Got TMJ? If you do, you aren’t alone. It is estimated that over 60 million Americans currently suffer from TMJ in some way shape or form. The normal remedy (which works some of the time) is to take a trip to the doctor. But what most don’t realize is that there are some home remedies for TMJ that could be just as effective as what a doctor will suggest…in fact, barring surgery, there is very little that a doctor can do that you can’t do yourself.
How to diagnose TMJ
Diagnosis for TMJ is fairly quick and easy. If you have any of these symptoms, then it is likely that you are suffering from TMJ:
- Your jaw muscles are tender…
- You are experiencing pain in or around the ear (earaches and headaches are common)
- Your jaw makes a ‘clicking’, ‘popping’, or ‘grinding’ sound when you chew, open or close your mouth…
- There is a pronounced pain whenever you eat, open your mouth or do things like yawn….
- Your jaw locks or gets stuck….
A common treatment that the doctor will suggest is to apply a heat pack to the area of pain and to switch your diet to softer food. The problem with this is that while it works, you are really only treating the pain and not the TMJ itself. There are some herbal supplements that can help you with TMJ though….
Before I go into the 4 herbal supplements, I should note that really what you want to focus on are herbs and vitamins that help to relax the muscles as well as supplements that help with reducing inflammation. After all, when you apply a heat pack, aren’t you doing the exact same thing?
- Glucosamine Sulphate– I actually used this on my lab a while ago for arthitis in her joints. The same thing applies for humans as well. Studies have shown that Glucosamine is a great alternative to help rebuild cartilage. In the case of TMJ, this is crucial as one of the primary causes of TMJ is teeth grinding and clenching which helps to wear down the cartilage in the jaw.
- MSM– otherwise known as methylsulfonylmethane, this supplement will help to reduce inflammation surrounding the joint which causes the TMJ pain. MSM is also good at reducing muscle spasms.
- Kava– This supplement is usually prescribed by homeopathic doctors and herbalists whenever an individual is experiencing anxiety or stress. Kava relaxes the nervous system.
- Magnesium– The funny thing about magnesium is that this mineral is about as TMJ specific as you can get. Magnesium targets the jaw muscles in particular and help relax them. Magnesium is considered by some as a natural muscle relaxer.
If you have TMJ, you should try these vitamins, minerals and supplements before opting for medical advice. Who knows? You could actually cure your TMJ without the need for surgery.