TMJ Syndrome (temporomandibular joint syndrome)

TMJ Syndrome (temporomandibular joint syndrome)

When the temporomandibular joint in the jaw does not function properly, a legitimate work at home

ane-and-the-treatment-of-pain/” target=”_blank”>painful condition can cause the sufferer to experience a range of symptoms from a dull ache to devastating pain and dysfunction throughout the entire body. If one places a finger in front of the middle of one’s ear, and opens and closes his or her mouth, the movement of the temporomandibular joint can be felt. This joint joins the temporal bone (skull) to the mandible (jaw bone), which then allows the movement needed for you to chew, bite, and talk. Because of its proximity to a major nerve junction to and from the brain, any difficulty with the function of this joint can cause pain to radiate out from the muscles in the face, neck, and shoulders.

When the jaw joint (TMJ) isn’t synchronized properly, a clicking sound, grinding, and popping can occur and perhaps cause the joint to not close or fully open, and may in turn produce symptoms of dizziness, toothaches, headaches, pain and pressure behind the eyes, and ringing in the ears. If the movement in the jaw is not smooth, enormous

tensions can build in the facial muscles, cartilage may become displaced or worn out, causing the bones to rub against one another, rather than gliding smoothly, and thus radiating the pain outward. Some people may actually have a misalignment of the jaw and teeth which may prevent smooth operation of the joint which would be reflected in a poor bite, and clenching and grinding of teeth.

The common underlying causes of TMJ syndrome is stress, poor bite, clenching and grinding of teeth, bad posture, repeated blows to the jaw or chin, whiplash, poor dental work and aggravations which induce other symptoms such as constant gum chewing, thumb-sucking, and chewing on one side of the mouth. Hypoglycemic people tend to clench and grind teeth more when blood sugar levels are low producing additional contributing symptoms of pain and stress to the TMJ.

There is little consensus on treatment for the syndrome, even though millions of people suffer from the syndrome. TMJ syndrome is often treated with one wearing a special bite plate at night in an effort to stop the clenching and compression of the joint. Other treatments involve stress management, heat and muscle relaxants. Other physical therapy protocols can be used including exercises of stressed muscles or use

of transcutaneous nerve stimulation, ultrasound and electrogalvanic stimulation therapy, which are all used to relieve muscle tensions. Dietary considerations may include eating lightly steamed vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grain foods, white fish, brown rice, skinless chicken and turkey, and avoiding sugars, white flour, junk foods, colas, potato chips, etc. Caffeine consumption is apparently a contributor to increased tension in muscles and thus to be avoided. (A sad fact for this writer).

Jacob and Lawrence report in “The Miracle of MSM, The Natural Solution For Pain” Stanley Jacob, M.D., Ronald Lawrence, M.D. Ph. D., and Martin Zucker, Berkley Books, 1999, at pages 146-148, that MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) users have demonstrated excellent relief in TMJ problems. The authors recommend taking MSM orally as a daily supplement and apply topically a lotion or gel to the affected joint. The anti-inflammatory properties and analgesic effect lessens pain associated with the syndrome, and the increased blood supply and reduction of muscle spasms prove helpful as well.

The TMJ syndrome is not without some remedy or relief if one is willing to do some research and make a concerted effort to lessen stressors and tension upon the focal point of such a critical joint.