What is TMJ Disorder?
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder occurs when the jaw, jaw joint and the surrounding muscles in charge of opening and closing the mouth are affected.
Signs and symptoms of TMJ disorder include pain in the jaw region with possible swelling, limited range of motion, muscle spasms, earache, grinding of teeth, facial asymmetry, clicking or popping noises, and occasionally ringing in the ears.
What are the common TMJ and jaw pain causes?
- – Trauma to the jaw
- – Over-stretching as a result of dental or surgical procedures
- – Arthritis
- – Excessive grinding or clenching of the teeth
- – Tension in the neck and shoulder
- – Stress
- – Whiplash
How Does Western (Conventional) Medicine Approach TMJ?
Those seeking TMJ treatment or jaw pain relief often turn to home remedies or Western medical treatment which typically consists of:
- – Prescription of anti-inflammatory drugs
- – Soft diet
- – Applying hot or cold compress
- – Oral splints
- – Wearing a mouth guard at night
- – Surgical procedures
- – Permanent dental corrections
Can Acupuncture Help Treat TMJ and Jaw Pain?
Yes, acupuncture can help relieve pain, tension, and discomfort of TMJ disorder. In case of acute TMJ, seeking acupuncture treatment immediately can help to completely treat the condition.
Acupuncture involves insertion of hair-thin disposable needles into certain points in the body, called “acupoints”. Some local points and some distal points are used to address the issue to help relax the jaw muscles and de-stress the body. In some cases, moxibustion, cupping therapy, and/or Chinese herbs are used in combination with acupuncture to help relieve the pain.
Chinese medicine seeks to restore balance to the body and it is very important to implement a holistic approach towards an individual’s body. Therefore, our TMJ treatment begins with a Chinese medical diagnosis to determine the patient’s individualized pattern of disharmony. We will then craft a personalized treatment plan that brings the entire person back to the sense of dynamic balance. As a result, diseases, aches and pains will resolve as well.
It is very important to consider the root of the problem when treating TMJ disorder. Stress, neck injuries, neck and sternocleidomastoid muscle (SCM) tightness, or sinus issues can initiate or aggravate TMJ and jaw pain.
At Zahra Acupuncture, we’ve had cases with tightness in the neck muscles where working on releasing the trigger points in the SCM and trapezius muscles has helped to treat the jaw pain. In cases of stress-induced TMJ, working on calming the mind has helped our patients recover from the jaw pain.
North Vancouver Acupuncture Clinic
If you are seeking a natural TMJ treatment option or want to learn more about acupuncture for TMJ, Dr. Zahra Mazanderani will be happy to assist you. Book a consultation now to learn whether acupuncture treatment can provide effective TMJ and jaw pain relief.
Our North Vancouver acupuncture clinic is conveniently located at Neurogenesis Clinics, Marine Drive. Our acupuncture treatments are covered by extended health benefits.