16 Effective Home Remedies to Ease TMJ Pain

home remedies for tmj

Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders, or TMJ,  is a disorder that results in pain in the jaw joint and muscles. It can be caused due to a variety of medical problems. Some symptoms and/or side effects of TMJ are neck and head pain, pain in the face or ear, locked jaw or difficulty in opening the jaw, difficulty in biting, and popping sounds in the jaw when you bite.

Did You Know!

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NICDR), about 10 million Americans are affected by TMJ, and it is more common in women than in men.

The following home remedies for TMJ  will help you get relief from pain caused by TMJ and will boost the healing process.

Home Remedies For TMJ

1. Relaxed Jaw Exercise

Relaxed Jaw Exercise
Image: ShutterStock

Why It Works?

TMJ can lead to difficulty in opening the jaw, and regular exercise will help loosen the jaw and improve movement.

Steps

Gently rest your tongue on the roof of your mouth, just behind your upper teeth. Bring down your lower jaw slowly and relax the muscles in your jaw. Close your mouth. Repeat 10-15 times.

How Much?

Perform this exercise 2-3 times a day.

2. Goldfish Exercises

Why It Works?

This exercise is similar to the relaxed jaw exercise, but provides more support to the TMJ(1), helps relieve pain, and improves the movement of the jaw.

Steps

Gently rest your tongue on the roof of your mouth, just behind your upper teeth. Place your pointer finger in the front of the ear where the TMJ is located, and the pointer finger of the other hand on your chin. Use your finger to gently open the jaw, then close it to go back to a neutral position. Repeat 10-15 times.

How Much?

Perform this exercise 2-3 times a day.

[Read: Yoga Poses for Neck Pain]

3. Vamping Pose

Why It Works?

The vamping pose is a yoga exercise for TMJ  that helps relax the muscles around the neck and lower jaw.

Steps

Cup your right hand over your head from the side and gently stretch the back of your neck. Stretch your left arm forward, palm facing down, and turn your head to the left. Hold this position for three breaths and then repeat with the other side.

How Much?

Perform 10 reps 2-3 times a day.

4. Downward Facing Cobra

Downward Facing Cobra
Image: ShutterStock

Why It Works?

This yoga pose works the neck and lower jaw, strengthening the TMJ muscles.

Steps

Lie down on your belly with your forehead very close to the ground and with your inner thighs together. Place your palms on the side, facing inward. Inhale and lift your chest off the ground, while maintaining your gaze downward. Exhale and return to a neutral position.

How Much?

Perform 3 sets of 10 reps.

[ Read: Treat TMJ Effectively With Natural Remedies ]

5. Unlocking the Jaw

Why It Works?

This yoga pose directly massages the lower jaw and improves mobility.

Steps

Sit straight on a chair. Make a fist with one hand and place it on the jaw on the side. Without allowing your hand to move, try turning towards the fist. Your lower jaw will remain in place while the upper part of your head moves towards the fist. Repeat on the other side.

How Much?

Perform 10 reps on each side, 1-2 times a day.

[ Read: Massages for Neck Pain ]

6. Magnesium Rich Food

Magnesium
Image:ShutterStock

Why It Works?

Magnesium(2) is an important nutrient that boosts the immune system and helps to heal connective tissues and muscles.

How to Use?

Green leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, and collard greens; fruits like figs, avocados, bananas, and raspberries, and nuts like almonds, cashews, and Brazil nuts are good sources of magnesium.

How Much?

Include magnesium-rich foods in your diet to get 1000 milligrams – 1200 milligrams per day.

7. Omega-3 Rich Food

Why It Works?

Omega-3 fatty acids contain Vitamin D which helps in the absorption of calcium, and it also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that help ease the pain caused by TMJ.

How to Use?

Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and tuna are great sources of omega-3 acids. You can also get omega-3 fatty acids from cod liver oil capsules.

How Much?

The RDA for Omega-3 Is 250–500 mg.

[Read: TMJ Management Using Physiotherapy]

8. Peppermint

Peppermint Plant
Image:ShutterStock

Why Use?

Peppermint essential oil contains menthol that provides a cooling effect and relief from the pain caused by TMJ. It also helps with stiffness in muscles surrounding the jaw.

How to Use?

Apply peppermint essential oil directly to the affected area to get relief from TMJ pain.

How much to use?

As much as needed to cover the affected area. Apply it once or twice a day.

[ Read: Relieve Muscle Pain Naturally ]

9. Lavender

Why Use?

Lavender oil acts as a mild sedative. It also has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve pain caused by TMJ and also reduces jaw stiffness. It is one of the best home remedies for TMJ inflammation.

How To Use?

Dilute it with a carrier oil like coconut oil and massage it directly on the affected and surrounding area.

 How Much To Use?

You can massage your jaw using the oil daily or 4-5 times a week for best results.

10. Eucalyptus and Camphor

Why Use?

Eucalyptus and camphor essential oils tend to relieve congestion that is a side effect of TMJ. The menthol in eucalyptus also provides a cooling and soothing effect.

How To Use?

Dilute eucalyptus and camphor essential oils with a carrier oil like jojoba oil and massage it directly on the affected and surrounding area.

 How Much To Use?

You can massage your jaw using the oil once daily or 4-5 times a week for best results.

[Read: Simple Exercises for TMJ]

11. Black Pepper

Black Pepper
Image:ShutterStock

Why Use?

Black pepper essential oil improves blood circulation and is often used to relieve nerve pain. It contains analgesic and antispasmodic compounds that relieve pain caused by TMJ and provide a warming effect when used for massage.

How to Use?

Dilute black pepper essential oil with a carrier oil like coconut oil and massage the affected area.

How Much to Use?

As much oil as needed to cover the affected area.

12. Magnesium

Why use?

Magnesium can help prevent headaches caused by TMJ. It also has anti-inflammatory compounds that directly help relieve pain caused by TMJ.

How to use?

You can buy magnesium supplements and take them as prescribed by your doctor.

See Also
Vinegar for Lice

How much to use?

1000 milligrams – 1200 milligrams per day or as prescribed by your doctor.

[ Read: Vitamins for Muscle Pain ]

13. Moist Heat

Why Use?

Heat improves blood flow and circulation in the body, often helping the healing process.

How To Use?

Dip a cloth in water that’s mildly hot and place it on the jaw and areas affected by TMJ.

How Much To Use?

Do this 2-3 times a day.

14. Ice

ice cubes
Image:ShutterStock

Why Use?

Ice helps reduce inflammation caused by TMJ and helps relieve the pain.

How To Use?

Place ice in a cloth and place it on the jaw and affected area.

How Much To Use?

Do this 2-3 times a day.

15. Massage

Why Use?

Massaging the jaw and areas affected by TMJ with an essential oil is a great way to relieve pain and improve blood flow to the area, promoting healing.

How To Use?

Mix the essential oil with a carrier oil and massage the affected area.

How Much To Use?

Do this 1-2 times a day.

16. Acupuncture

Why Use?

Acupuncture helps significantly in pain management and pain relief and can be used to relieve pain caused by TMJ.

How to Use?

Visit a specialist.

How Much to Use?

As recommended by your doctor.

[Read: Acupuncture for TMJ]


FAQs

1. Should I Apply Ice or Heat For TMJ?

Ice reduces the inflammation and heat improves blood flow promoting healing. Apply ice first to relieve the swelling followed by heat therapy.

2. How Long Does TMJ Last?

With proper rest, TMJ will heal in two weeks.

3. Should I See a Doctor For TMJ?

Only if the pain is severe, or if you have a lot of difficulty opening your jaw and it affects swallowing and talking.

In order to prevent TMJ from getting worse, avoid activities like jaw clenching, gum chewing, yawning widely, etc. When chewing food, make it a point to chew slowly and gently.

These repetitive jaw movements can aggravate TMJ and increase pain. With exercise, proper diet and rest, you will be free from TMJ.

View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Sign up for our Newsletter !
Get access to quality and natural health tips right from the experts. 
Subscribe !
close-link

Send this to a friend