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Are TMJ Symptoms Reversible Without TMJ Surgery?

May 15, 2008
Do you think you have TMJ and are looking for a dentist or therapist to help with TMJ relief?

First let's discuss some of the symptoms so that you are clear about what to watch for and take care of -

TMJ Symptoms:

Your jaw hurts especially when talking, yawning or chewing

You can't open your mouth wide. It may get so bad you can't open more than two inches.

You also feel pain in your neck, shoulders or ears. Teeth Grinding Jaw Clicking

Does that sound like you?

It is the muscles that control your jaws that are the problem. One set of muscles pulls in one direction to open your mouth and another set of muscle pull in another way to close your mouth. If your muscles are stressed in certain ways, tired or overworked, they won't open or close your jaw properly.

So what to do about it? You could see someone such as a dentist or a physical therapist and they can assist you. Or read on and I will give you another suggestion.

Some things that may be suggested:

A dentist may tell you that you need a mouthguard to realign your jaw. You can try one of those, but the problem I see with it, is when you stop, your jaw will sometimes pull back to where it was, because the most common cause of the problem is muscle pull. That is not taken care of with a mouthguard

You may be told to consciously relax your shoulders, face and jaw muscles to ease TMJ symptoms.

Sleep on your back or side, as sleeping face down pushes your face to the side, causing pressure on the jaw.

Surgery may be suggested. Be sure to try looking at other means to correct your problem first.

Some diet tips:

Eliminate Caffeine, or seriously cut back on it. Those who drink caffeine tend to clench their jaw more.

Don't chew large pieces of hard or brittle food.

Eat plenty of vegetables, especially dark green vegetables. They contain Calcium and Magnesium, which help build healthy muscles, ligaments and tendons. Most of us don't eat enough vegetables and get our minimum requirement of minerals in daily, so this is good advice for the whole family.

Even if you cannot chew well, you can get in your vegetables. Buy a juicer and make a glass of vegetable juice to drink each day. Apple, carrot, celery and some dark leafy green vegetables taste pretty good together.

If you are not used to real vegetable juices, it may taste "strong". You may find that you need to dilute your vegetable juice up to half water. Left over juice can be stored in the fridge, tightly capped and drunk with in 24 hours, and will still do some good. It is however best to consume it each time fresh.

You may want to eat soft foods for a few days. If you TMJ is particularly bad, you could make vegetable soup with a variety of vegetables and a small amount of meat and get by for a few days to rest your jaw, as this will rest your jaw from vigorous chewing.

Can the situation be serious? Yes it can. The temporomandibular joint can become inflamed and swollen. If it gets bad enough it may lock your jaw open or shut. The muscles and ligaments around this joint could lose their elasticity and balance with other muscles, leading to your lower jaw pulling in, which will cause a receding jaw.
About the Author
It is important to take care of your TMJ at the first sign of problems. Jeannie Crabtree was told she would need surgery. Learn how she got rid of her TMJ through tmj exercises that she could do herself. You can do this too. Go here to read more: TMJ Exercises
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