It is normal to feel some mild discomforts after having dental work. If you have undergone dental procedures you will need time for your healing process. However, this discomfort should only be temporary and from one to three days, or a week in the extreme. Jaw pain after dental work is one of the examples of the after-effects that you might experience.

It is normal to feel some mild discomforts after having dental work. If you have undergone dental procedures you will need time for your healing process. However, this discomfort should only be temporary and from one to three days, or a week in the extreme. Jaw pain after dental work is one of the examples of the after-effects that you might experience.

You can apply home remedies such as cold compress or pain relief to address it during this period. However, if the jaw pain after dental work is persistent, you have to go back to your dentist. There could be an underlying cause that triggers your jaw pain after dental work. It would be best to let the dentist examine it at the earliest possible time before it progresses to a severe condition.


Causes of jaw pain after dental work

a man suffering from toothacheWe have listed down below some potential causes why you are experiencing pain in your jaw.

  1. Swelling: This after-effect is very common after undergoing dental procedures such as tooth extraction. Cold compress is the best option to reduce swelling and ease the pain.
  2. Bleeding: This also a natural scenario after dental procedures. However, if the bleeding does not stop for several hours already, you have to immediately contact your dentist. To temporarily work on your bleeding, applying direct pressure on it such as using a clean gauze will help.
  3. Infection: This is possible to occur since you can expose your mouth to bacteria after returning home from your dental clinic. You have to practice proper oral health care to prevent infection from occurring.
  4. Jaw tenderness: It can happen once your jaw muscles and joints get tired from opening and closing. It would be best if you relax your jaw once in a while. Massaging your jaws can also help you ease the tenderness. However, if it’s persistent, contact your dentist. You might be experiencing temporomandibular joint dysfunction.


What is a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction?

TMJ acts like a sliding hinge that connects your jawbone to your skull. Each side of the jaw has this joint. If you experience jaw pain on these joints, potentially, you have a TMJ disorder or TMD. When you get an injury or damage on this joint, that’s the time it can lead to TMJ dysfunction.

If you neglect this condition, it may progress and affect you more than you could ever think of. Neglected TMJ dysfunction can lead to unbearable jaw or neck pain, depression, malnutrition, or eating disorders.

TMJ dysfunction can significantly affect your overall health condition. So, it would be best to work on it the soonest possible time. Some dentists near Pennant Hills, NSW listed some of the common symptoms that can help you identify whether you have TMJ disorder or not.


Common symptoms of TMJ disorders

  1. Persistent pain or tenderness in your jaw.
  2. Pain in either or both of your temporomandibular joint.
  3. Experiencing earaches or headaches.
  4. You have difficulty or pain while chewing.
  5. Consistent facial pain.
  6. Joint lock.
  7. Clicking sound while opening or closing your mouth.

The bottom line of TMJ disorders is pain. But then again, you can work out your TMJ disorders using home remedies temporarily.

However, if exercises or home remedies would not work, dental surgery may be necessary. Additionally, it is also possible to have a total joint replacement. Aside from TMJ exercises, you can also consider the following.


Natural remedies and adjustments

  1. Eat softer foods to reduce the stress in the joints on your jaw.
  2. Stress is also a factor for TMJ dysfunction. For this, learn how to manage your stress. Take time to relax sometimes.
  3. Wearing a bite guard also works to relieve pressure from joints. Mouthguards are the best options for those who clench or grind their teeth.
  4. Limit jaw movements that can cause strain in your joints. Extreme activities will cause TMJ dysfunction.
  5. Furthermore, acupuncture massage therapy can relieve the pain in your jaw. It will help loosen the muscles around your jaw, which provides you pain relief.
  6. Medium heat or cold therapy is one of the basic pain relief for your jaw. Depending on your preference, apply these on your jaw for a few minutes per day.


In addition to what we mentioned recently, you also have to consider avoiding the following.

  1. Limit yourself from chewing gum. Aside from that, avoid chewing on one side only.
  2. Avoid non-functional jaw activities, such as chewing on pen or nail-biting.
  3. Try not to rest on your chin while studying, watching tv or browsing. It brings pressure on your jaws without you noticing it.
  4. Work out your teeth clenching.
  5. Avoid placing yourself in a slouching position. Maintain a good posture.

Doing these natural remedies and minor adjustments may or may not improve your condition. However, through these natural remedies, you would be able to decrease discomfort and pain as well. On the other hand, the best preventive measures that you can do are good dental care practices such as the following we mentioned below.


Good oral health care practices

  1. Regularly brush your teeth. Using a soft-bristled toothbrush is advised by dentists. Aside from that, flossing your teeth at least once a day is necessary. Flossing will remove the food particles in between your teeth. Mouthwash is also preferable.
  2. Eat a healthy and balanced diet. You have to ensure that your meals have enough nutrients that can support your oral health needs. Your oral health will not be the only one benefitting in this practice, but your overall health, as well. Aside from that, instead of sugary drinks, choose drinking water.
  3. Maintain a regular visit with your dentist. Make sure to visit them at least every six months. Regular dental visits can help you with the early detection of potential oral health issues. In this case, your dentist can immediately apply the necessary treatment to prevent it from making progress inside your mouth.
  4. If you are a smoker, you better start quitting it now. Smoking will not cause any good for your dental health condition.
  5. Relax! Do not use your oral functions, muscles and joints aggressively. They deserve some rest too.



It is a natural scenario to feel pain after any dental procedure. However, this pain should not last long. On the condition that the pain in your jaw is already in an extended period, it would be best to communicate with your dentist about it.

There could be underlying reasons why you are experiencing too much pain. With this, you have to be particular with the symptoms to determine when you should go to your dentist. Aside from that, home remedies may not be able to address your pain. In fact, these are only temporary relievers and may not work the exact cause.

Your dentist is still your best choice! They can provide you with dental services to directly address the root cause of your jaw pain. Results can even last longer compared to temporary pain relievers.

So, let your dentist save you from this persistent oral health pains.

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