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The TMI On TMJ: Symptoms And Relief For Your Temporomandibular Disorder

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Visiting your dentist twice a year for routine cleanings and exams is imperative for your underlying oral health. However, an estimated 10 million people suffer with discomfort in and around their mouth and jaw even with periodic exams and dental treatments. Known as TMJ, Temporomandibular disorder creates a popping and clicking of your jaw that can be painful if left untreated. In most cases, the causes of TMJ are not clear. From arthritis and tooth grinding to misaligned bites, it is easy to see the difficulties to treating the specific cause of your condition. If you are one of the many people dealing with TMJ, understanding the symptoms will help you find the best treatment for relief.


While the causes of TMJ disorder are difficult to determine, the symptoms are easy to see and feel. If you are experiencing the following physical symptoms, you may be suffering with a form of the condition:

  • Pain in the jaw area
  • Tenderness or sensitivity in the jaw area
  • Pain or discomfort when chewing
  • Difficulty opening and closing the mouth
  • Pain in facial areas
  • Pain and discomfort in and around ears
  • Popping or clicking sound or feeling in jaw area
  • Locking of the temporomandibular joint

If your temporomandibular joint locks and remains locked for a period of time, seek medical treatment immediately. If experiencing one or more of the above symptoms, consult your dentist for the best treatment. From holistic options to surgical procedures, finding a pain relief option suited to your needs is simple.


While running or dancing improves your overall health, exercising your facial muscles and jaw will ease your TMJ discomfort.  After your dentist diagnoses you with TMJ, complete the following at home daily to relieve your pain:

Stretch your mouth into a wide, open position and hold for 15 seconds. After the time, release and rest for a few seconds. Then, stretch your mouth open wide again and hold. Complete the pattern multiple times twice a day for relief.

If your TMJ issue stems from a misaligned bite, practice aligning your bite and biting down a few times per day. Of course, this will not permanently correct your misaligned bite, but it can decrease pain.

Oil Pulling

Originating over 3000 years ago and used by the Ayurveda people, oil pulling is a popular holistic practice that "pulls" toxins from your body and improves you overall health and wellness. To improve the symptoms of your TMJ, complete the following using coconut or olive oil:

  1. Swish 1 teaspoon of oil around your mouth for 20 minutes. Move the oil around the inside of your mouth in an attempt to "pull" bacteria and germs out of your body. The swishing motion will also strengthen your temporomandibular joint, teeth, gums, and jaw bone.
  2. After 20 minutes, spit the oil into a waste bin. Due to the presence of bacteria, do not spit into your sink or toilet.
  3. Rinse your mouth out with warm water.
  4. Brush your teeth, tongue, and gums as normal.


TMJ is painful, but if you are experiencing unbearable pain, surgery may be your best option for treatment.  While both invasive, here are two surgical options to consider:

  • Arthroscopy – Under general anesthesia, surgeons make a small incision in front of your ear. The surgeon will locate the joint with a thin fiber optic light before realigning a disc.
  • Open Joint Surgery – Surgeons may recommend open joint surgery is you have a degenerating joint, tumors in your jaw area, or severe scar tissue or bone damage. Surgeons create an incision in the skin around the ear to expose the entire joint before making the necessary repairs.

TMJ disorders are not pleasant due to the discomfort. Using this guide, you or ask a professional from a site like who will understand your condition more and improve the pain using these treatment options.