C] General Remedies For Temporary TMJ Relief
Apart from the above exercises for TMJ disorder and treatment options, there are also some temporary TMJ relief remedies that you can try. However, for a permanent TMJ cure, you should consult with a TMJ specialist.
1. Improve posture
While neck misalignment can lead to TMJ problems, the opposite of this is also true i.e. TMD can also lead to neck pain. Clicking and popping of the joints, deviation of the jaw, jaw locking, cramping or spasming of the jaw or neck muscles are all possible results of TMD and posture.
Improper posture has a direct relation to jaw pain, so paying attention to the spinal alignment when sitting or standing can help alleviate jaw pain and improve posture. TMJ discomfort might be alleviated with consistent efforts to improve your posture alongside using GNM orthotics.
To improve posture, you need to take frequent breaks from sitting at your desk. Finding a seat with proper back support can also help. In addition, always maintain the correct standing and sitting posture.
2. Get a good sleep at night
Getting enough sleep is essential for those with TMJ. However, orofacial pain and TMJ symptoms can be worsened by any activity that puts unnecessary stress on the face, head, jaw, neck, or shoulders. Thus, even when sleeping, to relax the TMJ pain, certain precautions must be taken.
Firstly, it is important not to sleep on your side or stomach. Sleep on your back to ensure that your jaw muscles do not get pressed.
Secondly, it is essential to provide ample support to your jaw. Place pillows around your neck to provide cushioning. Also, choose a sleeping posture that doesn’t cause teeth clenching or grinding. Snoring, sleep apnea or mouth breathing can lead to teeth clenching, ultimately resulting in TMJ pain.
3. Use a hot and cold compress
Temperature treatment using hot and/or cold compress can help relieve TMJ pain. Cold compresses are used in times of acute pain and inflammation followed by moist heat compresses to improve the blood circulation to the muscles. The compress can help relax and unclench the muscles in the affected area. Here, to relieve pain, apply hot and/or cold compress daily for about 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Reduce stress
Stress can manifest itself in physical forms, and TMJ can be one of them. Alternatively, TMJ can lead to stress and anxiety. Thus, to reduce stress, try meditation or yoga. Also, make conscious efforts to relax the jaw muscles to relieve pain.
5. Maintaining good gut health
Did you know that your digestive health can be affected by TMJ? TMJ makes chewing food difficult, which, in turn, can affect your gut health. It has been noted that TMJ patients have more digestive problems as unchewed food is difficult to digest. Also, since the food is not digested-well, your body is unable to absorb vital nutrients, which affects your overall general health.
Maintaining gut health is crucial to alleviating TMJ pain. Also, when your gut is not healthy, you may experience symptoms like increased acid reflux, leading to chest pain that may radiate to your jaw, neck and throat.
6. Nutritional supplements
Nutritional supplements play an essential role in improving TMJ disorder. Supplements like B12, magnesium, calcium and vitamin D3 provide necessary nutrients to the body for faster recovery. These nutrients also help relieve stress, boost sleep and provide energy.
Magnesium: Magnesium deficiency causes spastic muscles and can affect your bone, nerve, and cartilage health. Together with calcium, magnesium can relax jaw muscles and reduce TMJ pain. It can help improve sleep quality. It can also help soothe your nervous system, thereby reducing anxiety which disrupts sleep.
Calcium: 99% of the body’s calcium is in the bones. Thus, it makes sense that bones, even TMJ bones, need calcium to keep them healthy. Calcium affects muscular contraction, nerve impulses and hormone modulation, so a lack of calcium can lead to TMJ discomfort.
Vitamin D3: Most people receive vitamin D3 through sunlight and green foods. Sufficient vitamin D3 can help reduce pain, improve sleep and strengthen bones. Calcium with vitamin D3 can also help alleviate TMJ pain.
Vitamin B12: Lack of vitamin B12 can lead to trigeminal neuralgia – a sudden, severe facial pain. It can also lead to tingling in the hands or feet and cause fatigue. Thus, increasing your vitamin B12 intake is important for TMJ pain relief. Also, B-complex vitamins help reduce stress, which is a key TMJ contributor.s
7. Foods to avoid for TMD/TMJ
Chewy or sticky foods that require prolong chewing must be avoided if you are experiencing TMJ pain. Similarly, avoid hard and crunchy foods like raw carrots and veggies, ice, toffees, pretzels, etc. For TMJ, eating soft foods is advised, such as mashed potatoes, eggs, cooked veggies, sweet potatoes, etc. This will help alleviate jaw pain.