If you have temporomandibular joint pain, you must have experienced a variety of symptoms that cause a lot of discomforts.
Although physiotherapy and medications can help to relieve TMJ pain, other natural remedies can also make things better for a person with TMJ pain.
Essential oils have gained popularity in recent years. Essential oils are chemicals that give the plants a characteristic smell or flavor.
Essential oils are a great way to heal your symptoms, improve your health and wellness naturally. These oils come to a dark blue or amber colored container. The extracts are harvested naturally rather than farmed.
Some of the natural essential oils are lavender, eucalyptus, clove-bud, black pepper and peppermint.
Let’s continue to read further and see how essential oils help to relieve TMJ pain effectively.
Temporomandibular joint anatomically connects the lower jaw bone to the skull. One of the common problems associated with TMJ is Temporomandibular joint disorder.
During this condition, a person experiences extreme pain and discomfort around the TMJ joint and muscles that control the movement. (1)
In most of the cases, TMJ pain subsides on its own and can be self-managed. A surgical approach is the last resort and is performed when all the conservative treatments have failed.
What causes TMJ pain?
The exact cause of TMJ pain is still unknown. However, certain factors may influence the development of TMJ disorder –
- Jaw injury
- Destruction of jaw cartilage by arthritis
- Long term habit of clenching or grinding teeth
- Connective tissue disease
What are the signs and symptoms?
Typical signs and symptoms of Temporomandibular joint pain include –
- Constant pain in the lower jaw
- Pain in one or both the TMJ (2)
- Difficulty in speaking
- Difficulty in chewing and swallowing
- Facial pain
- Locking of the joint which may complicate the opening and closing movements of the jaw
Which essential oils relieve TMJ pain?
Essential oils are different plant extracts that contain a natural healing property. These oils also have antimicrobial and antifungal properties which help to fight infections. (3)
Essential oils are used in treating various body ailments. They can naturally improve the health and wellness of humans.
Lavender and peppermint essential oil are primarily used to reduce the pain and inflammation of TMJ disorder.
Some of the commonly used essential oils to relieve TMJ pain are as follows – (4)
Millenia essential oil
This extract is perfect for relaxing muscles and nerves. It helps to realign physical and energetic structures. Millennia essential oil has the property to hold the TMJ snuggly in its socket. It helps to reduce stress and anxiety which are the aggravating factors for TMJ pain.
Patches essential oil
Patches are the best essential oil to heal and repair any damaged tissue, muscle or ligaments. Additionally, it is a potent anti-inflammatory extract and increases blood flow in the areas where it is applied. Patches also help to relieve the stress and relax the muscles of the TMJ.
Ginger grass essential oil
Ginger grass is an unusual essential oil that acts as an anti-depressant and analgesic. It reduces the stress levels and eases associated symptoms of TMJ disorders like earache, headache and muscle tension.
Helichrysum has a fantastic property of rejuvenating the skin and the muscles. Like other essential oils, helichrysum is also an anti-inflammatory pain reliever. It soothes the muscles of the TMJ and relieves pain.
Other essential oils specific for TMJ pain include –
- Lavender oil – acts as an anti-inflammatory relaxant and pain reliever
- Peppermint oil – it is an antispasmodic muscle relaxant
- Marjoram – a strong sedative and anti-inflammatory muscle relaxant
- Clary sage – antiseptic pain reliever
- Eucalyptus – antiviral and antifungal pain reliever
How to apply the essential oils?
Essential oils are used topically at the area of concern. Some essential oils may be strong and caustic, which is why it is better to dilute them with a carrier oil before applying to the skin. The carrier oil that ay blends well with essential oils is tamanu, argan, black cumin, and hemp.
Below are the steps to apply essential oils correctly –
- Mix 2-3 drops of essential oil with the carrier oil in your palm.
- Massage the area where you want to relieve the pain and inflammation.
- The motion should be upwards and in small circles. Massage the area by applying light pressure.
- Begin at the level of the earlobe and move towards the hairline above to cover the area that surrounds the jaw socket.
- Repeat the step mentioned above by using fingers and knuckles respectively.
- Reapply the oil mix as often as you may need.
You can repeat this massage therapy several times a day to allow proper blood flow and fast healing.
Take away message
In recent years, natural therapy and integrative approach of healing have gained popularity as compared to conventional treatments.
One of the best methods of naturally relieving pain in the temporomandibular joint is by applying essential oils.
These extracts are specially made to use their anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties to allow natural and quick healing of all body ailments.
Make sure you don’t apply essential oils directly on to your skin as they are caustic and may be irritating. Blend them with a carrier oil to allow proper relaxation.
It is better to have an understanding of the types of essential oils suitable for a particular problem. This article is specific to TMJ pain.
You can consult your doctor or chiropractor to get more details on the best essential oil suitable for your case. Follow the instructions for applying essential oils correctly to enjoy the added benefits.