It’s been said that the pain of TMJ is second only to a toothache…and if you’re experiencing facial pain on that level then you’ll be glad to know there’s something you can do at home. What we have here are cost-effective home remedies that provide relief from what’s officially known as TMD and commonly known as TMJ.
Whatever you call it, pain in the temporomandibular joint is constant, persistent and in some cases, severe.
What is TMJ
“TMJ” really stand for temporomandibular joint, which connects the lower jaw to your skull. As you can imagine, this joint sees a lot of movement with everyday living…eating, talking, yawning, etc. It’s not exactly a joint that can stay immobile for very long. If you have this disorder, it’s constant discomfort, which is why we’re lucky that there are actually some home remedies for TMJ that are effective.
When problems arise regarding either the joint itself or the muscles surrounding it (doctors aren’t sure which), the result is TMD, or temporomandibular disorder. It’s more prevalent in women.
What are the Symptoms of TMJ?
The symptoms of TMJ are pain and discomfort. More specifically, watch for:
- pain or tenderness anywhere in the general region of the TMJ: neck, face, jaw and shoulder areas included
- pain in the ear when opening the mouth
- the person’s jaw can get stuck – either open or closed
- the person can’t open the mouth very wide
- clicking of the jaw when chewing
- facial swelling
- facial muscles are tired
- sometimes: toothaches, tinnitis, earaches, headaches, dizziness and shoulder pain
What are the Causes of TMJ?
Doctors aren’t quite sure what causes TMD, or TMJ Disorder, as it’s sometimes known. They suspect trauma, however. Things such as whiplash or a blow to the head seem likely causes.
Stress may also be an indirect factor since it can cause a person to grind his or her teeth or clench muscles around the jaw and face. The fact that it’s more prevalent in people between the ages of 20 and 40 lends itself to this theory.
Another possible cause of TMJ could be that rheumatoid arthritis has set into the jaw area. Or it could be osteoarthritis in that area.
Home Remedies for TMJ
The system of muscles around the jaw are complex, so each case of TMJ can potentially be quite different from the next. Therefore, any home remedies for TMJ that work for one sufferer may not work for another. Try several or a combination of remedies until you find your best combination for relief.
1. Massage. You may already be doing this instinctively. The pain of TMJ might be coming from muscle spasms so massaging might relax your jaw muscles.
2. Heat. This is another instinctive home remedy for TMJ- heat always feels good on muscles.
3. Cold Ice packs on the joint can relieve pain from TMJ. However, it won’t relax the muscles. It’s just a pain reliever.
4. Reduce stress in your life. Since stress might be a cause of TMJ, try and find sources of stress and eliminate them. Exercise works to ease stress.
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