Suffer from jaw grinding in your sleep? You’re not alone. I’ve been suffering from intermittent TMJ pain for the last 10 years. The closest thing I can attribute it to are stressful moments or periods in my life. My TMJ is triggered by stress, and the stress triggers more TMJ. It’s like a self perpetuating issue. The heightened stress of 2020 has brought it back in my life full force. I wake up with sore teeth and gums, a strained jaw, and sometimes a headache of varying degrees. The daily pain is exhausting and a constant distraction. I’m also scared of cracking my teeth. This year I’ve tried a few different methods of treating TMJ pain that have been providing so much relief. I wanted to share a little about each option
Obviously I am not a dentist or doctor, so please consult a professional to help guide you on the best options based on your individual needs. I’m just sharing what’s worked for minimizing TMJ pain.
This was my first line of defense. I got a professional grade custom mouthguard made from my dentist about 9 yers ago. This worked great, until I broke it. At room temperature it hardens and usually I’d warm it up under the tap before putting it in before bed. I wasn’t paying attention and accidentally snapped it in half. Immediately I went to Amazon to get a replacement because due to current times it’s hard to get into my dentist. Custom mouthguards are also very expensive to replace. While the mouthguard molds from Amazon aren’t as sturdy as the professionally made pieces, they do reduce jaw grinding in my sleep. The molds last about 1 month of use and a box will last you around a year.
Rose Quartz Roller
Don’t underestimate the power of a chilled facial roller! I love using something like this before bed with a facial oil to manually sooth my tense jawline. It feels amazing after a long stressful day. I have a few different brands of facial rollers but my favorite is by Savor Beauty. Their rose quartz facial roller is the best quality one I’ve tried. It provides temporary relief but doesn’t prevent future jaw grinding.
Have you heard of non-cosmetic botox? It’s a compelling option for dealing with TMJ pain. Skin Refine Medspa is where I go for all of my injectables and on my last visit I tried a little botox in my jaw to help with the TMJ pain. It took about a month to kick in and it’s helped soften my mindless jaw clenching tendencies, without negatively impacting my bite or ability to chew. The treatment is quick and relatively painless. Botox injections feel like small pricks, similar pain-wise to plucking eyebrow hairs. You eyes may water, but it’s not significantly painful. This is going to be the priciest option, but probably the most effective and preventative.
Taking a little CBD oil tincture daily helps reduce my TMJ pain. Taking it just once won’t really be noticeable and it needs some time to build up in your system. I take a half dropper 1x-3x daily with food. I’ve been using this CBD oil from Pachamama lately. The brand makes single origin, full spectrum CBD products, using their USDA Organic patented air extraction process. This a hemp-derived CBD brand, so these products won’t get you high. I use their CBD athletic rub for tech neck, but I suppose you could use it for intense jaw pain as well. It’s a lovely balm texture and it smells like thin mint cookies!
Last but certainly not least, acupuncture is a fantastic option for immediate relief from TMJ. I go to Modern Acupuncture in Corte Madera for weekly treatments. Each week I chat with my practitioner to figure out the focus of my session. Sometimes it’s general stress and anxiety, other times it’s back or neck pain, and sometimes it’s the TMJ pain. Sessions are around 30 minutes and are so relaxing. It’s great to take a little time for yourself to be quiet and still. Relief is almost immediate for me and I feel amazing the rest of the day. Modern Acupuncture offers unlimited monthly memberships which are an incredible value. If you’re curious, consider trying the $29 first session offer.
So which is my favorite option? I think a mix of all of them! While mouthguards, facial rollers, and CBD might be the most cost effective options, acupuncture and botox for TMJ may deliver more noticeable results. Hopefully this gave you some ideas and a little perspective on ways to deal with the daily pain.