Treat Temporomandibular Joint Disorder Naturally

Temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMJ is a collection of problems in the jaw joints causing poor function and pain. It is also known as TMD. It’s more than just a nuisance. TMJ can be a life-altering problem. In mild cases it will simply cause pain when eating but in more severe cases it can prevent the mouth from opening. There are five pairs of muscles and joints that move the mouth and jaw. With TMJ or TMD they become misaligned due to any number of problems including teeth that don’t fit together, bad work habits such as cradling the phone between the head and the shoulder, and even injuries like whiplash. Stress is also a major factor as it can lead to people grinding their teeth which then can cause the teeth to stop fitting together properly. In severe cases of TMJ or TMD you should always consult a trained dentist or doctor, but in most mild to moderate cases you can alleviate the symptoms of TMJ or TMD without too much trouble. The keys are keeping yourself as stress free and relaxed as possible and making a few dietary changes.

How do I prevent TMJ?

  • Relax. Relaxation is the key to preventing TMJ disorder.
  • Avoid resting your head on your hand.
  • Don’t cradle the phone between your head and your shoulder. Consider investing in a headset if you have to be on the phone a lot while using your hands.
  • Avoid clenching your teeth. Consider buying a small piece of cork to help prevent clenching from happening when you’re trying to be relaxed.
  • Use a desk that is appropriate in height so that you can work easily.
  • Sit up straight in your chair.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Increase fruit and vegetable intake.
  • Change sleeping pillows, consider a cervical pillow

What are TMJ Symptoms?

  • Grinding teeth
  • Clenching teeth
  • Worn down teeth
  • Tender jaw muscles
  • Popping jaw
  • Clicking jaw
  • Difficulty opening your mouth
  • Facial pain
  • Neck Pain
  • Tooth pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Pain when chewing, yawning or opening your mouth widely
  • Jaw gets stuck when open or closed
  • Pain around or in the ear
  • Stuffy or itchy ears
  • Earaches
  • Tinnitus including Ringing, roaring, hissing or buzzing in the ears
  • Dizziness

How Do I treat TMJ?

  • Massage your jaw to help relax muscle spasms.
  • Use light heat on your jaw, neck and shoulder muscles to help relax them.
  • Use ice on your jaw joints to help relieve pain.
  • Alternate hot and cold treatments if they don’t work on their own. Five minutes of each for twenty minutes.
  • Do jaw exercises to help reduce strain.
  • Eat foods high in magnesium such as almonds, cashews, corn or oatmeal.
  • Eat foods high in calcium.
  • B Complex vitamins are important in preventing and treating TMJ. Eat foods and take supplements to get rid of any deficiency.
  • Glucosamine sulfate helps to repair cartilage and relieve pain and stiffness. Gingko biloba and parsely are high in glucosamine sulfate.
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