Jaw problems include all disorders in the jaw bones that lead to the production of clicking or grating noises when a person is chewing or yawning. These symptoms such as a persistent stiffness and intense pain in the jaw bone are very characteristic symptoms of a disorder known as tempero-mandibular joint syndrome. Jaw pain may not always be localized in the jaw itself and the pain can sometimes extend or radiate all the way down to the neck and will result in the production of splitting headaches and earaches. Jaw movement can be severely hindered during an incidence of a jaw disorder, as jaw movement may not be smooth and the joint joining the lower jaw becomes stiff, so much in fact that the mouth cannot fully open-this causes immense distress to the person affected by the jaw problem. The facial features may also be rendered asymmetric because of this problem.
The development of muscle tension in the regions around the jaw is the cause of many of these jaw problems. Repeated clenching of the teeth or behaviors like teeth grinding in response to stress is responsible for the muscle tension. Jaw problems can also result because of a faulty bite due to misaligned teeth, these problems also occur if there are tooth ailments present in the back molars. Very high or very low crowns in the teeth crowns can also bring about some physical changes in the musculature and the joints occurring in the jaw, especially if they persist over a long period of time. The improper development of teeth during childhood is the cause of teeth misalignment, this disorder of dentition is very common in occurrence these days and it has been linked to the consumption of a diet poor in essential nutrients and very high in sugars. The presence of other conditions such as scleroderma and arthritis also result in the development of this syndrome. If it is developed somewhere else in the body, rheumatoid arthritis can also cause symptoms like stiffness and pain in the joints-a diagnosis will be able to determine if the condition affecting a person is really a jaw problem or if it is the result of some other problem such as arthritis.
Supplements and herbs
The essential minerals calcium and magnesium given as regular supplements will help to relieve tension in the muscles of the jaws-these minerals will alleviate tightness and cramping sensations in the muscles. If the real underlying problem is physical or emotional stress, taking the B vitamins will help deal with the effects of stress.
Stiffness in the jaws can be relieved by consuming various herbal remedies which also fortify the diet with a lot of relaxing nutrients.
Lock jaw is effectively relieved by a tincture made from the lobelia herb; this tincture is a very powerful herbal relaxant. Dosage of this tincture can be 15-20 drops of tincture mixed in a glass of water used once every hour to beat back acute pain in the body. To soothe the painful sensation and to help speed up the healing of injured muscles and tendons, carefully rub the oil of the St. John's wort on to the affected area of the jaw, all along the area lying just below the ear.
It is very important to take adequate amounts of vitamin D to sustain healthy teeth as well as bones. Sometimes this vitamin is also called ‘sunshine’ vitamin because our body makes vitamin D when it comes in contact with the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. In addition, dietary sources, such as fortified orange juice, milk, breakfast cereals, as well as fish like tuna and salmon also contain sufficient amounts of vitamin D.
In spite of the vitamin D made by our body and its availability in several foods, there may be several reasons causing a deficit of this vitamin in some people. According to the Office of Dietary Supplements, deficiency of vitamin D, which is also known as hypovitaminosis D, normally occurs owing to people not coming in contact with sunlight, problems related to mal-absorption, poor dietary intake of vitamin D, and even owing to the malfunctioning of the kidneys. When the kidneys begin to malfunction, they are not able to convert vitamin D into its dynamic form.
When children have a deficit of vitamin D, they may suffer from rickets, a health problem which results in the deformation of the teeth and soft bones. When it occurs in adults, vitamin D deficiency may lead to osteomalacia, a health disorder resulting in the formation of soft bones as well as extensive bone pain.
Additional things you may do
Opening the mouth wide can put great strain on the muscles of the jaw, so if at all possible - do not take large bites when eating and avoid chewing large pieces of food in the mouth, such an action will strain the jaw muscles immensely and put extreme stress on the jaw muscles. The situation can improve in about six months - take small bites whenever eating within this period, as the muscles slowly heals and recovers.
The very first time when you experience any kind of uneasiness in the jaw, you should apply heat and cold alternately in order to get respite from the discomfort or swelling, if there is any. For applying heat, you may make use of a microwavable bag or damp, soaked towel, while an ice pack covered with a towel (to safeguard your face) may be used to apply cold. Apply the cold and heat to the jaw at intervals of 15 minutes with a view to get respite from the pain.
Provided you are facing problems with the jaw, you may do many things that will facilitate in easing the condition. For instance, you may practice holding the jaw devoid of applying any stress. This can be achieved if you keep your mouth closed, but keep the teeth a little apart. In addition, ensure that you do not sleep on your tummy, as this position may put stress on the joints of the jaw. Also consume soft foods and ensure that you do not chew much so with a view to reduce the burden on your jaw. In addition, consult your dentist or any orthodontist to get a custom fit guard for the mouth, which helps to readjust your jaw.
People who want to avoid problems related to their jaw ought to keep up a fine posture and also undertake jaw exercises every day. These exercises may include doing a number of things, for instance, opening the mouth gradually as well as extensively and subsequently closing it, moving the jaw to your left to such an extent that you are comfortable and again moving it to the right side, and putting your hand below the chin employing light resistance and then open and close the jaw. It is advisable that you perform each of these exercises at least 10 times daily.