TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) is related to the problem occurred in the jaw and its motion.

Learn about its cause, diagnosis, nd natural remedies to cure it.

Do you hear a clicking noise every time you open your mouth?

Do you feel a sharp pain in the jaw region of your face?

If the answers to both the question are YES, then you might be suffering from TMJ disorder.

In more severe cases of the TMJ disorder, you might also encounter pain in shoulder and neck regions along with headaches.

Though this condition is not fatal, it degrades the quality of life and can hamper day to day activities.

Here comes the best part. There are natural remedies using which you can treat this disorder and resume living a healthy life.

Table of Contents

What Is The TMJ Disorder?

 

What Is The TMJ Disorder
What Is The TMJ Disorder

TMJ, short form of the Temporomandibular Joint disorder is a type of health condition related to the jaw and its motion. The TMJ condition can lead to restricted opening of mouth and in some cases it can lead to the mouth get “STUCK” closed or open.

One of the easiest ways to identify that if you have the TMJ disorder is by listening to the noise when you open your mouth. If you can hear a “Clicking” noise every time you open your mouth, then there is a high probability that you have a TMJ disorder.

The TMJ (Temporomandibular joint) is present in our jaw, and it serves as a sliding hinge that connects your jawbone to the skull. Disorders related to the TMJ can cause sharp or sudden pain in the joint, as well as the muscles that aid in jaw movement.

One of the most common causes of the TMJ disorder includes unusual or continuous pressure encountered by the jawbone, like in the case of chewing gum, jaw or teeth misalignment, or habitual grinding of teeth.

What Are The Symptoms Of The TMJ Disorder?

What Are The Symptoms Of The TMJ Disorder
What Are The Symptoms Of The TMJ Disorder

The most prominent symptom is the clicking noise that we have already discussed in the above paragraphs. Apart from them, there are few other symptoms that indicate the TMJ disorder. Such symptoms include:

  • Tenderness or persistent pain in your jaw
  • Persistent and sharp pain present in the ear and its vicinity
  • Finding difficulty or discomfort in chewing your food
  • Persistent and sharp pain in the facial region
  • Finding great difficulty in opening and closing your mouth due to the locking of the joint.

If there is no pain associated with the clicking sound when you open your mouth, then you may not need any treatment for the condition.

When To Consult Your Doctor?

If you find that you are unable to open completely or close the jaw, or if you feel having a persistent tenderness or pain in your jaw then it’s advisable to consult with your dentist or your doctor.

What Causes The TMJ Disorder?

What Causes The TMJ Disorder
What Causes The TMJ Disorder

The TMJ works by a combination of sliding motions and hinges action. The bones that are associated with this joint are layered with cartilage and are separated by the joint using a small disk that absorbs all the shocks and keeps the movement smooth.

Though the exact reason for this disorder is unclear, there are a few potential reasons that can cause the TMJ disorder. Such reasons include:

  • The small disk thins out or misalign from its primary position
  • The cartilage present in the joint is damaged or destroyed due to the effects of arthritis
  • Sharp impact or heavy blow damages the joint, like in accidents, etc.
  • Anatomical defect due to muscular misalignment
  • Spinal misalignment issues
  • Stress, anxiety or mental trauma
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Deficiency of vital nutrients, especially Magnesium and Calcium

What Age Group Is At The Maximum Risk?

It is observed that this condition occurs mostly in women in the age group of 20 to 40. But, then again, it’s not compulsory and can occur to anyone at any age.

How To Test That You Have TMJ Condition?

It’s advised not to self-diagnose yourself for any medical or physical condition. But, to get the rough idea you can follow the below-mentioned steps:

  • Listen and feel how your jaw behave when you open or close your mouth
  • Observing the range and variety of the movement of your jaw
  • Pressing such areas of your jaw and observing for the potential site of pain

You should let your doctor determine the extent of your disorder, as in severe cases of TMJ disorder CT scan is needed to be done of the entire jaw to analyze the extent of the disorder.

Natural Cures And Remedies For TMJ

Natural Cures And Remedies For TMJ
Natural Cures And Remedies For TMJ

After telling you the basics of the TMJ disorder, let’s talk about the natural ways you can cure this condition without having to take the trip to the clinic.

The best part about natural remedies is the fact that they have no side effects, unlike the painkillers and antibiotics that are used for alleviating the pain associated with TMJ.

We shall go through such natural remedies that would alleviate you from the TMJ symptoms, such as a headache, anxiety, and muscular pain.

To completely cure the TMJ disorder, we have divided the therapy into four distinct parts. You should follow all the parts carefully for maximum effects.

The four parts of the therapy include:

  1. Exercises related to jaw movement
  2. Full body relaxation to alleviate the stress
  3. Monitoring and changing the eating habits that exacerbate the TMJ disorder
  4. Alleviating pain and curing TMJ by making necessary lifestyle changes

We shall discuss each part in depth so that you will get the maximum benefit.

Part 1. Exercises related to jaw movement

There are several jaw related exercises that can help in alleviating the TMJ disorder. Few of them are listed below.

Exercise Routine 1:

  • Fully open your mouth to the maximum extent (You should open your mouth up to the limit where there is no pain and discomfort and try not to exceed it)
  • After fully opening your mouth, gradually move your jaw towards right and hold for at least 10 seconds
  • Now returning your jaw to the center position, start the same process for the left side. Hold for at least 10 seconds and then bring your jaw back to the middle.
  • Close your mouth and let it relax. You should repeat this process 5 times daily.

Exercise Routine 2:

  • Use your index finger of right hand and trace the location of the jaw hinge present on the right side of your face.
  • Massage the hinge area by doing a downward action with your index finger.
  • Repeat the same process for the left side of the face by using the index finger of the left hand.

Exercise Routine 3:

  • Fully open your mouth to the maximum extent (You should open your mouth up to the limit where there is no pain and discomfort and try not to exceed it)
  • Now stick the tip of your tongue to reach the upper mouth. Touching the roof of the upper mouth, try to stretch your tongue towards the side of tonsils.
  • Hold to the maximum extent of stretch for at least 5 seconds
  • Now pull out your tongue from the mouth and extend it as much as you can outside.
  • Hold to the maximum extent of stretch for at least 5 seconds
  • Relax and then repeat the process again for 5 to 10 times.

Exercise Routine 4:

  • Sit in a straight posture.
  • Perform up and down movement with your chin for a minute.
  • After that, perform side to side chin movement. Again, for a minute
  • Repeat the process. ( Do the process in a relaxed manner to avoid injury)

Part  2. Full body relaxation to alleviate the stress

One of the major causes of the TMJ disorder is stressful living. Performing such exercises that relax the nervous system and spinal cord proves efficient in relieving from the TMJ pain.

There are several exercises that can help in alleviating the pain associated with the TMJ disorder. Few of them are listed below.

Exercise Routine 1: (For Spine)

  • Sit in a straight posture.
  • By bending forward, your head, in such a fashion that your chin touches the chest, and interlocking your fingers and placing it behind the head; push back your head in the backward direction and resist this movement using the hands placed at the back of your head.
  • Repeat this process, at least, three times and don’t press your head very hard when following the routine.

Exercise Routine 2:

  • Sit in a straight posture.
  • By opening your mouth, try to see the sky by bending your head in the backward direction so that your forehead points in the direction of the sky.
  • Take deep breaths and return to the normal position.
  • Repeat the process

Exercise Routine 3:

  • Lie down comfortably on your back and relax.
  • Now, keeping your right hand on the chest and left hand on the stomach, take deep breaths.
  • Concentrate on the breathing activity and do not think about anything else.
  • Take heavy breathings at least 10 to 20 times in a single routine.

Apart from the aforementioned exercise, you can follow any relaxing exercise. Yoga and meditation also work wonders in curing the TMJ disorder. By regularly doing fitness activities, you can avoid this condition altogether.

Part 3: Monitoring and changing the eating habits that exacerbate the TMJ disorder

Eating habits play a major role in determining the condition of TMJ disorder. You should follow the points mentioned below for fast relief.

  • Take the necessary nutrition: Nutritional deficiency in the body is one of the major causes of TMJ disorder, especially the deficiency of Calcium and Magnesium. Calcium strengthens the bones of our body while Magnesium is known to relieve muscular tension.
  • Hydrate your body: Lack of water causes cramps in the muscles of mandibular joints, and so it’s very important to keep yourself hydrated at all times. You should drink at least eight glasses of water every day. You can remember drinking water by following the thumb rule of drinking two glasses of water for every 2 hours of daytime. Also, drink water evenly throughout the day and do not drink large amounts of water in a particular setting.
  • Foods rich in Magnesium: An average adult requires a minimum of 310 mg of Mg per day and you can easily get them by eating foods, such as, Avocados, Sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, Black-eyed Peas, Cashews, Corn, Cocoa Powder, Spinach, Squash, Molasses, Oat, Dry Roasted Peanuts, Flax, Pumpkin, Rice, Roasted Soybeans, Walnuts, Low Fat Yogurt, Oatmeal, Watermelon Seeds, Wheat, Sesame Butter, Sesame Seeds, Whole Milk and Almonds.
  • Foods rich in Calcium: An average adult requires a minimum of 10 grams of Ca per day and you can easily get them by eating foods, such as, green peas, cabbage, milk, wheat flour with husk, spinach, sesame, oranges, banana, coconut, almond, groundnut, and unpolished rice.

Other nutrition that helps in TMJ treatment includes Vitamin B complex and Glucosamine Sulfate. You can get them easily from the local drug store in the form of capsules or syrups. Apart from them, you should cut on your junk foods and replace them with healthy fruits and vegetables to have maximum effect.

Part 4: Alleviating pain and curing TMJ by making necessary lifestyle changes

There are various lifestyle changes that you can implement for curing or prevent TMJ disorder. Some of them are listed below:

  • Watch your posture: One of the biggest causes of the TMJ disorder is the wrong or defective sitting posture. You should always make a habit of sitting in erect position only. If you do jobs that require you to sit for the long duration of time, then make sure to use a chair that provides the necessary lumbar support. Also, take short breaks in between long stretches of time, so as to relax the spine.
  • Massage using hot press: Hot Press massage is very effective in curing muscle soreness. You can fill a hot water in water pads and massage on the respective area to be relieved from the pain associated with the TMJ condition.
  • Cold Pack message: You can fill ice in plastic zipper bags and then wrap the bag in a towel. Now massage using this towel the affected area to relieve the TMJ pain.

Till now, you must have got the clear idea about every aspect of the TMJ condition.

You can easily counteract this situation by living a well-balanced life and it’s easily manageable, even if you get this disorder by following the above mentioned steps.

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Founder and Director of SM Ayurveda Institute and Wellness Center in Ontario (Canada), Dr. Hemant Gupta is a veteran in Ayurveda bringing over 30 years of expertise in Panchakarma, Marma Therapy, Natural healing, Yoga and more. He is also founder and president of Canadian Ayurvedic Members Alliance (CAMA).

  • Harvey Chin

    Thank you for sharing this post, really this post provides effective solution to get rid of TMJ pain.