How To Cure TMJ
If it’s recurring and prolonged pain in the jaw you’ve been experiencing, you may have fallen victim to TMJ – short for temporomandibular joint – a condition wherein the temporomandibular joint, the bone connecting the lower jaw to the skull, is misaligned or displaced, or when the cartilage protecting the joint has been worn down to the bone beneath, causing it to grind against similar bone. So how to cure TMJ, or at least find temporary relief from any discomfort and pain that you may be experiencing as a result?
The answer to this question doesn’t require excessive surgical treatments or expensive procedures. TMJ is fairly treatable. Although doctors and medical specialists have yet to pinpoint an actual cure for TMJ, its signs and symptoms can be dealt with even from the comfort of your own home.
TMJ may be caused by many different factors, but the primary causes are: blunt trauma or severe injury to the jaw or facial area, frequent gum chewing, teeth grinding or jaw-clenching, lack of calcium or magnesium intake, problems with spinal or muscle alignment. Symptoms include clicking, grating or popping noises when chewing – called TMJ noises, facial and neck pain, difficulty in chewing or swallowing, swollen jaw or lower facial area, recurrent earaches and a ringing in the ears, redness and tenderness around the corners of the mouth, constant spasms of the facial muscles.
Having TMJ can range from feeling some discomfort to experiencing extreme pain. It’s no small wonder then many people are constantly asking for help on how to cure TMJ.
TMJ is more of a physical condition rather than a disease or disorder, so it doesn’t necessarily need invasive procedures to cure, unless strongly recommended by a doctor. Most medical experts agree that the best way to cure TMJ is through exercise and massage therapy; nutritional supplements and home remedies may be practiced, provided that they have the green light. Here are some of the most basic steps
to get started on experiencing relief from TMJ pain.
Medications for Relief
The most immediate form of treatment for TMJ is taking in painkillers, anti-inflammatory agents or muscle relaxants. These not only help relieve your pain, they can also reduce any swelling and tenderness that may be present in your jaw. It is not advisable however, to rely entirely on painkillers as you might become drug-dependent and too much use will eventually cause you to become impervious to the drug.
Stretching, Exercising and Massaging Your Jaw
Stretching your jaw will get rid of any tension and usually works as a quick relief from any discomfort in the lower facial area. Doing facial exercises and exercises for the neck and shoulders will all help you recover from TMJ as stretches loosen and relax the muscles, getting rid of any tension or stress that may be adding to or causing TMJ. You can also try massaging your jaw, taking care to apply gentle pressure. If you do jaw stretches however, and the pain only gets worse or you still feel severe pain, it’s best to consult your dentist or physician.
Dental Devices and Surgery
Your dentist will be the first to tell you if you need anything to help treat your TMJ. If the disorder is caused by misalignment of your jaw or an uneven bite, you may need to get braces, bite or night guards and biteplates to correct this and therefore, eventually cure TMJ. If the problem is a bit more severe and cannot be treated by using such devices, your dentist may go for other more invasive procedures, including dental surgery. This is a last option, so be sure to have exhausted all other possibilities and to do your research before saying yes to any form of TMJ relief through surgery.
Changes in Your Lifestyle
TMJ is mainly caused by the grinding and clenching of teeth, something that many of us do on a daily basis when angry or frustrated. As previously mentioned, it’s also caused by habits that wear the jaw down, like frequent gum chewing or a love for hard candy, tough meat and other foods that require much effort to chew. In order to address TMJ, you should think about making changes in your lifestyle and eating habits. Stick to a soft diet as much as possible to help your jaw rest and try therapy to lessen your stress and tension.
For those who don’t really favor modern medicine or who have tried everything else, alternative methods to treat TMJ
may be the thing for you. Acupuncture, biofeedback, yoga, meditation and taking in herbal and natural supplements have all been touted as effective means of easing TMJ pain and in the long run, might even cure you completely. Just be sure to ask around first and go for authorized and credible specialists in these fields.