One in four Americans suffers from TMJ or TMD symptoms. The symptoms can range from clicking of the joint when opening to severe debilitating pain. Not only can the TMJ be affected, the back of the head, shoulders, neck can also be affected. Less recognized areas affected are: pain in the lower back and tingling in the tips of fingers and toes. If symptoms are left untreated the acute symptoms can become chronic leading to arthritis, reduced motion in the limbs and extremely cold sensation in the hands and legs. These symptoms may be temporary running their course with no recurrence or can last for years.
So, what is responsible for TMJ pain and other associated areas of discomfort? One of the main factors in TMJ pain is stress or emotional upheavals. This can cause clenching and/or bruxism (grinding) of the teeth. Trauma to the jaw joint is also responsible for a great number of TMJ disorders. Even a small blow to the joint can create this inflammatory response. Dental issues can also be responsible for TMJ pain. Ill fitting dentures, tooth removal or any minor or major dental surgery, missing teeth, advent of premolars and growth of wisdom teeth are some of the dental issues that can result in TMJ pain.
This causes the muscles surrounding the TMJ joint to become inflamed and tighten. Over a period of time, the stress on the tensed muscles, put pressure on the joint which can cause the muscles to shorten and result in misalignment of the joint.
Since the causes of TMJ disorder vary, the approach to treating TMJ disorders should be multi dimensional. There are a wide variety of treatment options available for TMJ pain, ranging from simple exercises, nutritional changes to complicated surgical corrective surgeries.
Natural cures for TMJ pain and disorder cause little or no side effects and many times little or no out of pocket. Probably the easiest and one of the most effective remedies would be proper diet. Not only is proper diet good for the rest of the body getting some essential nutrients will relax the muscles that have tightened which in turn reduces the pain. Water is one of the keys. When dehydrated, the muscles will tense up. Not drinking enough water and/or drinking high caffeinated drinks (dehydrating) will keep the body in a constant state of dehydration which tenses the muscles. Hydrating the body relaxes the muscles thus relieving the pain. Also magnesium rich foods and calcium relax muscles.
Relaxation exercises relax the muscles around the jaw, neck, shoulders etc reducing the pain associated with tense muscles. Take your fist and clench the fist as hard as you can, after a short period of time those muscles become very fatigued. That is what happens with the muscles associated around the TMJ. Now relax the fist, just opening your fist slightly and feel how the muscles relax and the pain goes away. The point is relaxing exercises will relax those muscles around the TMJ, relieving the pain.
Other natural cures include: massage, acupuncture, meditation and hypnotherapy.
One or more of these natural cures not only will help relief TMJ pain, but also can cure the symptoms for good.