Treating TMJ with natural methods
If you’ve been diagnosed with TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder, also TMJD), you have many different paths that you can take to address its painful symptoms. Before you resort to surgery, try a natural method to decrease TMJD pain. Along with chiropractic treatments, acupuncture, and TMJ exercises, nonsurgical alternatives such as wearing an FDA-cleared TMJ mouthguard from CustMbite can support the proper function of your temporomandibular joint. Below, we’ll talk about TMJ and the pros and cons of several natural TMJ treatment methods.
What are the facts about TMJ?
Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, can happen when one of the many parts of your jaw is misaligned or otherwise damaged. The temporomandibular joint is unique in that it glides and pivots. Because there are so many moving parts required to make this dual motion happen, it only takes a minor malfunction to cause pain. In addition to this, the jaw joint is the only joint in the body that has something that prevents it from closing entirely, i.e., your teeth. When the temporomandibular joint is properly aligned, your teeth should line up comfortably and naturally. A bite that feels “off” can be both an indicator of and a cause of TMJ.
It’s a popular misconception that TMJ pain is only felt in the jaw, but in truth, symptoms can affect the entire upper body. When you talk to your dentist or doctor, make sure to mention any unusual symptoms, particularly those you think might be unrelated. Since there is no single test to diagnose TMJ, telling your dentist about tenderness in your scalp, sore teeth, ringing in your ears, and even tingling fingers can help them rule out other potential diagnoses.
Will I need TMJ surgery?
TMJ surgery is generally recommended only for patients whose TMJ doesn’t respond to other, less invasive methods. Many types of TMJ surgery are followed by a lengthy recovery and lifelong lifestyle changes. What’s worse, surgery isn’t guaranteed to work - and in some cases, it can even make things worse.
If your dentist recommends surgery, be sure to get a second opinion. Just 15 percent of people who have TMJ develop chronic TMJ. In fact, TMJ specialists recommend exhausting all other treatment options before agreeing to surgery. The majority of patients find great success by incorporating natural treatments into their lives.
Natural TMJ treatments that address the roots of TMJ pain
There are a wide variety of treatments that have been shown to provide pain relief from TMJ symptoms. A dentist or doctor can discuss the benefits of each method for your unique case. In some cases, you might mix and match treatments such as:
- Acupuncture: Uses thin needles to stimulate certain nerves to signal the brain to release neural hormones. It’s been shown to reduce pain and swelling and relieve muscle spasms, which can permit the jaw to move with a wider range of motion. One study showed that 85 percent of TMJ patients responded positively to acupuncture, reporting an average reduction of 75 percent in pain intensity. This isn’t the treatment for you if you’re wary of needles, and you do need to see your acupuncturist regularly.
- Chiropractic treatments: Doctors of Chiropractic are trained to realign the bones of the spine to release tension. This releases excess pressure on the nerves, helping to reduce TMJ discomfort. A TMJ chiropractor can also address any posture issues that contribute to your TMJ. Patients who respond to chiropractic care will usually require regular visits to their TMJ chiropractor.
- Exercises: TMJ exercises are designed to increase mobility and strength in the muscles of the jaw. A dentist or doctor can provide more guidance on the specific exercises that are appropriate for you.
- Heat and cold therapy: Using heat or ice to manage TMJ pain is a temporary way to find relief and can be used on everything from achy cheek muscles to tight shoulders.
- Relaxation techniques: TMJ pain is often aggravated by tense muscles and clenched teeth caused by stress and anxiety. Many people with TMJ find it helpful to incorporate relaxation methods, such as deep breathing, to manage tension.
- Mouthguards: Wearing a TMJ mouthguard is the quickest and easiest way to address the discomfort of TMJ symptoms. It’s a low-fuss way to protect the teeth and reduce tension in the jaw muscle, but you must take the time to seek out a high-quality TMJ mouthguard.
The CustMbite difference
If you choose to wear a mouthguard, you’ll find that mouthguards come from two main sources: those you get from your dentist and at-home kits. A TMJ device from a dentist’s office can cost hundreds of dollars, but cheaper at-home kits provide subpar protection. At CustMbite, we knew we could do better. We teamed up with experts in dentistry to develop an affordable, high-quality option that’s:
- Easy to fit: Requires a microwave and two minutes of your time
- Bacteria-resistant and easy to clean: Nonabsorbent and dishwasher-safe
- FDA-cleared: Free of BP, PVC, phthalates, and latex
- Comfortable: CustMbite TMJ mouthguards provide thin, custom-fit shock absorption without the bulk
What’s the best natural treatment for TMJ?
The best treatment for TMJ is the least invasive one that works for you. Many natural TMJ methods provide patients like you with measurable pain relief. However, it’s important to choose an at-home TMJ treatment that you can incorporate into your daily routine with ease. Consistency is key, particularly with natural TMJ pain management methods, and wearing a mouthguard for TMJ is so easy you can do it in your sleep. Along with TMJ exercises, relaxation techniques, and heat and cold therapy, wearing a mouthguard is a quick and easy way to address the discomfort caused by TMJ. For a natural way to address TMJ pain, get a mouth guard for TMJ from CustMbite today.
Your comfort is our highest priority.
Sleep comfortably with CustMbite. Bruxism and TMJ disorder, both often caused by teeth grinding or clenching during sleep, can cause many problems, including jaw discomfort, headaches, and sleep disruption.
With CustMbite, you can rest assured knowing that our nightguard was created specifically with your comfort in mind. Our patented Vistamaxx™ material will provide a snug and secure fit to your teeth, so not only will they be protected from grinding and clenching, you'll also sleep comfortable every night.