Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a disorder of the jaw nerves and muscles caused by damage to the temporomandibular joint. The TMJ joint is the link between the jaw and the skull. Injury occurs as a result of chewing hard foods, over chewing, jaw clicking, jaw popping, teeth grinding and cracking of the jaw. These actions often lead to swelling of the face, inflammation of nerves, severe headaches, or migraines.
Several risk factors for TMJ disorder include the following:
- Poor posture in the upper back muscles and neck
- Stress induced by jaw clenching and muscle tension
- Patients with chronic inflammatory arthritis
- Weak tooth structure
- People who have a genetic tendency to pain, and high-stress response
Causes of TMJ include
- Excessive Teeth grinding
- Poor sitting posture
- Stress or anxiety
- Inflammation of the muscular-skeletal disorders and arthritis
- Dental braces
- Excessive gum chewing
The main TMJ symptom is severe pain in the jaw joint, adjacent to the ear. The pain may extend to the whole facial area due to muscle tension, particularly in the jaw bone. This pain has various scenarios depending on a patient’s description. Some patients describe jaw tenderness or a toothache; others feel cracking sounds in the ears or dizziness, while others experience jaw popping.
Natural Home Remedies and Cures for TMJ
Regular jaw exercises help to improve muscle tension. Move the Jaw upwards and sideways with your mouth wide open. Do this with the help of your tongue, by placing it on the roof of the mouth, and try moving it in all directions, sideways, inwards, and outward movements.
Yawning also helps. Try yawning with your mouth wide open, with the jaw muscles relaxed. Move your jaw downwards gradually and hold for 10 seconds. Close your mouth slowly and Repeat this exercise 4-5 times.
This regimen should be performed in a straight position when sitting on a chair. Bend the head, with the chin touching your chest. Place your interlocked fingers behind your head and try to push the head backward and with a little pressure.
Other relaxation exercises that help to pump blood include jogging, cycling, Yoga or meditation regimens. These induce relaxation of the spinal cord as well as jaw movements to beat the allied TMJ symptoms.
Keep your body always hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day: Dehydration causes neck, shoulders, and joints muscle cramps. The recommended daily water intake for adults is eight glasses minimum. A good trick is to drink at least two glasses every 2 hours.
Calcium supplies strength to the bones while magnesium prevents muscular tension. Some of the natural foods that contain these elements include avocados, nuts, almonds, dark chocolates, whole wheat, sunflower seeds and watermelon among other calcium-rich nuts. Natural vegetables believed to cure TMJ include green peas, spinach, and cabbage.
Change your sitting posture as a wrong sitting position is one of the leading causes of TMJ. Always Sit in a straight posture and take short breaks whenever possible, especially if your job involves long sitting hours. Hot water massage is another remedy used to relax the jaws, neck, and shoulder areas with a hot-water bottle to relieve TMJ pain.
Quit smoking, avoid excessive chewing of gums, sleep on soft pillows, or avoid them altogether if you can. With these few recommendations, battling TMJ should be much easier.