Patients with jaw joint pain are often able to reduce their suffering with lifestyle changes, such as avoiding overuse of the jaw, using heat or cold packs, and stretching and massaging the muscles. Over-the-counter medication, muscle relaxants, antidepressants and sedatives can also help to relieve pain, according to Mayo Clinic Temporomandibular joint disorders are the common cause of pain in this joint, which joins the jaw to the skull.
The causes of TMJ disorder include injuries, wear and tear, and damage from arthritis. It most commonly affects females between the ages of 20 and 40, indicates Mayo Clinic.
People who chew or grind their teeth are more likely to suffer TMJ disorder, according to WebMD. Relaxation therapy and stress reduction therapy, including biofeedback, are also useful in reducing symptoms.
Along with pain in the jaw, TMJ disorders cause symptoms of pain surrounding the ear, facial pain and difficulty chewing. Some patients experience the jaw locking in an open or closed position, reports Mayo Clinic.
A splint or night guard that helps to align the jaw correctly can also help to reduce the symptoms of TMJ disorders, reports WebMD. Patients wear splints during the day and night guards when they sleep. Both devices prevent the user from closing his mouth completely, decreasing the stress on the joint.