Nagging Jaw Pain? Try These 3 Home Remedies for Natural Relief
Nix the pain and discomfort quickly.
Jaw pain, tenderness, and aches are signs of possible problems in your temporomandibular joint (aka TMJ). Each of us has two TMJs one on each side of the jaw connecting the jawbone to the skull. These jaw joints help with movements that allow us to chew and speak. When the area around them becomes irritated or inflamed, temporomandibular joint disorder occurs. This disorder leads to excruciating pain in the jaw and mouth.
Donald Tanenbaum, DDS, a clinical assistant professor at the School of Dental Medicine at Stony Brook University, says that nearly all women with TMJ disorder go undiagnosed. Additionally, he says that women are at greater risk for this disorder: “Fluctuations in estrogen cause women’s ligaments to be looser, which can lead to TMJ [disorders].” Other risk factors for TMJ disorder include habitual gum chewing, biting fingernails, jaw injury, and stress. Fortunately, there are home remedies for easing TMJ pain fast.
Home Remedies for TMJ Pain
Facial exercises are a common natural treatment for TMJ pain, but they’re not the only solution. Here are three additional ways to find relief:
- Try a night guard: These plastic dental appliances go over the teeth to stabilize the jaw and prevent grinding while you sleep, which is a common cause of TMJ. You can find various brands like the DAVV Upgraded Night Guard for Teeth Grinding online (Buy from Amazon, $15.99).
- Walk tall: Diana Hearn, PT, DPT, OCS, leader of the Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) Program at Penn Therapy and Fitness, says poor posture can pull on muscles in the neck and jaw to worsen TMJ pain. Her posture-correcting to-do: Lift your chest bone, pull your shoulders back, and gently squeeze your shoulder blades.
- Add heat: Applying warm, moist heat to your jaw in the form of steamed towels or gel packs can ease joint stiffness. A survey published in The Clinical Journal of Pain found that thermal therapies, like hot or cold compresses, provided the most relief for individuals affected by TMJ disorder.
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.
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