TMJ (short for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) is an ailment that makes the joints in the jaw seize up, making simple things like speaking and eating difficult and painful. Typical symptoms include swelling on the sides of the face, pain when chewing, a hard time moving the jaw, headaches and a jaw that feels stiff. If you have one or more of these symptoms then you should visit your doctor as soon as possible. There are also home remedies for TMJ that some people use to find relief.
Before you try any remedy, it's essential that you discuss it with your doctor first. She will know your medical history, and be aware of any potential problems that you should watch out for. The information presented here is not meant to ever replace or take the place of advice from a doctor.
The first step to using these home remedies for TMJ is to be aware of some of its causes. Some of the main causes include underlying problems with the bones in your face, bruxism (tooth grinding), improper dental work and genetics. Obviously some of these things are not within your control, but some of them are, and those make a good starting point for treating TMJ at home.
If you have a problem with any dental work, then you need to make a visit to your dentist. If you think your current dentist is the cause of the problem, then seek a second opinion from an independent dentist. However, you need to be careful as a few dentists will see dollar signs if you mention TMJ. The vast majority of dentists are ethical and honest, but it's still a good idea to only explain your symptoms and then let them make their professional diagnosis.
Stress appears to be one of the leading causes of TMJ, so some of the most effective home remedies for TMJ are those that relieve stress. There are several ways that you can do this, and doing so will also help your overall health, and help you to enjoy life more. Meditation and yoga are wonderful ways to shed the stress of the day, and they are easy enough for anybody to do. Breathing exercises are also an easy to relieve stress when faced with a stress-inducing situation. Another way to keep your stress level low is to have a more positive attitude about things. All of these techniques take a little practice, but are worth it once you realize how much better you are feeling.
Some people also find relief by sleeping on their backs. If you sleep on your side, then your jaw hangs slightly out of alignment and that can cause discomfort during the day. Another sleeping issue that can make TMJ a problem is grinding your teeth at night. Try eating an apple shortly before bedtime, as that will tire out your jaw and decrease the odds of grinding your teeth.
Try as many of these home remedies for TMJ as you like, but remember to always talk to your doctor about any health issues you have.