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20 Home Remedies to Relieve Pain from TMJ Disorders

TMJ is a shortcut for the temporomandibular joint, and it is also known as lockjaw. This term involves a lot of problems with the normal musculature and joint functions of the jaw. One of the most important structures of the joint is the temporomandibular joint. It is made of hard and soft tissues which connect the lower jaw bone to the cranial bone in the skull. This joint allows for chewing, movements, and other functions.

TMJ is causing any unusual pressure placed on the jawbone, such as misalignment of the teeth or jaw, grinding of the teeth, and habitual gum chewing. If the TMJ is severe, then it can cause headaches and pain in the neck and shoulder. This condition is frequently worse with stress, where more clenching or grinding of the jaw can happen.

The most common signs and symptoms of TMJ are muscles spasms and swelling around the jaw and face; joint pain; ringing in the ears; dizziness; trouble sleeping normally; headaches; clicking or popping sounds in the jaw when chewing; problems with chewing normally and pain when eating; pain and achiness around the jaw, neck, face, ears, and shoulders.

Opening your mouth completely can be hampered, and your jaw can get stuck open or closed. The frequent symptom of TMJ is clicking each time when the mouth is opened. People with stressful jobs, those with jaw surgery, and those with jaw joint disease are at increased risk of getting TMJ. Talk with your doctor if you suffer from TMJ before you start using some of the below-mentioned home remedies for this condition.

20 home remedies for TMJ

Exercise help TMJ

You should regularly strengthen and stretch your jaw, but you should exercise your whole body because this will give you relief from the stress. When exercise helps you to sleep better, balance your blood sugar levels, and it can lower inflammation. You should aim to do at least thirty minutes to one hour per day for a period of one week. [1,2]

tmj symptoms

Meditation treat TMJ

It is known that the relaxation techniques, such as exercise, yoga, and meditation, can help treat TMJ. They can relax the muscles of the whole body, reduce the heart rate and blood pressure, and also they can calm the autonomic nervous system. We know that poor sleep is linked to the increased pain experience, so if you improve your sleep, then it can help you to get relief from this symptom. [3]

Chamomile essential oil

This natural cure is a strong calming agent. It has analgesic properties which can help to reduce the pain in the joints, muscles, and bones. Also, it can give you relief from the severe pain around the cranial nerve, which results from the pressure on the blood vessels.

Gentle massage

There are some doctors who recommend doing gentle massage of the jaw and temple muscles. This massage should be done in a circular motion while you are opening and closing the jaw slowly for about thirty seconds every 4 to 6 hours. When you are opening and closing your jaw, then it will allow stretching and massaging of most jaw muscle fibers. When you are stretching and massaging your jaws benefits jaw dysfunction by relaxing the jaw muscles, and the repetition of the regimen can prevent the jaw muscles from tending up easily.

Grapefruit essential oil

This natural cure has immense soothing properties. It can help you to get relief from the stress of daily activities. Also, people who suffer from TMJ will benefit from this oil because they will feel less pain or stress due to its mild mood-lifting properties. Also, it can help you relieve tension from the body. It can be used to treat depression and alleviate the stress that is caused by TMJ. [4]

Anti-inflammatory teas and herbs

You should add anti-inflammatory herbs and teas to your diet, such as raw garlic, fresh herbs/spices, turmeric, and green tea because they will help you in the natural treatment of TMJ symptoms.

Protein foods

If you have problems with chewing protein foods, then you should try adding protein shakes, raw dairy, and eggs to your diet because they will give you enough protein.

B-complex help TMJ

This natural cure can help to get relief from the effects of stress. It is recommended to use 50 mg of B-complex two times per day.

Eucalyptus essential oil

This home remedy has antibacterial, antiviral, and pain-relieving properties, which can help manage the pain associated with TMJ.

Eating soft food

You should eat a soft diet for a period of five to seven days because this can help to heal the TMJ symptoms and also it can reduce the forces within the joint structures. Some of the soft foods which you should consume are cooked/steamed vegetables, smoothies, stews, and soups. They will add more nutrients to your body, and you will not have to eat hard foods. [5]

Foods high in electrolytes

You should eat foods that are rich in electrolytes, such as pureed, steamed, or blended vegetables and fruits. They have electrolytes, such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium, which can help to prevent muscle spasms and other symptoms of deficiencies that are linked to the TMJ. Also, mashed sweet potatoes, berries, cooked broccoli, and other cruciferous veggies and leafy greens are rich in electrolytes, and you can add them to your diet.

Valor essential oil

It can be applied to the neck and jaw as a natural treatment for TMJ. You can use it in combination with blue tansy, spruce, and frankincense because it can help to treat muscle and bone aches.


This mineral works with magnesium, and it aids in muscle relaxation [6]. It is recommended to consume 500 mg of calcium two times per day.

Collagen protein

This protein can help to rebuild the tissue, and cartilage is also included in it.

Omega – 3 foods

You should consume foods that have Omega – 3 fatty acids because they can help to fight inflammation and also they will improve circulation. You should consume mackerel, sardines, and salmon because they are rich in Omega – 3 fatty acids.


There are some cases when TMJ can be caused by spasms and muscle tension in the jaw so if you consume foods that are rich in magnesium; they will help to relax the tension [7]. Some foods which are rich in magnesium are bananas, dark chocolate, figs, avocado, black beans, almonds, kefir, yogurt, pumpkin seeds, chard, and spinach. You should have a diet rich in these foods because they can help treat TMJ.


This home remedy can help to reduce anxiety, and also it will relax the muscles. It recommends consuming 70 mg of kava three times per day but talk with your doctor about the best dosage.

Hot and cold compresses

There are some doctors who recommend warm compresses over the jaw, temples, and neck region for ten to twelve minutes about two times per day because this can allow the muscles to relax and symptoms to reduce. You should do the warm compress as a preventative measure for a period of one week. This is better than doing it when the pain is at its peak. The warm application can decrease jaw pain and stiffness by increasing the blood supply to the affected region, and it will give you a soothing distraction from the pain [8]. If the warm compress has not helped you in a period of one to two days, then you should switch to an ice application. The ice application can help to reduce muscle spasms. Ice and cold have a numbing effect on the pain.

What you should avoid

You should avoid sugar because it can increase inflammation and it lowers the immune response. You should avoid caffeine because it can increase muscle tension by dehydrating your muscles. You should avoid drinking alcohol because it can increase teeth grinding at night. You should avoid gum or caramels, or any hard food because when you chew them, then it can worsen the symptoms of TMJ. Also, you should avoid tough foods. You should be careful with any food that is difficult to chew, such as meat or dry cuts.

Essential oils

Lavender oil, frankincense oil, and peppermint oil are the best essential oils that you can use as your natural treatment for TMJ symptoms. The lavender essential oil will relax the tense muscles. The frankincense oil will reduce inflammation. The peppermint oil will give you relief from the pain. You should mix one drop of each oil with ¼ teaspoon of coconut oil, and you should rub it on the affected area. [9]


[1] Moraes AR, Sanches ML, Ribeiro EC, Guimares AS. Therapeutic exercises for the control of temporomandibular disorders. Dental Press Journal of Orthodontics. 2013;18(5).

[2] Armijo-Olivo S, Pitance L, Singh V, et al. Effectiveness of manual therapy and therapeutic exercise for temporomandibular disorders: Systematic review and meta-analysis. Physical Therapy. 2016;96(1):9–25.

[3] Bachani L, Ashok L, Singh M. Conservative management of temporomandibular disorders: A review. Acta Scientific Dental Sciences. 2019;3(4):99-109.

[4] Deng W, Liu K, Cao S, et al. Chemical composition, antimicrobial, antioxidant, and antiproliferative properties of grapefruit essential oil prepared by molecular distillation. Molecules. 2020;25(1):217.

[5] Kato T, Takahashi S, Domon T. Effects of a liquid diet on the temporomandibular joint of growing rats. Medical Principles and Practice. 2015;24(3):257–62.

[6] Szent-Gyorgyi AG. Calcium regulation of muscle contraction. Biophysical Journal. 1975;15(7):707-23.

[7] Altura BM, Altura BT. Tension headaches and muscle tension: is there a role for magnesium? Medical Hypotheses. 2001;57(6):705-13.

[8] Furlan RMMM, Giovanardi RS, e Britto ATB, e Britto DB. The use of superficial heat for treatment of temporomandibular disorders: an integrative review. CoDAS. 2015;27(2).

[9] Berry K. Essential oils might offer temporary TMJ pain relief. TMJ Therapy & Sleep Center of Colorado. 2020.

Neem Mayur
Neem Mayur
Mayur Neem, a certified dietician having more than 5 years of experience in the field of diet practice. He is working as a diet expert and offering services to body builders, sports persons, celebrities, etc. He is lover of natural remedies and loves to spend most of his free time in his organic farm and offers expert advice on organic farming to local farmers. He is available through [email protected]


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