Home> TMJ Syndrome
by Dave Foreman
TMJ is a very common condition?I was even a sufferer of this condition not long after I finished pharmacy school. Luckily for me the condition went away on its own, but not after a ton of visits to multiple doctors, trying medications and other miscellaneous "treatment" attempts. I read somewhere that it is estimated that 10 million Americans suffer from this condition. TMJ is associated with pain and discomfort in the jaw joint(s) and surrounding muscle tissues. TMJ can impact your ability to speak, chew, swallow, breathe and make facial expressions.
Additional symptoms may include: ringing in the ears, ear pain, decreased hearing, dizziness and vision problems.
The actual cause of TMJ is unknown but there do seem to be several factors that can contribute to it developing. They are: arthritis, injuries to the jaw, stretching of the jaw (I believe the cause of mine from Wisdom teeth extraction), autoimmune diseases, stress and clenching of the teeth (which I think are related). Modern medicine's approach is to try anti–inflammatory and muscle relaxant treatments and in some cases a mouth–guard to realign the jaw or keep you from grinding your teeth while sleeping.
Natural medicine also has a few tricks up its sleeve to help you relieve your discomfort. I also like to use supplements to fight inflammation and relax the muscles. Supplements like Zyflamend (New Chapter), Turmeric/Bromelain (Natural Factors) or FlexNow (BSP Pharma) would all be at the top of my list to help fight off inflammation and pain. Adding an herb like passion flower would help relax the muscles and hopefully provide more relief.
If stress is the main reason you suffer from TMJ, then I recommend you work on what is causing you to be stressed. I find that reading my Bible helps me the most, but for others, exercise, supplements, such as Stress Advantage (New Chapter), StressAssist (Futurebiotics) and Stress Formula (The Vitamin Shoppe) would be great for a temporary fix.
When using nutritional supplements for muscle and inflammation issues, I recommend you use them regularly throughout the day and for weeks at a time, especially when fighting inflammation; it may help you feel better before the inflammation is completely gone. Continuing to use one of these natural inflammation fighters for a week or more after the discomfort subsides might be a good idea. As always, consult with your healthcare provider to learn what is best for you and your situation.
Lastly, there are some other techniques below that may also get you on your way to feeling better quicker: