Pain in your jaw after visiting the dentist
Perhaps the dentist held or propped your jaw and head in such a way that it aggravated the muscles of your jaw. That can cause pain after a dental treatment. Sometimes they really prop a jaw wide open.
Here’s why you have jaw pain following dental work
If you were to hold your fingers and thumb stretched wide open for half an hour, the muscles in your hand would hurt, too. Muscles get strained when they are stretched too much.
And you have muscles all around your head, jaw and neck.
How can you get rid of the pain in your jaw?
If you tried heat and that makes your jaw feel a little worse then switch to cold packs. I know it’s not as pleasant but heat can cause muscles to feel worse. It can actually cause a little more inflammation or swelling in the muscles.
Use cold therapy on a wide area for the most benefit. Place cold packs or a bag of frozen peas on your jaw, temple and neck. When you feel numbness remove the cold pack.
Did you know the muscles in your temples are also jaw muscles?
If the dentist says he doesn’t see a reason for your pain following your dental treatment that’s good. Why?
Because muscles don’t show up on x-rays. But, they are most common cause of pain.
If you feel the need for a pain reliever, my personal favorite over the counter muscle pain reliever is Aleve (sodium naproxin.) It lasts about 12 hours and in my experience only one or two doses are required. I don’t like to take any type of medicine but that’s the one that works best for me when I have muscle injury. I would consider stretched jaw muscles a temporary injury.
Here’s an article about pain in your jaw and teeth being caused by muscles. It even has a picture of jaw muscles on the outer side of your teeth
But they are not the only jaw muscles.
If you place your finger in your mouth and push the tip (gingerly) into the far corners of your mouth on the painful side on the outside of your teeth you will find tender areas. Those tender areas are muscles.
Applying pressure with your finger tip will help them relax. Be thoughtful; you want it to be uncomfortable but don’t kill yourself. If you feel the discomfort lessening when you are still pressing (for about 12 seconds) that means the muscle is relaxing. You can go back to an area multiple times.
Press your finger tip right into the joint of the jaw. Muscles are there, too.
And then explore the area on the inner side of your teeth on the gums and side of your mouth. More muscles!
There are even muscles if you press up under your jaw bone and you can work along the jaw bone, too.