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What are the Best Remedies for TMJ?

Erin J. Hill
Erin J. Hill

Treatments for temporal mandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ) can include surgery, oral devices, and massage. The most effective remedies for TMJ will depend on the severity of the condition, and the easiest and least invasive treatments are generally attempted before more extreme measures are taken. Some treatments can be done at home, but all should be directed by a trained medical professional.

TMJ is a condition in which the jaw is not properly aligned. Sufferers may experience popping or cracking sounds when opening and closing their mouths, and sometimes severe pain and stiffness may also occur. In some cases, fluid may build up around the jaw and ears.

A person with TMJ.
A person with TMJ.

Many times, the best remedies for TMJ are massage and oral devices. Massage can be done by a patient himself, but he should learn the proper technique from a dentist or orthodontist before attempting to do so. TMJ massage generally includes rubbing the jaw line in a circular motion, and applying pressure to the sides and roof of the mouth. This can help to alleviate discomfort and may help make oral devices more effective.

A splint may be worn at night to prevent damage to teeth for people with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) and bruxism.
A splint may be worn at night to prevent damage to teeth for people with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) and bruxism.

Oral devices are also common remedies for TMJ. They are generally worn over the teeth and slowly move the jaw back into proper alignment. They also apply pressure to various areas of the mouth to help relieve discomfort. In order to work effectively these devices should be specially made for TMJ and they should be worn at all times to maximize benefits.

Wearing a mouth guard or splint that is not intended for this purpose could result in further pain or injury. In severe cases, remedies for TMJ can include surgery. This is generally reserved as a last resort, and all other methods of treatment are attempted before an operation is scheduled. Patients must generally be suffering from severe pain since the risks associated with any surgery are not recommended for those who are suffering from only minor discomfort. These can include over the counter or prescription medications.

TMJ should be diagnosed by a trained medication professional. Attempting to do home treatments without proper guidance could lead to injury. Another health condition could be to blame for symptoms, so a diagnosis is important in order to ensure treatment of the correct condition.

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    • A person with TMJ.
      By: sakura
      A person with TMJ.
    • A splint may be worn at night to prevent damage to teeth for people with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) and bruxism.
      By: conejota
      A splint may be worn at night to prevent damage to teeth for people with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) and bruxism.