Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) / Tooth Pain
The temporomandibular joint, which connects the upper and lower jaw, is a common source for pain and discomfort. Acupuncture treatments for TMJ have been carefully studied and proven to be highly effective and relatively safe. Acupuncture can relieve pain and restore proper joint function.
The causes for TMJ vary, including dental problems, injury to the joint, arthritis, improper alignment of the jaw and teeth, clenching and grinding of teeth due to stress, and neuromuscular disorders.
Symptoms of TMJ include:
- Pain in the jaw and under the ear that can radiate to the face, head, neck and shoulders
- Difficulty chewing
- Decreased range of motion in the jaw
- Difficulty hearing
How can acupuncture help the temporomandibular joint?
Acupuncture is highly effective in treating pain. Through the stimulation of the nerves, acupuncture helps the body to release neurotransmitters (endorphins) that block pain and produce an analgesic effect. Additionally, acupuncture frees up the flow of energy, improves circulation, and helps reduce swelling. Acupuncture can help relax the tension in the jaw due to clenching and generally relax one’s stress level to improve the overall sense of well-being.
Acupuncture is often used alone to treat TMJ, or combined with apparatus such as mouth guards, and bite plates, and other treatments such as lifestyle changes. It is also used to compliment Western medical treatments. Acupuncture will not harm or interfere with medications, and in many cases it reduces or eliminates the need for them all together.
As with most conditions, the course of treatment will depend on how long the problem has persisted and the severity of symptoms. For TMJ, an average of 6 treatments can produce lasting results.
Acupuncture for tooth pain
If you are suffering from toothache, its best to consult a dentist to identify and treat any decay and infection caused by cavities, abscesses or dental injuries. Acupuncture is a good complementary treatment to relieve pain, inflammation and joint ache caused by toothache or post-operative tooth pain. Acupuncture improves the circulation to the mouth that causes inflammation and promotes faster recovery time following tooth extraction. The immunity system is also strengthened to prevent further infection.