If you experience occasional TMJ pain, or maybe this is your first time with a jaw problem, you may be searching for TMJ Home Treatment. We’re going to look at a few things you can try without having to go to a doctor. If you still need more help, or your TMJ disorder becomes chronic or recurring, be sure too read to the end of the article for a natural therapy that has helped some patients in case studies.
Using Moist Heat
Heat can be a way to get blood flowing in the area. Blood flow is vital for healing. However, there are two things to be aware of when using heat as a form of TMJ home treatment. First, don’t burn yourself! You don’t need scalding heat to get the benefits. Second, be careful with inflammation. Heat will send more blood flowing to the area, so inflammation could actually become worse.
Icing the Jaw
Ice is a natural way to combat inflammation. It usually provides the most benefit in the first couple of days following the onset of the swelling. There are also a few cautions regarding icing the jaw. For one thing, the ice should never come in direct contact with your skin. The other thing to keep in mind is the need to limit exposure – never use ice for more than 20 minutes at a time.
Resting Your Jaw
Sometimes TMJ pain is just an indicator of overuse. How can you give your jaw a rest so that the pain goes away?
- Soft diet – Try eating softer foods rather than foods that are crunchy, chewy, or otherwise tough on the jaw. Slice your fruit rather than taking a big bite off of the whole fruit. Try creamed corn as a side dish instead of corn on the cob. Slice your food into smaller bites.
- Don’t chew gum – You don’t have to go off of gum forever. Just quit for a few weeks so your TMJ has time to recover completely.
- Avoid jaw clenching – Clenching your jaw over and over again can wear the joint and tire the muscles. Of course, you may have to go after the underlying reason that you clench your jaw, which is usually stress-related. We’ll cover that topic next.
Stress can lead to increased jaw pain in a number of ways. You may frequently clench and unclench your jaw. Or you may experience bruxism (grinding your teeth) at night. This can lead to morning jaw pain, among other symptoms. In these cases, how you manage your stress is going to play a significant role in your recovery. Don’t be afraid to accept medical help if you are dealing with overwhelming amounts of stress or anxiety. For everyday stress, you can learn when to take breaks, get some daily exercise, practice meditation, or set priorities that help you get through your to-do list faster.
Learn Some Jaw Exercises
Gentle massage and exercise techniques can improve healing by encouraging increased flow of blood to the area. It may also help you to improve your range of motion, which often suffers in the case of TMJ dysfunction. While learning jaw exercises or massage may require speaking to a physician, you can also search YouTube for some videos to show you what to do. Keep in mind that you should always have a health care practitioner review any changes to your exercise routine to ensure you have the proper health.
What If TMJ Home Treatment Isn’t Working for You?
If your jaw pain is not relieved within two to three weeks, or if it keeps recurring, it is time to see a doctor. Of course, if you were trying TMJ home treatment, then you probably don’t want pills, injections, or surgery to be the first suggestions you receive. When looking for natural relief from TMJ pain, one therapy you should consider is upper cervical specific chiropractic care. What is this specific form of chiropractic and how may it help if you have chronic or recurring TMJ pain?
Upper Cervical Specific Chiropractic: More Than TMJ Home Treatment
Upper cervical chiropractic involves precise measurements of the top two bones in the neck, allowing the practitioner to calculate a personalized correction. Gentle adjustments put the C1 and C2 back into place without any popping or cracking of the neck. Why do adjustments of the neck help some patients with TMJ pain?
The location of these bones is at the base of the neck, directly between the jaw joints and ears. It is no wonder then that TMJ pain often presents with ear and neck pain as well. Additionally, the top bones in the neck balance the skull. Therefore, your body will react to misalignments of a mere fraction of a millimeter. As the surrounding soft tissue shifts to keep the head properly aligned, the changes may affect the jaw, ears, and even the nerves of the face, leading to pain, numbness, tingling, and other symptoms.
Thus, if you are living with chronic or recurring jaw pain, it makes sense to get the top two bones in your neck checked. An upper cervical chiropractor has been specially trained to identify and correct a misalignment in this particular area. To learn more, contact a practitioner near you. You may find that this is just what you need in order to get natural help for TMJ pain that really works.