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Last updated August 9, 2016 (originally published September 12, 2014)

By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

A painful chin is a difficult condition to treat. For starters, it
is hard to pin down exactly where the root cause of the
pain is coming from – the teeth, the jaw, the bone, or the
mouth? Chin pain can be the result of pain radiating out
from other areas in the face. But it is essential to treat chin
pain to ease discomfort and also to rule out serious
conditions that may be causing the pain. Did you know that
pain in the chin or jaw could be an early sign o
f a heart
attack, for example? What are the various causes of chin
pain, and how can you treat it naturally?

Many Causes of Chin Pain

Chin pain may be the result of problems with your teeth.
Exposed roots result in sensitive teeth and pain that
radiates out to the chin. Sinus problems may also manifest
themselves in chin pain.

Trigeminal neuralgia is an intensely painful condition
characterized by a shooting pain in the face which may be
felt in the chin and jaw. This condition affects the
trigeminal nerve, one of the biggest nerves in the head. It
is most commonly caused by pressure from a blood vessel
on the nerve, resulting in nerve irritation. Pain is sudden
and severe – like an electric shock – and can strike when
you are brushing your teeth, putting on make-up or even
feeling the breeze on your face.

One of the most common causes of chin pain or pain in the
jaw is temporomandibular joint pain, also known as "TMJ"
or "TMD" pain. Between 5 and 12 percent of people in the
US suffer from TMJ pain, according to the National Institute
of Dental and Craniofacial Research. Women suffer from
the condition 5 times more than men.

The temporomandibular joint is the jaw joint – the hinge
on either side of your head below the ear which connects
the bone below the mouth which makes up the chin, and
the bone above the mouth.

Other symptoms besides a pain in the chin include pain or
tenderness in the face, neck or shoulders, inability to open
your mouth wide, clicking or popping sounds, and swelling.

Chin pain may occur through TMJ problems when you
chew or when the jaw is at rest, depending on the cause.
Injury to the jaw like whiplash, grinding the teeth,
and muscle tightening, can cause TMJ pain, as can
and even
heart attack.

Did You Know Chin Pain Could Be A Sign Of Heart Attack?

If your chin pain has a dull, vaguely bothersome pain on
the left side of your jaw don’t ignore it. It could be the sign
of a heart attack.

This type of chin pain is called "referred pain" and it
happens when the nerves around the heart become
distressed, and pain spread
s to other locations in your
body, particularly the left jaw and the left arm or shoulder.


You may find it odd that you can experience pain in your
chin and not your heart when you have a heart attack.
Referred pain, which is also called "reflective pain" happens
is pain that happens in any place in your body other than
the actual source of the pain. A classic type of referred pain
is feeling pain in your left arm when in fact it is your heart
which is under attack.]

Your chin or jaw pain is likely to be the sign of a heart
attack if it is brought on by physical activity and you are
also experiencing
shortness of breath, dizziness or nausea.

There is a chance that it is a sign of heart attack if you
experience the pain in the morning when your blood is

On the other hand, i
f the pain increases when you move
your jaw it is unlikely to be a sign of heart attack. See a
doctor if you are unsure.

If your chin pain is not the sign of such a serious condition,
it can be treated and managed to lessen the discomfort. We
looked at recent scientific evidence into natural remedies
for chin pain to find out what works and what doesn’t.

Use Biofeedback to Treat Chin Pain Caused by TMJ

EMG biofeedback is a type of therapy where the person
suffering from pain is taught to exert conscious control
over their muscles, therefore controlling their own pain
levels. According to 1999 research from Williams College,
Williamstown, Massachusetts EMG biofeedback helps treat
chin and jaw pain due to TMJ problems – however, the
findings in the report are limited and more research is

Is Acupuncture An Effective Chin Pain Treatment?

More research is also needed into acupuncture for chin pain
and TMJ pain although reviews like a 1999 study from the
University of Exeter, UK say that the treatment is effective
for reducing pain.  

In addition, acupuncture has been demonstrated to be an
effective treatment for trigeminal neuralgia, the painful
nerve condition that can cause chin pain, in a 2012 study
from Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing, China.

The study looked at electroacupuncture which reduced the
intensity of pain in 28 percent of the patients studied.

Hypnosis Helps Ease Chin Pain?

Pain in the chin, face and jaw can be due to excessive
tension, which can cause TMJ pain or other forms of muscle

Studies show that hypnosis is an effective way of
decreasing the tension in the face: a 2011 study from
Aarhus University Hospital, Denmark involving 39 women
found hypnosis was more effective than relaxation in
reducing the pain associated with TMJ.

Treat Chin Pain Caused by Arthritis with Glucosamine

Glucosamine has shown particular promise as a treatment
for osteoarthritis. This matters for chin pain sufferers
because pain in the chin and jaw may be caused by

A 2001 study from the University of Alberta, Edmonton,
Canada compared glucosamine to ibuprofen as a treatment
for people with TMJ arthritis and discovered that
glucosamine was equally as effective as the drug in easing

Herbs for the Treatment of Chin and Jaw Pain Caused by

Is your chin pain caused by blockages in the sinuses, as a
result of sinusitis?

If so, a combination of gentian root, elderberry, sorrel,
primrose and vervain may help. This mixture of herbs
helped treat sinusitis more effectively than placebo in 300
subjects, according to the results of a 2006 study by
University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland.

How to Manage Chin Pain from Exposed Tooth Roots

Pain in the chin and jaw often stems from exposed tooth
roots – this causes sensitive teeth and spreading pain
across the lower jaw. Manage the pain of sensitive teeth by
using a specialist toothpaste and brushing properly in a
gentle up and down, back and forth motion. Floss daily and
see your dentist if your teeth are causing your chin to ache.

Healing Cayenne Cream for Chin Pain?

A cream made from hot peppers is demonstrated to help
reduce the pain of a variety of conditions so researchers
tested it on chin pain caused by TMJ syndrome. However,
the results are not entirely promising as a 2000 study from
Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel failed to find the
cayenne cream more effective than placebo.

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