Home Remedies for Jaw popping

Temporomandibular disorders refer to disorders of the temporomandibular joint and the surrounding facial muscles. Temporomandibular joint is the joint where the lower jaw is connected to the skull on each side of the head. Conditions affecting this jaw joint and muscles and causing dysfunction of the same are called TMJ. Clicking, popping and grating sounds occur in the jaw joint while opening or closing the mouth or while chewing. Tight clenching or grinding of teeth usually during sleep which may lead to TMJ. These can result in damage and subsequent tooth loss, pain in the head,neck and ear,hearing loss, sleeplessness and can even cause a change in the facial appearance. These conditions can be treated using home remedies.

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Jaw Popping:

TMJ or jaw popping may be caused due to trauma to the temporomandibular joint, although in most cases the exact reasons have not been determined. Due to the fact that its occurrence is high in women it is speculated that female hormones may have a role to play in this. Bruxism in which a lot of pressure is put on the jaw, arthritis in the temporomandibular joint and stress can also cause TMJ. The symptoms of TMJ include pain and discomfort in the face, jaw area, neck and ear, inability to open the mouth very wide, clicking or locking of jaws in the open or closed condition of the mouth, difficulty in chewing and swelling in the face. It is often accompanied by anxiety, stress and eating disorders.

In extreme cases where conservative treatments have not been successful then surgery may be considered as an option. These include therapeutic arthroscopy, arthrocentesis, and removal of any loose fragments of bone, reshaping the condyle or joint replacements. Surgery may lead to further damage and cause the symptoms to worsen.

Home remedies for jaw popping:

Self-care practices, jaw exercises along with modifications in the diet are helpful in treating TMJ, Bruxism and Teeth Grinding:

  • Open your mouth and massage the muscles around the jaw to relax them.Then close your mouth and repeat the same several times a day.Massage the neck muscles also.
  • Trace the hinge of the jaw using the index finger and gently massage downwards. Repeat on the other side.
  • Yawn widely without causing any strain. Repeat a few times.
  • Try to sit up straight without bending forward and make sure the back is well supported.This avoids strain on the neck and back.
  • Consciously try not to clench and grind the teeth.If there is an urge, position the tip of your tongue between your teeth.
  • Do not sleep on your stomach as this strains the neck and the jaw.Sleep on your back or side.
  • Practice meditation and relaxation techniques like deep breathing to reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Regularly exercise to reduce stress and get relief from TMJ disorders.
  • Avoid foods which are difficult to chew like candies, nuts and steak and crunchy foods like hard rolls andapples, as they require the mouth to be opened wide.
  • Consume foods like mashed potato, yogurt, soup, eggs, fish, cooked vegetables and rice which are easy to eat.
  • Cut your food into small sized bites so that you can eat more easily.
  • Do not consumefoods that contain caffeine like coffee, cola and chocolate as this increases muscle tension.
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol as teeth grinding worsens after its consumption.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep the body hydrated.

TMJ disorders are can be very stressful and exhausting. Using a combination of exercises, diets, and relaxation methods eliminate jaw popping and other TMJ associated complications without any invasive surgery.