Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a disorder that causes the jaw joint to be sore and painful. The TMJ connects the lower jaw, to the temporal bone of the skull, which is located in front of the ear on both sides of the head. The TMJ allows the jaw to move up and down and side to side. These movements are important for many everyday functions such as talking, chewing food, and yawning.
The cause of most TMJ disorders still remains unknown. Many behaviors, including frequently clenching the jaw or grinding the teeth (which often occurs during sleep), poor posture that puts strain on the muscles and bones near the jaw, or other habits that overwork the jaw muscles (example: constant gum chewing), may contribute to the development of TMJ disorders. Overworking the jaw muscles have shown to worsen the symptoms of TMJ.
Conventional treatment usually begins with nonsurgical therapies including hot or cold packs, eating soft foods, avoiding overuse of the jaw muscles, night guards, biteplates (splint), and/or anti-inflammatory medications.
Natural alternatives to medication and surgery include intra-oral massage therapy, Natural alternatives include therapies such as IMS (intramuscular stimulation) and medical acupuncture with electro-stimulation, massage, active release therapy and hydrotherapy techniques. Natural anti-inflammatory remedies can also be helpful in managing the pain and preventing further progression.
Natural Standard Databases: http://naturalstandard.com.ezproxy.ccnm.edu/databases/conditions/all/condition-tmj.asp