TMJ Remedies

| Modified on Sep 24, 2021
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A number of different holistic treatments are effective for managing TMJ including stretching and exercises, nutritional supplements and other therapies. The focus of such treatments is strengthening the joint and limiting inflammation contributing to the condition.

What is TMJ?

The temporomandibular joint is a sliding hinge that connects the jawbone and skull. As damage occurs in or around the joint, the condition known as TMJ occurs. Damage may include erosion of the disk, improper alignment of the disk, damage in the joint cartilage or damage caused by a blow or impact. Symptoms include pain or tenderness in the jaw, aching pain in or around the ear, difficulty chewing, aching facial pain and locking of the joint.

Natural Treatments for Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

As the condition spans a variety of healthcare disciplines, a variety of treatments have been identified as effective for treating the condition. Treatments range from acupressure to yoga and other muscle exercises. However, some of the most effective options involve natural supplements, including cilantro, magnesium and baking soda.

Cilantro

Cilantro is an herb known for its detoxifying properties. As TMJ is often a condition that involves the buildup of heavy metals in the system, chelation using cilantro is an effective treatment option. The substance also improves circulation and immune defense.

Magnesium

Magnesium is a common nutrient that is involved in numerous metabolic functions. The nutrient also helps the body absorb calcium and supports bone density. As such, magnesium is often effectively used as a treatment for TMJ.

Baking Soda

Alkalizing the body is also important for treating TMJ as it helps replenish the body's nutrient levels and ability to function. Baking soda is a natural treatment option for alkalizing the body. This alkalization also improves muscle function.

A condition that causes pain and discomfort in both the jaw joint and the muscles that control the jaw, TMJ is often a very painful condition. While a variety of treatment options have been identified for the condition, nutritional supplements are among the most effective.


Acupressure

3 User Reviews
5 star (2) 
  67%
1 star (1) 
  33%


Posted by Bev (Long Beach, CA/USA) on 05/04/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Several years ago the right side of my jaw would swell and my jaw would lock. This condition would be aggravated by my salivary gland when I "thought" of eating a cookie. Strange indeed. I went to the dentist and he sent me to an Orthodontist that pryed my mouth open. That helped at the time but it wasn't until a co-worker suggested I see a Chiropractor that I was cured. I couldn't open my mouth but he managed to put a finger inside my mouth on the "left" side and applied pressure to a muscle. That afternoon the swelling was gone. I have used this technique myself over the years to cure myself and it's always worked.

Replied by Sarah
(Austin, Texas, Us)
01/23/2012
1 out of 5 stars

My mom took me in for acupressure a lot in high school for my TMJ, and ultimately it only made me worse. I don't recommend it.

Replied by Jane
(Peoria, Illinois)
01/28/2012
5 out of 5 stars

Used to have TMJ symptoms fairly regulary. I had a dentist trained in accupressure press on stomach on my left side just below my ribs, haven't experienced TMJ symptoms since then. This was a few years ago. I would definitely recommend acupressure.


Acupuncture

1 User Review
5 star (1) 
  100%


Posted by Relief (Sd, Usa) on 01/22/2011
5 out of 5 stars

TMJ RELIEF, finally the only thing that has worked after 3 years of 24 hour pain is a highly trained Acupunture doctor. For suffers don't waste a minute. The first session he balance me, then the second session, he gently attacked the problem. The first time my jaw realigned in years and have not worn a night guard since and it has been 5 months.


Amalgam Removal

1 User Review
5 star (1) 
  100%


Posted by Lori (Phoenix, Az) on 09/23/2021
5 out of 5 stars

Results from having amalgam (silver) fillings removed.

I have been clenching my jaw when I sleep for years and I have been told by most health providers that it's stress-related. I would always disagree in my mind - “yes I'm experiencing stress but this isn't caused by stress”. I've been searching for an answer for years. I finally had a sleep test about 6 years ago and was diagnosed with mild sleep apnea. Huh well……maybe my jaw clenching was stabilizing my airway to continue breathing while I slept. That's a good thing - right? So I got a night guard for my teeth and figured at least I was mostly breathing at night. The curiosity continued however because there was no reason to have sleep apnea. My weight is height-appropriate and I don't have food allergies.

I finally just had my amalgams safely removed and my jaw didn't clench starting that very first night. In the past, as I was falling asleep, sometimes I would catch my jaw snapping shut like a snapping turtle. And it was involuntary. Now I am sleeping without clenching. And I don't think I have sleep apnea either. At least my Fitbit shows adequate O2 levels during sleep (not sure how it knows that but it says it does).

I can't explain all of it physiologically but this is my experience for what it's worth.


Cayenne

1 User Review
4 star (1) 
  100%


Posted by Michie (NYC, NY) on 10/16/2014
4 out of 5 stars

I have had mild tmj for many years now without any pain. Last week I heard a loud click and it started aching and felt painful while I ate. I have been using cayenne pepper for some other ailments and read many of the wonderful health benefits of it.So, I decided to try it after seeing a massage video for the jaw. I took about 3 drops of the pepper oil mixed it with a bit of castor oil and rubbed it on the inside of my mouth where the bone is. I could feel a little tender spot and rubbed it extra into that. Then, I continued to do the same for the outside of my jawline. When I woke today it felt a bit better so I am going to continue this for a few weeks and see what happens. The pepper is supposed to bring fresh blood to the area while the oil is healing. Hope this helps anyone who may have this problem.


Frankincense Essential Oil

1 User Review
5 star (1) 
  100%


Posted by Mama to Many (TN) on 03/13/2021
5 out of 5 stars

I have had TMJ trouble for decades. Surgery 30 years ago provided significant relief for many years. A recent MRI showed that the condyle bones are severely degenerated. I am planning to have platelet injections and arthocentesis in the jaw joints in May. Meanwhile, if I take magnesium at night, stick to a soft diet and wear an appliance at night, pain is controlled.

Unfortunately, this week I forgot my appliance one night and the next night I forgot to take magnesium. The pain was really bothering me. I was getting ready to watch a movie with my kids. (I tend to be tense when watching even kid movies and thought that this was probably not going to be good for my jaw.) I decided to put some frankincense essential oil on my face in front of my ears, over the jaw joints just because. It is an oil that always surprises me at its many uses.

After the movie I realized my jaw did not hurt anymore!

Yesterday my daughter woke up with a stiff neck. I was sure to include frankincense in my remedies to help relief her pain. (Also used arnica, ibuprofen, and quercetin/bromelain supplements.) She was much better today.

It is important to use a quality frankincense oil. My favorite brand is Hopewell. It is excellent quality for a reasonable price.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by cheryl
(MN)
03/14/2021

Can you tell me which magnesium and frankincense (there are a couple different species) you use? Thanks. I have the same issue and am missing part of my jaw.

Mama to Many
(TN)
03/15/2021

Dear Cheryl and Esther,

Here is a link for the oil that I have used - it is a combination of frereana and carterii.

https://hopewelloils.com/frankincense-frereana.php

Also, I use Natural Calm magnesium.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Esther
(Soca)
03/15/2021

Searched for Hopewell frankense online but cannot find it. Where do you purchase it?


Guna

Posted by Oldriska (Prague, Czech Republic) on 05/16/2012

Hi, I was wondering if anyone has experience with "Guna" physiological regulating medicine for pain management? I always look for ways to combat my reccuring pain in a tooth (I had had double surgery on that tooth; on X-rays it looks ok, still, the pain has been coming back for the past 2 months) and my TMJ disorder. An alternative medicine doctor suggested I got a combo of anti-inflammatory "Guna" injections and homeopathics. I've already tried various natural and non-natural cures (ACV, fresh green juice and magnesium have given me more relief than any OTC analgesics), but this is the first time I heard about "Guna, " so before I give it a go, it would be nice to hear someone else's opinion. Many thanks to you all and thank you EC for running this forum!

Replied by Jen
(Cairns, Australia)
06/09/2012

Dear Guna, Please ask your dentist to check whether the tooth is not too high, as if it sticks out or rubs on the teeth opposite it it can become chronically painful. All the dentist needs to do is re-shape it a bit so it does not touch other teeth. All the best, Jen

Replied by Jem
(Brisbane, AU)
10/07/2014

For any future teeth problems a natural antibacterial is colloidal silver - hold in mouth for 7 minutes.

Apply to burns cuts for healing...


Iodine

2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 
  100%


Posted by Pangloss (Tennessee, Usa) on 01/09/2014
5 out of 5 stars

My wife has had bad TMJ for years, leading to awful headaches as well. A $30 ebook bought online provided exercises which helped a lot - but not a permanent cure. Lately she has been taking iodine to help her low thyroid issues. She has discovered that when she takes 3 drops of iodine a day (2 drops of Lugol's Iodine and 1 drop of Atomidine) 1 drop at a time several hours apart, she has no jaw problem. Maybe TMJ can be a sign of iodine deficiency in at least some cases? Oh yes, we also quit using fluoride toothpaste decades ago, and quit drinking fluoridated water recently. Fluorine, chlorine (both in water) and bromine (in white flour) all interfere with iodine absorption.

Remember, your mileage may vary! If you take iodine and get tension, palpitations, runny nose, frontal headache - back off, you are taking too much for your present needs!

Replied by Barry
(Rising Fawn, Georgia)
12/19/2016
5 out of 5 stars

You are correct about iodine treating temporomandibular joint disorder. My wife had TMJ severely at times and we started taking iodine years ago and have recently increased our dosage. We have been experiencing benefits we could never imagine -all positive of course. And one of them is her TMJ is almost completely resolved. What's crazy is that the dental establishment does not even recognize iodine as a treatment.

Replied by Deanna
(Minnesota)
03/15/2021

Is the iodine put in a drink?

Thank you

Elaine
(MN)
03/18/2021

You want iodine in a tablet. Ioderal has good recommendations. Plus a tiny amount of copper every once in a while. https://www.amazon.com/Optimox-Iodoral-Potency-Potassium-Supplement/dp/B000X843VG


Magnesium

4 User Reviews
5 star (3) 
  75%
(1) 
  25%


Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 10/05/2017
5 out of 5 stars

My daughter had been experiencing ear pain. With a cold going around she was assuming it was an earache. However, knowing she has had jaw pain in the past, I was suspecting that TMJ was the cause, especially since she has had symptoms of this in the past as I have.

I had her take magnesium before bed last night. This morning I asked how her ear pain was. She smiled and said it didn't hurt at all. We talked about the connecting between clenching the teeth and ear pain and TMJ pain. Her sister, who shares a room with her, confirmed that she does indeed clench her teeth at night.

I believe teeth clenching (bruxism) is a symptom of magnesium deficiency.

I only gave her 3/4 teaspoon of Natural Calm, which was about 120 mg of magnesium, which isn't really that much.

If I forget to take magnesium before bed I will clench my teeth at night and wake up with jaw pain. Once I forgot it two nights in a row and I had so much radiating pain that I thought all of my teeth had abscessed (overnight, right? :) ) Resuming magnesium at night resolved the teeth pain.

~Mama to Many~


Magnesium
Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee, Usa) on 04/21/2014
5 out of 5 stars

Hi!

My daughter, who is almost 12, was having some pain in her TM joint. She would wake up with her jaw hurting. One day, it hurt so much she didn't go to choir practice. (She loves to sing so I knew it must be bad.) I went through this as a teen and young adult, ending with surgery, which I surely hope to spare her from. I checked here at EC and found that Magnesium helps many with TMJ. I got some Natural Calm and she takes a teaspoon in water before bed. It has helped so much! If she forgets, sometimes her jaw will hurt some. She has not missed choir in a month since starting on magnesium.

When she was younger, she did grind her teeth at night. (Perhaps she still does and I haven't noticed in a while.) I don't know if this is related or not. I did notice that magnesium was used for TMJ and Bruxism, which is why it made sense to me to try that first.

~Mama to Many~


Magnesium
Posted by Khloe R. (Fresno, Ca) on 12/23/2009
5 out of 5 stars

I had suffered from TMJ twice in my life and both times they were cured by magnesium. The magnesium in your body is usually depleted by stress. Magnesium is also what makes you calm, and can even help your bowel movements if constipated. I still take a magnesium supplement daily and have no problems ever since.

Replied by Tmj
(Stamford, Ct)
12/28/2009
0 out of 5 stars

Hi, Which form of Magnesium are you taking? I have taken Magnesium Citrate (for my TMJ pain) yesterday, but had a very upset stomach as a side effect. Is this normal?. Did you have any such side effects? Thanks.

Replied by SusanBo
(Monterey, Ca)
12/28/2009

hi TMJ, try rubbing magnesium oil instead by rubbing it on your jaw near ears and on your neck. It will sting, but won't ever give you the runs. I have used it for TMJ with phenomenal results. I apply it 20 minutes before getting in the shower and then rinse it off in the shower. You could also rinse it off in the sink. It comes off very easily.

Replied by Tmj
(Stamford, Ct)
01/02/2010

Hi. Thanks for the advise on Magnesium oil. I searched the web for Magnesium oil and found many results. Can you suggest which is the one that best worked for you. Thanks & Happy New Year!

EC: Make it yourself for pennies from magnesium chloride bought at an aquarium supply store! Just add hot water to dissolve the magnesium flakes 50/50.

https://www.earthclinic.com/remedies/transdermal-magnesium-therapy.html

Replied by E
(Islamabad, Pakistan)
03/18/2012

to the people who've been taking magnesium supplements, how much did you take and in what form?

Replied by Bonecrusher
(Usa)
04/08/2012

The two best forms of magnesium to take orally without giving you any intestinal side effects are magnesium glycinate and magnesium malate.

Look at the amount of elemental magnesium (not the total mg of the formula) in the brand you buy, 200mg is a good starting point. You can work your way up to 2 or 3x that or more depending on how your body feels.

Take it first thing in the morning when you get up, if you take it later in the day you will have a hard time waking up the next day it will make you sleep so hard.

Replied by Chris
(Akron, Ny)
06/19/2017

Hi! Which form of magnesium did you take for tmj or do you remember what brand? Citrate, chelated?? TIA!


Mama's TMJ Remedies

1 User Review
5 star (1) 
  100%


Posted by Mama to Many (TN) on 01/29/2019
5 out of 5 stars

I had a terrible TMJ flare up last week that I am still recovering from.

There are certain foods I have to avoid or it will aggravate my jaw joint - especially bagels and popcorn. Well, I have been eating a lot of salads and raw carrots lately and think that set me off this time around.

My jaw was almost locked shut and I was in so much pain. I have had TMJ for 30 years and learned some new things last week that really helped me! First, my primary doctor recommended trying some you tube videos to release the muscles. I was skeptical but desperate. After the first video my jaw was already more relaxed and seemed to be back in place. I have continued the exercises on these two videos several times a day for the last week. My pain is much better and my range of motion is retored to about 60% of normal. Which beat 10% of normal last week.

A few years ago I had seen online about using a special device to hold the jaw in place while sleeping. I couldn't find that this last week. But I did find that a chin strap used to help people stop snoring is used by some for TMJ. It works by holding your mouth closed. I thought this would help me because I wake up with my jaw tight and uncomfortable in the wrong position. I didn't want to wait to have one shipped and the local drugstore didn't carry this.

I decided to try a make shift version. I used a wide knit stretchy headband. I put it on my head from my chin to the crown of my head. It was snug but not uncomfortable. I wake up with my jaw feeling pretty good instead of extra stiff. I was thrilled to find two free things to help improve. I am still eating only soft foods and avoiding talking to much. I do take magnesium every night. If I don't I am sure to have jaw pain when I wake up. I have done this for years.

Here are the videos I used: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVWPlYbONMk https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKxs81wJj2I ~Mama to Many~


Oil Pulling

Posted by Jayeshgala83 (Mumbai, Maharashtra, India) on 09/16/2011

Since last 2-3 weeks, I am feeling like I am pressing my teeth in the night.. I feel my tissues around jaws are always in tension... When I wake up.. I feel pressure on my teeth... is there any cure on this using oil pulling? Thanks

Replied by Debbie
(Melbourne, Australia)
09/16/2011

Jayeshgala83, a magnesium deficiency can cause you to grind your teeth at night. You could either make some magnesium oil (1 cup magnesium chloride flakes and 1 cup of boiling pure water and dissolve the flakes). Put the liquid into a spray bottle and spray on yourself or put the flakes and water into a small foot bath and soak your feet in it for about 20-30 minutes or into a full bath. Swimming in the sea is also good to get magnesium into your body.

Replied by Jayeshgala83
(Maharashtra, India)
09/19/2011

Hi Debbie, Thanks for your reply. Where do I need to spray this liquid? can I drink that? Any places to buy magnesium chloride flakes? If I it take magnesium Supplement, will that help?

Thanks and regards, Jayesh

Replied by Debbie
(Melbourne, Australia)
09/19/2011

Jayeshgala83, you can spray it anywhere (your leg, your body). Some people wash it off after a while, some people leave it on. Magnesium supplements don't work as well apparently. It takes a long time for it to have effect. Some people even spray it into their mouths.

If you google your city you will find it is produced there, so if you contact those companies I am sure they could direct you where to buy it.

Here is the page on magnesium from earthclinic you may find interesting to read:

https://www.earthclinic.com/supplements/magnesium2.html


Oil Pulling
Posted by Tmj (Stamford, Ct) on 12/24/2009

TMJ treatment

I have been suffering from TMJ disorder for the past 9 months. I get pain in my temples, jaw joint, Cheeks, neck, back, and sometime my tongue. I get ringing sounds in my ears too. I have read about oil pulling in your website posts and am eager to know more about it. Is there any more specific information such as the type of oil to be used, any specific schedule to be followed. Apart from oil pulling, are there any other ways to attack the problem.

Any ideas/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Replied by Joyce
(Joelton, Tn)
12/25/2009
510 posts

Hello tmj from Stamford,

Nine months is a long time to hve TMJ problems. Question: Are you on Fosamax or one of the other drugs for osteoporosis (bone thinning)? They are known to cause osteonecrosis (death) of the lower jaw. If you are on one of these, type the name of the medication you are taking in the search window and look up side effects.

Replied by Tmj
(Stamford, Ct)
12/26/2009

Hi. I have not used any of those medications that you have mentioned. I have been using some muscle relaxants (prescribed by my doc). I feel ok when the muscle relaxants are working, but after a day or two I start to feel my jaw muscles getting sore & tight. Any insights on natural TMJ treatment would be appreciated.

Replied by Lindaa
(Chipley, Florida, U.S.A.)
12/30/2009

On and Off for years I had TMJ. My dentist even pulled a tooth. I read some odd thing about TMJ and grinding my teeth. I was sure I did not, but asked my husband. He said I always did.

I bought a cheap football mouth piece, cut off the piece that sticks out, followed directions on box. Put it in my mouth that night. The next morning I discovered I had crewed almost completly through one side. anyway....One day I had the TMJ that was really hurting so bad I wanted to cry. Not really thinking, I was rubbing both sides of my jaws, when I noticed I had a lump (muscle cramp) on the side that hurt, but not the other side. I dug my fingers into the lump and massaged it really hard. It did not hurt to do this for some reason. After a couple of minutes I noticed the TMJ pain was gone. There after, any time I felt the TMJ pain coming on I would massage that muscle, as well as wear another mouth piece at night for a few days. I belive TMJ is stress related, and not misaligned teeth. Give it a try, it cant hurt worse than what you already have, and it only costs a couple of dollars for a cheap mouth piece.

Replied by Smokymtnlady
(Tennessee)
11/19/2015

I want to share my TMJ experience. 16 years ago, my jaw locked up. I could force it open but only with a loud pop. I question my judgement now, but for whatever reason I went to the dentist about my locked jaw. He advised a soft diet and grinded bits off my molars to "adjust my bite". When this didn't work he recommended surgery. My friend begged me to go to her chiropractor before having surgery. The chiropractor got me straightened out in about 4 weeks by manually massaging the jaw, spinal adjustments and e-stim on my face. He also prescribed exercises I could do at home, and over the past 16 years, when I felt the jaw starting to stiffen up, I would resume the exercises for a couple days. Now my TMJ pain is back! But this time with nerve pain attacks that shoot from the jaw into my teeth and chin. A different tooth each time, or even all at once, so not a normal toothache. I am working with a chiropractor but I am also trying to correct my posture. (I read that there is a whole plague of neck pain from looking at our devices 2 hours/day.) Try to be mindful to relax the back of your tongue, this will help relax the jaw muscles. Also be mindful to position the weight of your head STRAIGHT above your neck, this causes almost instant relief on the strained jaw. Imagine a helium balloon tied to your occipital bone lifting it straight.

Good luck!


Ted's Remedies

Posted by Simon (England) on 11/24/2014

Hi there,

Thank you for your incredible website. It is just the best. I have tried to support it every way I can, buying books etc. Could you send me a link to Ted's TMJ remedy? I can't find it. Thank you so much. Simon

EC: https://www.earthclinic.com/cures/tmj.html#ted

https://www.earthclinic.com/cures/tmj_questions.html


Thieve’s Oil Compress

1 User Review
5 star (1) 
  100%


Posted by Rob (Kentucky) on 06/22/2021
5 out of 5 stars

My GF had a severe attack of TMJ after returning home from a dinner date. She said it started while she was eating. First, we applied a heating pad to the side of her face. Did not do much for the pain.

So, next we tried applying Dr. Christopher's SenSei Menthol Ointment (if you are not familiar with this product, imagine vick's salve, tigerbalm and icy hot combined times 100! ) to the side of her jaw, neck and around her ear.

I then made up an oil compress of thieve's oil to be placed inside her mouth (placed between her back tooth gum line of her jaw and cheek). As close to the temporomandibular joint area as possible. The compress will release its oils over the hour so it will absorb into the jaw area.

Then I had her lay down for the night. She woke-up as if nothing had ever happened.

How to make this essential oil compress:

  • 6 drops thieves oil – mine has cinnamon, not cassia (I guess you could add more drops if you want it stronger)
  • 30 drops olive oil
  • ½ of a small cottonball

Mix oils in a small bowl with your finger then soak it up with the cottonball.

Note: I am trying this on myself tonite for fluid in my inner ear that won't go away. If it works, I'll post results.



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