what-relieves-tmj-pain-5-remedies-to-tryA lot of people get the care of an upper cervical chiropractor in Blue Ash OH because of TMJ pain. Pain involving the TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is often due to conditions affecting the jaw joint and muscles that control it. A complex joint in the body, the jaw can easily hurt, causing the onset of various symptoms of TMD. 

TMJ disorder, also called temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD or TMJD), can cause extreme discomfort and pain to people who have it. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, about 5% to 12% of Americans suffer with TMJD. 

More Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Facts

Each side of the head has TMJ, which sits just in front of the ears. The temporomandibular joint merges the mandible (lower jaw) and the temporal bone of the skull. TMJ is one of the most intricate joints in the body. Why is this so?

The TMJ enables the movement of the jaw in many directions from moving forward and back, opening and closing, to gliding side to side. These movements allow us to perform important actions such as chewing, yawning, and talking. 

Similar to how the spine has discs, the TMJ also has a disc within it. The disc absorbs shock and force whenever the joint moves, including when eating and during other movements.

Symptoms and Signs of TMD 

TMD can arise from different causes, and the pain and experience of it can vary from person to person. Here’s a list of some of the common signs of a TMJ disorder:

  • Stiffness of the jaw
  • Popping
  • Clicking
  • Grinding
  • Jaw locking
  • Grinding of the teeth (bruxism)
  • Upper and lower teeth that don’t fit together properly

Jaw pain is often related to other problems or conditions. You may also experience the following symptoms if you a disorder affecting your TMJ:

  • Headaches
  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Facial pain
  • Earaches

5 Natural Remedies for TMJ Disorders

Very often, people who complain of jaw pain get a prescription for pain relievers or anti-inflammatory medications. If you have issues with your TMJ and would rather have natural relief options, you can try out some of these habits and remedies to resolve the pain and discomfort you are feeling. 

  • Eating soft foods

Forgo chewy, hard, and tough to eat foods such as bagels, apples, steak, sticky sweets, and chewing gum. These foods can irritate your jaw all the more. Stick to a soft diet as they are not harsh on the jaw. Some of the food options for people suffering with TMJ pain are oatmeal, yogurt, mashed potato, banana, fish, egg, and smoothies.

  • Applying moist heat or cold packs

Heat is good for more chronic TMJ pain, while cold compress is beneficial for acute cases. Applying moist heat or cold packs to the jaw joint and its surrounding muscles can aid in reducing the inflammation and pain.

  • Stress relief

Some people clench or grind their jaw when under highly stressful situations. These habits can put pressure on the jaw, causing pain and impairment of the TMJ. Therefore, it matters to make lifestyle changes and implement stress-relieving methods such as walking, meditation, yoga, and other gentle exercises. All of these help you healthily cope with stress, thus eliminating pressure in your jaw. 

  • Using the proper range of motion in your jaw

Another important thing is your awareness of your jaw movements while talking, chewing your food, or yawning. Avoid opening your jaw too widely or making excessive repetitive movements involving your jaw, such as chewing a piece of gum. 

  • Upper cervical chiropractic 

Upper cervical chiropractic is a niche within the chiropractic practice that focuses on problems surrounding the atlas (C1), the uppermost vertebra in the upper cervical spine (neck). The atlas shields the brainstem, from which cranial nerves branch off. These nerves control the jaw and face muscles. Therefore, misalignment of the atlas can cause jaw dysfunction. Upper cervical chiropractic adjusts the atlas, so it remains in proper alignment.

Upper Cervical Chiropractor in Blue Ash OH for TMJ Pain

It’s not a far leap to say that your neck pain and TMD are connected, mainly since these symptoms often accompany each other. Around the TMJ are very critical structures: your atlas and your brainstem.

Wear and tear or injury can cause the atlas to misalign, leading to irritation of the cranial nerves. As mentioned above, these nerves control the jaw muscles and transmit pain signals to the brain. An upper cervical misalignment can tighten the jaw, leading to pain and dysfunction.

Cincinnati Upper Cervical and Family Chiropractic in Blue Ash, Ohio employs upper cervical chiropractic care and uses diagnostic imaging to know exactly the degree of misalignment of the atlas. With this information, Dr. Brent A. Owens can offer a personalized adjustment for every patient we have. 

He adjusts the atlas bone with gentleness and precision so it can hold in position for as long as possible. The longer the correction remains in place, the more chance the body can mend and restore itself thoroughly. Many of his patients experience positive results after receiving his care. 

If you’ve tried other TMJ natural remedies and interventions but have not gotten the result you would like, the issue may be from an atlas misalignment. This can keep you from healing.

Come in for a no-obligation consultation here at our office so you can learn more about upper cervical chiropractic care. Call us at  513-891-7746 to schedule an appointment today.