TMJ or Temporomandibular Joint Pain is a common cause of jaw pain. Its symptoms include difficulty in chewing, swallowing and even earaches, headaches and neck pain. Emotional stress, abscessed tooth, sinusitis, otitis media, and osteoarthritis are some of the common causes of TMJ. Today we will consider some natural remedies to cure TMJ permanently.
1. Acupuncture, Acupressure and Jaw exercises
Acupuncture and acupressure are known to relieve TMJ pain caused by arthritis and other non-dental or non-respiratory issues. Seek help of a professional acupuncturist to help you. Gentle stretches and jaw exercises can help with rheumatoid, osteo or gouty arthritis that causes TMJ pain. (Start slow and slowly increase the intensity and duration)
- Place your palm against the cheek and align your front teeth. Gently push your hand on your cheek inwards. Hold the pressure for 5 seconds before releasing. Repeat this exercise 3-4 times for 5 seconds each. Switch hands and cheek and repeat on the other side. This is one of the simplest yet most effective TMJ remedies jaw exercises.
- Put your fingers down on the bottom teeth and push down (do not bite). Hold the pressure for up to 10 seconds. Repeat 3 times. (Do not stretch the jaw open just gently press down).
- Keep the palm on your chin, relax the jaw and push straight back.
- Yoga poses like Cobra, Bow etc can also help as you need to jut the jaw out. When done regularly, these poses can strengthen the jaw and stop TMJ pain permanently.
These TMJ exercises will strengthen the small Temporomandibular Joint to relieve TMJ pain permanently.
2. Rest the jaw
Avoid chewing on hard, chewy stuff like pizzas etc as this could trigger the pain and even worsen it. Rest the jaw as much as possible.
Massage therapy is one of the easiest ways to stop TMJ pain in the jaw, ear and neck. Use three to four fingers to massage the jaw. You can use some oil and essential oils and/or massage lotion to make the fingers slide smoothly over the ears and jaw. This will let out the tension from the jaws and loosen the joints. Any time you feel your jaw getting clenched or spasms in the muscles of the face use this simple remedy for quick relief.
4. Hot or Cold compresses
Applying heat or ice packs can give much needed tooth and jaw pain relief caused by TMJ spasms. Use a moist cloth dipped in hot water (you can also add some TMJ essential oils that I will be describing shortly) and wring out excess water. Press the compress on the jaw. You can also heat some water and fill it in a glass bottle. Apply the bottle on the areas with the pain. Please be careful when using this remedy as it can cause burns. Ice packs can also help- you can ice the area for 20 minutes up to a time. Repeat throughout the day as needed.
5. Over the counter pain relief medications
For very severe pain, you can take some acetaminophen or Ibuprofen. If the pain does not get better within 2-3 days, do see a doctor. Your dentist/doctor may prescribe steroidal injections inside the jaw for very severe TMJ pain.
6. Break old habits
Sometimes, habits like jaw clenching, gnashing your teeth (bruxism) putting the phone to the shoulder and tilting the head to talk, resting the head on your palms etc can also be responsible for TMJ pain. Try to break these habits. Follow proper posture and avoid slouching at the desk if you are desk worker. At night, use teeth guards that prevent you from clenching your jaws while sleeping. Avoid carrying a large shoulder bag that puts extra tension on the TMJ and shoulder and neck muscles.
7. Eat small, softer food pieces
If needed, cut your food in small, bite size pieces. Avoid all those actions that cause you to open the jaw wide-for example, while yawning consciously open the jaw a little less by holding a hand under the jaw. It may be difficult in the beginning but with a little practice, it will come easily. Avoid hard foods that require you to take a wide bite or strain the jaws-like candy, corn or apples etc. Also avoid excess gum chewing. These foods could even lock your jaw in the open position which may need an emergency room visit.
Stress is an important factor that contributes to jaw pain. Learn to relax especially during stressful times at work. Practice some deep, mindful breathing. Take small breaks in between work to visulaie something peaceful.
9. TMJ essential oils
Cayenne pepper oil is one of the best essential oils for stopping TMJ pain. Tea tree oil is another one that is anti-inflammatory and analgesic. Dilute some tea tree oil with water and use it for gargling. You can also directly apply cayenne pepper oil mixed with castor oil on the inside of the jaw where the bone hurts. Rubbing some magnesium oil on the jaw bones can also help. This remedy will sting a bit but is an effective cure for TMJ pain. Apply the oil, leave it on for 20 minutes, and then shower off. Oil pulling with coconut or sesame oils can also help.
10. Get rid of Magnesium deficiency
Many times, magnesium deficiency could lead to jaw pain. You can talk to your doctor about supplementation.
Try these 10 home remedies to cure TMJ pain permanently.