, here are some practical solutions you can do to relieve yourself of the pain. 

Adjusting Eating Habits

Changing your diet can significantly reduce the stress you put on your joints and relieve pain. Instead of eating hard or chewy foods like popcorn, tough meats, gum, hard bread, carrots, and raw apples that can require extra work for your jaw, consider soft foods like soups, fruit shakes, mashed potatoes, and rice. 

 Eating softer foods - Fruit Shakes as an Example | Remi

Over-the-Counter Pain Relief

If the pain becomes so unbearable that it’s affecting your appetite, you may want to consider getting over-the-counter pain relief. Ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol) are excellent nonprescription medications that can relieve pain temporarily. Just make sure to read the dosage instructions carefully before taking them. 

Cold and Warm Compresses

Both cold and warm compresses can help relieve the pain. Cold compresses can numb the affected area and reduce swelling. Hot compresses, on the other hand, release heat that can relax your facial muscles and relieve any stiffness and aches in your jaw.

Depending on the pain you’re feeling during the day, you may want to alternate between the two compresses to experience the relief you’re looking for. 

Relaxation Techniques and Jaw Exercises

Jaw pain and stress go hand-in-hand. When you feel stressed due to jaw pain, you may turn to teeth clenching or grinding, which will only worsen the situation. To avoid this, try relaxation techniques for your jaw muscles. More specifically, try to move your jaw up and down and stretch your mouth wide open several times to release any tension. 

Oral Care Routine

With dental issues becoming a prominent cause of jaw pain, you need to practice good oral hygiene to combat the condition. Something as simple as brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day and visiting your dentist regularly can do wonders to relieve your jaw pain.

Professional Treatment Options

While home remedies are effective, they don’t offer permanent results. That’s why we want to give you the option to seek professional treatment for your jaw pain, such as:

  • Dental procedures
  • Orthodontic solutions
  • Physical therapy
  • Medications 

When To Consult a Medical Professional 

Keep in mind that jaw pain is not always serious and, therefore, may not need professional treatment. Before consulting with a medical professional, be sure to watch for these key signs:

  • Eating, drinking, breathing, and swallowing problems
  • Difficulty in moving your mouth
  • High fever and swelling
  • Severe pain

If you encounter these signs, visit your medical professional immediately. 

Prevention Strategies

Despite all the currently available treatment options, the best cure is always prevention. Take a look at some prevention strategies to keep you on top of your oral health and avoid any instances of jaw pain:

  • Maintaining good oral hygiene
  • Eating a nutritious, balanced diet
  • Scheduling regular dental check-ups
  • Wearing a night guard for bruxism

Many people who suffer from jaw pain resort to night guards to relieve their discomfort. A night guard can fix jaw pain. How? It protects your joints and teeth as well as eases the tension and pain that teeth grinding causes. If you’re looking for the best night guard for you, look no further than Remi. 

Brushing your teeth for perfect oral health, especially when using Remi Night Guards

Real Remi Reviews

“I just got them in the mail the other day and I am so impressed! I would wake up with my jaw aching from grinding and clenching. I have used them for 2 nights and when I wake up, my jaw is relaxed and no ache. I am getting used to them and so happy I did this!” — Lindi R.

“I really love the night guard. I thought it would take getting used to, but it was very comfortable, and I don’t have any issues. I clench my teeth all day and night — I am finding myself looking forward to putting in my guard so my jaw has some relief.” — Melissa H.


Remi customer photo  

Solve Your Jaw Problem With Remi

Don’t let the pain affect your meals and daily habits. Address your jaw pain today by trying the practical solutions and prevention strategies mentioned above. 

Remi is your one-stop destination for all night guards and oral care products. We offer customized, BPA-free night guards to help you manage your jaw pain, headaches, teeth grinding, and jaw clenching. 

Ana Milian RDA Head Dental Technician

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