One big difference between holistic, biological dentistry and standard approaches is the emphasis on treating causes, not simply easing symptoms.
But, of course, there are times when symptom relief is desired, such as when pain from TMJ dysfunction (TMD) flares up and interferes with daily activities and responsibilities. The jaw, face, head, and neck pain that accompany TMD can be a real drag on quality of life.
One excellent option is the use of essential oils. Here are just a few of the most commonly recommended options for easing TMJ pain in particular:
- Lavender is well known for its soothing qualities. It can also help relax tense muscles and may help with TMJ-related headaches. Spike lavender is a good option to get relaxation without the sedative effects. Lavandula latifolia is particularly suited to muscular issues.
- Peppermint is also useful for soothing aches and provides a nice cooling sensation when applied topically.
- Frankincense is another good pain reliever that helps reduce inflammation, as well. It can be mixed with valor, spruce, and blue tansy for muscle pain in particular.
- Clary sage is a potent pain reliever that should only be used in small amounts. You can get additional relaxation by mixing it with chamomile.
- Marjoram can be effective for neuromuscular pain, including migraine headaches.
- Tea tree oil is anti-inflammatory, as well as a pain reliever. This is one of the few oils you can apply directly to your skin without blending it with a base oil.
- Fennel can help relieve the stiffness that can contribute to TMJ pain.
You can learn about even more options here.
Essential oils can be applied topically or diffused. If you want to use them directly on your skin, just add a bit of the essential oil(s) into a small amount of high quality, organic coconut, olive, or hemp oil and rub the mixture over the painful area.
If diffusing, place 10 to 15 drops in a diffuser and breathe the aroma until you feel relief, up to one hour.
Also be sure that the essential oils you choose are of good quality. The Herbal Academy offers some excellent guidelines for choosing wisely among all the options out there. We strongly recommend reading their highly informative article before you start shopping for essential oils for any kind of therapeutic use.
Additionally, some supplements can lend additional support for muscle relaxation and stress relief. These include magnesium and calcium (these two should always be taken together), kava, B complex, and MSM – an organic sulfur compound that can help improve immune function and reduce inflammation.
But the most important thing you can do is consult with a holistic, biological dentist with expertise in treating TMD – to get to the root of the problem and bring long-term relief.