How to Treat TMJ with Essential Oils

essential oils for tmj

TMJ, i.e., the temporomandibular joint is a hinge that attaches the jaw to the temporal bone of the skull. It allows upward, downward, and sideways movement which facilitates talking, chewing, yawning, etc.

TMJ syndrome can be caused due to various medical reasons and result in neck pain, headaches, facial pain, locked jaw, problems in eating and biting, etc.

It is also referred to as TMD, i.e. temporomandibular disorder. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services(1), around 10 million people are affected by it, and it is more common in women than men.

Causes of TMJ

Scientists believe that TMJ can be caused due to trauma, aging, bad oral habits, and sometimes also due to other diseases like osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, etc.

Many times poor posture, stress, repeated teeth grinding, and clenching can also trigger TMJ. Some prominent signs and symptoms of TMJ include jaw pain, ear pain, popping sound in the ear, jaw popping, dizziness, pain at the base of the tongue, blurred vision, etc.

Did you know?

Nail biting has been linked with the onset of TMJ and TMD.

What do for TMJ?

TMJ, like many other joints and a muscle problem, is temporary and can be eliminated through simple treatment. There are some easy self-care practices and natural remedies for TMJ(2), which help in easing the symptoms and relieving pain.

Important Essential Oils for TMJ

1. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint Oil
Image:ShutterStock

Why does this work?

It has a cooling and soothing property, which relieves pain and uplifts the affected area.

How to use?

Apply it directly over the aching joint and massage for 5 minutes. It can also be mixed with coconut oil before use.

How much to use?

Use it daily to see the best results.

[Read: Home Remedies to Ease TMJ Pain]

2. Lavender Oil

Why does this work?

The anti-fungal, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory property of lavender oil relieves pain along with providing a sense of calm and peace.

How to use?

A drop of lavender oil can be added to bathwater, and it can also be used to massage the affected areas. In some cases, it can also be used as a sleeping aid.

How much to use?

In the case of excessive TMJ, it is recommended to use lavender oil daily in one way or another.

3. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus Oil
Image:ShutterStock

Why does this work?

It has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties which greatly relieves achy joints and muscle pain(3).

How to use?

It can be used directly to massage or can also be added to bathwater. It can also be added in boiling water for 10 minutes after which the steam of which is to be inhaled.

How much to use?

A small amount of it like 0.05 to 0.2 milliliters can be used by adults in a day. It should be avoided for children and infants as much undiluted amount of eucalyptus oil can prove to be fatal.

[Read: Natural Remedies for TMJ]

4. Grapefruit Oil

Why does this work?

It has been best known to relieve depression due to its immense soothing effects. It relaxes the body and also relieves pain.

How to use?

It can be applied directly to the skin or can be added to the bathwater. It can also be inhaled by dropping a few drops of it on a piece of cloth.

How much to use?

It can be used daily or at least thrice a week.

5. Marjoram Oil

Marjoram Oil
Image:ShutterStock

Why does this work?

Marjoram oil is a perfect oil massage and relieving strained muscles. It also helps treat migraines and stress.

How to use?

It can be added in bath water and directly applied to the skin for massage.

How much to use?

It can be used daily if possible or at least twice a week to see results.

[Read: Physiotherapy for TMJ]

6. Chamomile Oil

Why does this work?

This oil is rich in the analgesic compound, which helps relieve muscle and joint pains. It also ensures the emotional well being through its soothing properties.

How to use?

It can be used to massage the aching joints and also around the neck. Apply it warm and massage for 5 minutes before leaving it on. It can also be mixed with coconut oil before application.

How much to use?

It can be used daily or at least thrice a week.

7. Valor Oil

Why does this work?

Valor oil is known for pain relief and can be applied to the neck and jaw for treatment in TMJ.

How to use?

It can be mixed with a V-6 vegetable oil complex for application before bed. It can also be inhaled directly and massaged into hands, neck, wrist, etc. It can also be used in combination with frankincense, spruce, and blue tansy essential oils.

How much to use?

Use it daily to see the best results.

8. Tea Tree Oil

tea tree oil
Image:ShutterStock

Why does this work?

Tea tree oil has an anti-inflammatory property which acts as a great pain reliever.

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How to use?

It can be applied directly to the skin and the aggravated area without mixing with any other base oil.

How much to use?

It can be used at least thrice a week to see results. It can be easily found at any pharmacy.

[Read: Simple Exercises for TMJ]

9. Fennel Oil

Why does this work?

It is widely known for its anti-spasm effects which greatly reduced muscle pain and joint pain.

How to use?

It should never be applied directly to the skin due to its high potency. It should always be mixed with any other base oil before application. It can be massaged on the aggravated area.

How much to use?

Use it twice a week to see good results.

10.  Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil Benefits
Image:ShutterStock

Why does this work?

It is very beneficial for the treatment of TMJ as it lowers the blood pressure and relieves migraines.

How to use?

It can be warmed and massaged onto the affected area. It can also be added in bath water or can be added to shampoo to wash hair.

How much to use?

Use it daily if easily available or at least thrice a week.

Some Other Home Remedies for TMJ

Apart from using the essential oils mentioned below are some home remedies to control the symptoms of TMJ.

  • Eat soft food to avoid excessive jaw movement.
  • Use ice packs on the affected joints.
  • Do gentle jaw stretching and movement exercises to relax facial muscles.
  • Sleep on the side with a pillow between neck and shoulder.
  • Avoid cradling the phone between the neck and shoulder.
  • Do not chew gum.
  • Wear a bite guard to prevent excessive clenching and grinding.
  • Take a diet rich in magnesium.

Let’s Not TMJ Win

Living with TMJ can be a challenge and greatly affect the quality of life. But if you are diagnosed with it, then it is important to remember that it will be okay. Some days would be terrifying, and you would think the symptoms are overpowering you, but it is important to realize that it is not permanent. The correct treatment and some natural home remedies can easily treat TMJ. Also, it is important to remember that you are not alone, and your friends and family are there to support you.

Did you know?

Smoking worsens the effects of TMJ and TMD.

FAQs

1. Are There Some Exercises For TMJ?

There are plenty of relaxing, stretching, and breathing exercises for TMJ, which can relieve pain and reduce stress.

2. Is Physiotherapy For TMJ Helpful?

Physiotherapy for TMJ can be very beneficial and greatly reduce pain.

3. Is Yoga For TMJ Helpful?

Yes. Yoga relieves stress and soothes the mind, which is helpful for mentally combating TMJ.

4. Should One Get Massages For TMJ?

Massage is a great remedy for relieving pain. However, one should not indulge in vigorous massages for TMJ or get it done from somebody else. Instead, it is recommended to massage the area on its own according to ease and comfort.

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