If you are experiencing problems with your TMJ (temporomandibular joint) then you probably want to find relief as quickly as possible so that the pain isn’t interfering with chewing, speaking, or other vital daily activities. What are some of the best home remedies for TMD?
We’re going to help you provide yourself with the best care at home. Then we will present a natural way to get long-term relief from stubborn and persistent cases of TMD (TMJ dysfunction).
Home Remedies for TMD You Must Try
If you are recently starting to experience TMJ dysfunction, here are a few things that you can try at home before seeking help from a doctor.
Rest Your Jaw
If your TMJ has only been bothering you for a few days, there is a possibility that the problem is related to overuse. In this case, you may be able to recover by resting your jaw for a few days. Try eating softer foods and avoid activities that require you to open your jaw fully, such as screaming, singing, or yawning.
Ice Away Inflammation
Jaw pain, especially when related to head or neck injuries, if often due to inflammation. Ice is the natural enemy of swelling. Just be careful that the ice doesn’t come into direct contact with your skin. Wrap it in a dish towel and only apply ice for periods of 20 minutes or less at a time. Once the inflammation goes down, you should be in less pain, although this may not completely fix the problem if you are dealing with misalignment.
Watch Your Posture
Misalignment can also occur when you are not careful with your posture. For example, many people walk around with their cell phone held between the ear and shoulder so they can keep their hands free. This is terrible for your neck but also your jaw because the soft tissue surrounding the neck can shift this joint out of place. Other times to watch out for your posture include when sitting at a desk for work, while driving a car, and when binge-watching your favorite TV show on a mobile device.
Try a Mouthguard
If you have a problem with grinding your teeth at night, a mouthguard may help you to relax your jaw (and it may save your teeth). However, as a home remedy, this one is a little sketchy. You can get a “one size fits all” mouthguard at pretty much any pharmacy, but for the best results, you will want a dentist to create a custom-fit one. Remember that this will only help in the interim while you try to fix your issue with bruxism. You don’t want to sleep with a mouthguard forever.
Manage Your Stress
This is the real home remedy for grinding your teeth at night. The underlying factor is usually some form of stress or anxiety. Having positive stress coping mechanisms while you are awake can keep your body from needing to deal with concerns in a negative way while you sleep.
Massage the Jaw
The jaw joint is located just a little bit in from the ear. Starting at the joint, you can try massaging in gentle circles, working your way down along with jaw and back to the joint itself. This may help to relieve some of the pressure. It can also improve blood flow, which is good for healing once the inflammation is down.
Stretch the Jaw
You may be able to find videos for some gentle jaw stretches. As an alternative, you can ask a chiropractor or another type of doctor for suggestions on proper jaw stretches. However, to keep this a home remedy, there are sure to be videos from a medical professional online that show the proper techniques.
Finding Long-Term Relief from TMJ Pain
While these are some of the top home remedies for TMD, they are unlikely to provide long-term relief from a chronic ailment. If you find that your TMJ pain doesn’t go away and stay away with self-care at home, where can you turn for natural assistance? We would like to introduce you to upper cervical specific chiropractic care.
Upper Cervical Specific Chiropractic and TMD
Upper cervical specific chiropractic involves gentle adjustments of the C1 and C2 vertebrae that result from precise measurements. Diagnostic imaging is used to pinpoint misalignments, so the practitioner can design a custom adjustment for each patient. How does properly aligning the neck help the jaw?
Since these are the top two bones in the neck, they balance the head. When subluxations occur, the surrounding soft tissue shifts to keep the head on straight. These changes in the surrounding tissue can affect the jaw, ears, facial nerve, and may lead to the symptoms that often accompany jaw pain. Therefore, it makes sense to look for this type of misalignment if you are experiencing persistent jaw pain and other symptoms of TMD.
If you have been dealing with recurring jaw pain, especially if you have a history of head or neck injuries, we encourage you to seek the help of an upper cervical chiropractor today. You can begin by using the search feature on this site to locate a preferred doctor in your area. Then call to schedule an examination or consultation. It may be your first step on the path to getting rid of chronic TMD for good, and it can have other beneficial effects as well.