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Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome Or Disorder
TMJ (TMD)

TMJ syndrome, which is currently known as TMD, has turned out to be a common or everyday phrase during the last one decade and for some time it appeared that nearly everybody believed they endured it. Specifically speaking, in case your jaws snap and you are unable to open your mouth appropriately wide and it aches when you are eating the core of the corn ear, it is possible that you may be suffering from TMJ syndrome.

Even if you are a victim of TMJ syndrome, there is not much to worry, since there are plenty of treatments for this condition, which vary from inspiring to being absurd. Therefore, it is crucial to find the correct oral surgeon or dentist who can cure this condition properly. According to a number of professionals, the unexpected consciousness regarding this particular jaw trouble during the recent few years is one more indication of the fact that we subsist in an era wherein disorders related to stress are continuously on the rise.

In fact, TMJ syndrome denotes pain as well as various other symptoms that are present in the facial region that are considered to be a fall-out of the failure of the jaw's temporomandibular joint as well as the muscles that activate it to function properly. It has been found that an estimated 10 million Americans endure TMJ. While it is true that people suffering from TMJ experience immense pain and uneasiness, the good news is that this condition can be cured by the correct specialist.

A seizure of the muscles that regulate chewing is said to be the widespread reason for developing TMJ syndrome. Causes that may result in such type of spasms include an asymmetrical nibble or grinding of the teeth that repeatedly stresses these group of muscles; injuries of the head, neck or the jaws, emotional pressure, jammed wisdom teeth, chewing the inner side of the cheek or even nail biting. In a number of instances, osteoarthritis as well as injury to the pad or disc which works as a cushion for the joints may also be responsible for the symptoms of TMJ syndrome.

Generally, people having TMJ syndrome experience physical symptoms of the condition more during the mornings and they may include aching jaw muscles, recurrent headaches, pain in the region of the ear, facial pain, eye pain, toothaches, problems in opening the mouth, popping or snapping of the jaw joint, jaws that become locked up or have a feeling like they have turned out to be deranged, a quivering sound in the ears and soreness while chewing or yawning.

Very often TMJ syndrome is considered to be disorder related to stress or pressure. In fact, managing stress along with helpful remedy may facilitate in controlling nerve habits that usually aggravate the symptoms of TMJ syndrome. Gritting or grinding the teeth when one experiences stress may result in considerable damage to the jaw joint. Consciousness regarding these tendencies is important while preventing as well as treating problems related to TMJ syndrome.

Supplements and herbs

Use of specific herbs and supplements may prove to be helpful in preventing as well as treating TMJ problems. For instance, consumption of wholesome foods that do not create any pressure on the jaw joint is beneficial for TMJ. Such foods may include fruit and vegetable juices, soft fruits, steamed vegetables, breads and whole grain cereals, chicken, fish, skinless turkey, cottage cheese containing low fat, yogurt and soup.

At the same time, you need to keep away from eating foods that cause stress to the body, for instance, potato chips, candy, pies, colas, rich pastries, red meats and fatty and fried foods.

A number of supplements and herbs that are useful in preventing as well as treating TMJ syndrome are listed below:

  • Vitamin B: You may take vitamin B complex along with additional vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), as it aids in dealing with stress and nervousness.
  • Vitamin C: This vitamin is crucial for sustaining the health of the connective tissues as well as to facilitate the body to deal with stress.
  • Calcium/ Magnesium: In addition you may take calcium and/ or magnesium supplements. It is preferable to use gluconate or citrate variety for relaxing the muscles that operate the jaws.
  • L-tyrosine: L-tyrosine is basically a variety of amino acid which facilitates in inducing sleep and combats nervous anxiety and depression.
  • Valerian root: This herb is regarded to be a natural sedative and helps to induce sleep, while relieving stress.
  • Hops: Hops is an herb that also facilitates in promoting sleep, in addition to reducing tooth grinding.
  • Passion flower: It helps to unwind the body as well as provide relief from tension/ stress.
  • Skullcap: Skullcap is an herb that alleviates nervous anxiety and emotional stress.
  • Thyme: Thyme possesses anti-spasmodic properties which are useful in controlling muscle spasms.
  • Devils' claw: This herb is a potent botanical anti-inflammatory agent.
  • Gentian: Gentian works to alleviate inflammations of the joints.

Additional things you may do

In addition to taking prescription drugs, herbs and supplements and undergoing surgery, there are a number of other things that you can do to prevent or cure TMJ syndrome. For instance, in case you are always gritting your teeth owing to emotional tension, it is important that you take some time out of your schedule to unwind yourself and alleviate stress. If you require, you may also wear a splint to do away with the habit of clenching or grinding your teeth and also maintain a record of the number of times you actually engage in such behaviour.

At the same time, you need to cut your food into small pieces to make it easier to chew them and consume them slowly. While you are yawning, be cautious not to open your mouth very wide. Also apply supple ice packs to the region of the jaws that is aching. Applying moist heat is also advisable, while it appears that applying cold is more useful as well as comforting.

If you have TMJ syndrome, you should never bite into corn on the cob, an apple, or have rubbery candies, such as caramels, which have the aptitude to lock up your jaw joint. Also keep away from foods that are difficult to chew, such as bagels. In addition, never ever chew gum.

People suffering from TMJ syndrome should never sleep on their stomach, since it creates pressure on one particular side of your face and may result in derangement of your jaw. It is advisable that you use a cervical pillow as it will help you to sleep on your back and facilitate the jaw muscles to relax.

People suffering from TMJ syndrome ought to abide by a few ‘don'ts'. These include not lying on their back and place their head at any abrupt angle for watching television, not trying to cling on to their phone between their head and chin, and also not wearing any weighty shoulder bag that may results in some type of derangement of their body.

In addition, if you have TMJ syndrome, it is very likely that your physician or dentist will explain you the manner in which you should do exercises that help to extend your jaw muscles as well as the way to deal with the muscles by yourself. Even visiting a massage therapist on a regular basis will help to alleviate the jaw muscle tension, in addition to assisting in lessening the tension that encourages TMJ pain in general. However, undertaking easy self-massages may also prove to be beneficial in easing the pain. There is no doubt that a study undertaken in 2007 discovered that massage, together with hot and cold remedy, offered the maximum relief from pain among the usually applied self-care techniques to treat TMJ syndrome.

At whatever time you think you are enduring any pain related to TMJ, you should massage your jaw muscles using small and circular movements for a minimum period of two to three minutes. In case you want further relief, you should try massaging using a damp but hot washcloth.

By means of being trained in biofeedback, you may well become skilled at controlling stress as well as additional processes of the body that are normally involuntary, for instance, breathing and heart rate. Biofeedback is also especially beneficial for curing conditions related to stress/ tension and it may teach people suffering from TMJ syndrome to stop the practice of instinctively tightening their jaw muscles. When you maintain your jaw muscles in a stress-free condition, you will ultimately be able to tame the pain caused by TMJ syndrome.

Although there are various kinds of biofeedback, a method known as electromyography (EMG) is especially employed to calculate the tension of the jaw muscles. In a study undertaken in 2006, a number of people suffering from TMJ syndrome undertook EMG biofeedback sessions for six weeks had considerably reduced levels of pain as well as lesser number of visits to doctors compared to the patients who were only provided with dental care to treat their problem.

Acupuncture is also helpful in treating TMJ syndrome. Acupuncture practitioners insert very thin needles into precise points in the body with a view to encourage the energy flow all through the patient's system. Studies have demonstrated that this ancient Chinese healing may possibly support the discharge of endorphins - these are basically chemicals present in the brain that help in alleviating pain.

To treat TMJ syndrome, it is likely that acupuncture practitioners will insert very thin needles in the region of the jaw and the ear, in addition to the areas close to the elbows, big toes, knees and different body areas. In fact, the number of acupuncture sessions necessary to cure TMJ syndrome may differ from one patient to another conditional on issues like the intensity of the symptoms. However, the results are likely to be extraordinarily long-lasting.

Comments

From Silver Firestorm - Jun-06-2011
I've had this since I had my wisdom teeth removed, 15 yrs ago. Nothing the dentist could do except tell me I needed to buy a mouth guard at $400. I have found that a good chiropractor using a special device called the "activator" can put my jaw back to where it's supposed to be.
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