The 101 On TMJ Relief: Unique Solutions To Treat Your Temporomandibular Disorder
From difficulty chewing and yawning to overall pain and discomfort, temporomandibular disorder can be an overwhelming issue that requires treatment. Known as TMJ, this clicking, popping, and pain in the temporomandibular joint affects an estimated 10 million Americans. Although treatment commonly focuses on orthodontic care, patients with TMJ can find relief in a more holistic manner. While surprising to hear, relieving the symptoms of your TMJ is possible without invasive, orthodontic treatments. Using this guide on unique treatment options, you can reduce the pain and discomfort of your TMJ.
The temporomandibular joint is a hinge that helps open and close your jaw. This hinge is essential for speaking, eating, drinking, swallowing, and yawning. Unfortunately, TMJ disorder prevents the hinge from opening and closing properly. As a sufferer of the disorder, you may feel pain when opening your jaw or feel an actual clicking and popping.
Thankfully, practicing a few exercises each day can reduce these uncomfortable sensations. Each day, complete the following exercises to improve your temporomandibular joint:
- Realignment – If your TMJ stems from a misaligned bite, consider moving your jaw into its proper position to reduce pain. Each day, open your mouth wide and move your upper and lower jaw into an aligned position. Make sure the back, upper teeth match up with your back, bottom teeth. Hold the position for 30 seconds before releasing. Repeat 10 to 20 times each day.
- Resistance – Sit down and place your elbows firmly on a flat surface. Point your thumbs up and rest your chin on top of the thumb. Be sure to lock your elbows in place. Open your mouth slowly by lowering the bottom jaw against your thumb. Hold this position for 15 seconds before release. Repeat the resistance training periodically through the day to relieve tension and pain in your temporomandibular joint.
- Stretches – Stretching the temporomandibular joint periodically through the day is also beneficial for your disorder. Each day, open your mouth as wide as possible. Hold it open for 20 to 30 seconds before releasing. Repeat the stretch throughout the day, increasing the amount of time you can comfortably hold your mouth open.
Chiropractors can treat a variety of issues without medications or surgical procedures. From chronic pain and headaches to reproductive issues, chiropractors are able to reduce pain and improve your underlying health in a holistic manner. In addition, a chiropractor can help you reduce the symptoms of your TMJ disorder.
In many cases, a spinal manipulation can relieve your joint stiffness and pain. During this procedure, your chiropractor will realign your spine, neck, and head using a gentle manipulation.
Massage therapy is also a treatment your chiropractor may suggest to reduce pain and discomfort in your jaw, head, and neck. Talk to a local chiropractor for more info on how they can help treat the symptoms of TMJ.
Originating thousands of years ago by the people of Ayurveda, oil pulling was a common treatment for a variety of medical conditions. Today, oil pulling can help you ease the tension in your temporomandibular joint, which decreases the overall discomfort of your disorder. The actual act of swishing oil around in your mouth strengthens your jaw and your temporomandibular joint, but the antibacterial properties in coconut and olive oil will detoxify your body, as well. Each day, complete the following steps:
- Place a tablespoon of coconut or olive oil in your mouth.
- Move the oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes using swishing motions. This will "pull" toxins out of your body, while improving the strength of your mouth and jaw.
- Spit the oil into a trash bin and rinse your mouth with warm water.
- Brush your teeth as normal to remove the taste of oil. Rinse with warm water.
Temporomandibular joint disorder may be uncomfortable, but it does not have to affect your daily life. Using these unique treatment options, you can safely reduce your TMJ symptoms.