Herbal Remedies for TMJ
Do you ever wake up in the morning and have pain in your jaw? You may have TMJ and be in need of these Herbal Remedies for TMJ. For on-going ailments, Natural Home Remedies are often better.
Herbal Remedies for TMJ
The mandible, or lower jaw, is connected to the head of the maxilla bone that makes up the top of our face. The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is a joint between these bones that allows us to move our jaw and open and close our mouth.
Several causes can trigger or contribute to TMJ, including stress, dental problems, obesity, poor posture, or a traumatic injury. In some cases, the mouth itself is to blame — pain in the jaw or teeth can lead to malocclusion, which can cause pain and other symptoms.
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms, it's important to seek professional help right away. But some at-home remedies can help relieve symptoms and prevent future issues.
What is TMJ?
TMJ, which stands for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, is a group of health problems that affect the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This joint is located right in the middle of your jaw — it's where your lower jaw meets your upper jawbone. When you open and close your mouth to speak, eat or chew food, your teeth ride against each other in the TMJ joint. If the TMJ is damaged or misaligned, this can cause pain in the face and jaws.
Symptoms of TMJ include:
- Jaw clicking or popping
- Pain in the front or back of the jaw
- Jaw lock, which can cause numbness
- Tendonitis in the jaw
What Herbs are Good for TMJ?
A variety of herbs can be used to relieve many symptoms of TMJ, including pain, tenderness, swelling, and difficulty chewing or swallowing. Some of the most common herbs used for TMJ include:
- Ginger (Zingiber officinale) which is often used as a spice, contains gingerols, which have anti-inflammatory properties and may help to relieve pain in the jaw joints. It's also recommended for digestive issues and motion sickness.
- St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) grows in the wild in many parts of Europe and North America, and it has been used as an herbal remedy for more than 2,000 years.
In modern times, it's often used to treat mild depression and anxiety, but it's also used to treat tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, which is a symptom of TMJ. In extreme cases, it may effectively treat tinnitus caused by head trauma or infection. It might also be helpful for patients who have had damage to the eardrum from loud noises such as gunfire or explosions.
- Lavender is one of the most common home remedies for treating TMJ pain and soreness. This is because it has a long history as an herb that offers soothing benefits for people with TMJ pain and soreness. It's also thought to have certain anti-inflammatory properties that can help ease people with TMJ pain symptoms.
A 2013 study published in the Journal of Dental Research found that lavender oil relieved pain from TMJ symptoms more effectively than a placebo when used for 20 minutes before bedtime.
- Myrrh essential oil's benefits for dental health are well known: It's antiseptic, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory. For that reason alone, it's a great choice for TMJ pain relief.
- Echinacea is traditionally used for colds, flu, and other respiratory infections, but it has been shown to relieve symptoms of toothaches in people with TMJ. A study published in the Journal of Dental Research found that echinacea significantly reduced toothache pain in people with TMJ.
- Burdock root stimulates blood flow which is vital for normal immune system function. A study published in the Journal of Ethno pharmacology found that burdock root extract could reduce toothache pain compared with a placebo over four weeks.
How Can I Cure My TMJ Naturally?
If you're experiencing daily headaches or chronic jaw pain, try these natural remedies first:
- Exercise can be beneficial to relieve tension in the jaw and neck muscles. Try warm-up exercises like yoga, Pilates, or tai chi before a workout or sports activity to help alleviate tension and improve mobility.
- Get massages. If you're getting regular massages, it's possible that you don't need to take medication to treat your TMJ symptoms. Be sure to ask your massage therapist about their experience with TMJ when you schedule an appointment.
- Change your diet and lifestyle. If your regular diet includes foods that irritate your jaw (such as caffeine), make dietary changes that reduce inflammation and pain in the jaw joints. You may also want to avoid dairy products since they can cause painful swelling in some people with TMJ disorders.
- Relaxation techniques. Relaxation techniques have many benefits other than stress relief — they also help reduce stress and tension in the face and neck area joints, especially the jaw joint. Applying pressure on the teeth when you close your mouth can cause teeth grinding, another common cause of TMJ pain and discomfort.
Ultimately, the decision to try herbal remedies for TMJ remains in the hands of the person suffering from the problem. But with so many potential options available, there’s no reason not to consider them. If nothing else, these home remedies could form an important part of an overall treatment strategy that includes traditional medicine.
More Posts about TMJ
Benli, M., Olson, J., Huck, O., & Özcan, M. (2020). A novel treatment modality for myogenous temporomandibular disorders using aromatherapy massage with lavender oil: A randomized controlled clinical trial. Cranio : the journal of craniomandibular practice, 1–11. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1080/08869634.2020.1819067
Ashu Agbor, M., & Naidoo, S. (2015). Ethnomedicinal Plants Used by Traditional Healers to Treat Oral Health Problems in Cameroon. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2015, 649832. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/649832